Along with fireworks and barbecue, waxing poetic about freedom has always been an Independence Day tradition. Some of the old chestnuts you hear: the price of freedom is responsibility, be an informed citizen, don’t take your rights for granted . . .
What better way for a dictionary-themed blog to honor this insight than by looking at the definitions of some of the most-used political terms, and holding a mirror up to their current, popular conception? This is a chance for you to weigh your notions of popular political jargon against their historical meaning.
Democracy is “a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.” The Greek demokratia is derived from demos, “common people,” and kratos, “strength.”
A republic is “a political order whose head of state is not a monarch and in modern times is usually a president.” It is also “a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.” An important point in this definition is the potential difference between a democracy and a republic, namely direct democracy versus representative democracy. The difference lies in the degree of authority elected representatives possess versus the potential authority available to any citizen who would like to participate.
Now, let’s pause for a moment. Is there a word that has recently provoked more animus and inspired a wider range of usage than socialism? Somewhere, at this moment, a fastidious student of language and politics is probably collating the myriad utterances of this word since President Obama’s inauguration, trying to find some strand of logic. If you’re reading this, hypothetical scholar, drop us a line and we’ll send you a Dictionary.com mug as a token of our admiration.
1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.
Do these definitions resonate with the ways pundits, politicians and entertainers throw them around? Do they describe your perception (for better or worse) of political reality where you live? Please share your opinion in that ersatz democracy called the comments section that follows this post.
WWII MEMORIAL JUST ABOUT READY CREWS ARE SCURRYING SO THAT A MAXIMUM NUMBER OF VETS CAN APPRECIATE IT.(FRONT)
The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI) April 9, 2004 Byline: Jennifer C. Kerr Associated Press WASHINGTON — Construction crews are working day and night to put the finishing touches on the World War II Memorial so the site can soon be opened to the public – especially the veterans of that era, who are dying by the hundreds each day.
The memorial won’t be dedicated until May 29, but project organizers decided it should unofficially open as soon as possible so that the ever-dwindling number of men and women who served and were its inspiration can visit it. The fence surrounding the site is expected to come down the last week in April, allowing visitors to roam the memorial grounds.
“We just think it’s important that we let the World War II veterans, especially, see it because a lot of them won’t be able to make the dedication ceremony,” project executive Barry Owenby said Thursday. “We don’t want to hide our candle under a basket.” The Veterans Affairs Department estimates World War II vets are dying at a rate of 1,056 a day – more than 385,000 a year. Fewer than 4 million will be alive at the time of the dedication. in our site art of war quotes
Owenby led reporters on a tour of the memorial, which sits on a 7.4-acre site on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.
Two and a half years after construction began, all of the memorial’s granite – more than 17 million pounds – and most of the bronze is in place. Crews are now busy paving sidewalks, wiring lights, and working on the landscape around the memorial.
Equal in size to the length of a football field, the memorial has two hulking 43-foot arches at each end. One is marked Atlantic, the other Pacific – symbolizing the two theaters of the war.
Fifty-six smaller granite pillars adorned with two bronze wreaths form the oval shape of the memorial and encircle a sunken plaza and pool. The pillars represent each state and territory from that period, and the District of Columbia.
The man selected in a nationwide competition to design the memorial says it honors not only the sacrifices of those on the battlefield, but also the resolve of a nation united.
“This is not a healing memorial, but a memorial that recalls, perhaps, the nation’s finest hour,” said design architect Friedrich St. Florian.
Walking around the plaza’s rainbow pool, visitors can read war quotes etched into the granite – inscriptions from Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, and Generals Douglas MacArthur and George C. Marshall, among others. go to web site art of war quotes
Framed by cascading waterfalls, there’s also a “Freedom Wall” covered with 4,000 gold stars to commemorate the more than 400,000 Americans killed in the war. The gold star was the symbol of the death of a family member in the war.
The wall, said St. Florian, “will remind future generations of the supreme sacrifice without which victory cannot be achieved.” CAPTION(S):
Ron Edmonds – Associated Press A visitor looks at the field of 4,000 sculpted gold stars adorning an 85-foot-wide by 9-foot-high granite wall at the western end of the World War II Memorial on Thursday. Each 4-inch star represents 100 American lives lost in the war.
U.S. Cellular buys Medford sports park naming rights.
Mail Tribune (Medford, OR) May 15, 2007 Byline: Meg Landers May 15–MEDFORD — The new, 132-acre sports park south of town will be named the U.S. Cellular Community Park, officials said Monday.
U.S. Cellular paid $650,000 for naming rights to the Medford Sports and Community Park for the next six years.
A public naming ceremony and unveiling of the logo is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the park.
“This is huge,” said Medford Parks and Recreation Director Brian Sjothun. “It is the largest naming rights per year for the state of Oregon.” Currently under construction, the $25 million park on Highway 99 will provide a range of sports facilities, access to nature walks and outdoor gathering spaces. website brier creek movies
In addition, U.S. Cellular is donating 100 soccer balls.
Medford Mayor Gary Wheeler said the company has renewal privileges if it wishes to contribute beyond the six years.
In recent years, U.S. Cellular has paid for the screen, projector and sound system for the Bear Creek Movies in the Park, as well as contributed thousands of dollars annually for the popular event. go to site brier creek movies
“They’ve been very good corporate sponsors for the city of Medford,” said Wheeler.
Sjothun said it’s becoming more common for municipalities to sell naming rights to community facilities. He said he hopes similar partnerships can be created in Medford.
“There are a lot more amenities within the park available for naming rights,” he said.
U.S. Cellular’s contribution is the latest boost to funding for the new park.
In December, the Medford City Council approved a $2.56 increase (the fee had been 31 cents) in the annual parks fee on city utility bills. The city sold $18.9 million in revenue bonds to fund construction of components of the park as well as a gymnasium at the Santo Community Center.
On Thursday the council is scheduled to award a $302,250 contract to Hardy Engineering and Associates to design part of the park. If approved, Hardy will design five field sports areas, a baseball field, an entry drive from Lowry Lane, parking and other features.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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