Democracy in Decline?

Johns Hopkins University Press Blog

Guest post by Condoleezza Rice

To celebrate the recent publication of Democracy in Decline?, edited by the Journal of Democracy’s Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner, we are pleased to offer this excerpt from the book’s Foreword by Condoleezza Rice. Don’t miss this collection of essays by eight of the world’s leading public intellectuals and scholars of democracy—Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Philippe C. Schmitter, Steven Levitsky, Lucan Way, Thomas Carothers, and editors Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner.

diamond15For the past quarter-century, the Journal of Democracy has helped the world to understand the controlled chaos that is democracy. Like the many scholars who have written for the Journal, I care deeply about the fate of this system of governance that protects liberty and have studied its ups and downs.

In more recent years, as secretary of state, I found myself defending the proposition that all people should…

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6th Grade: Let the Fun Begin!

Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

Off to 6th Grade Camp!

I’m off to 6th grade camp with about 87 students from my daughter’s elementary school. This is the first camp our school has done in four years. My son’s (who is currently in 10th grade) class was the first year our school didn’t do it because one teacher was the hold out. We even had replacement teachers willing to take her spot but that wasn’t good enough. That killed 6th grade camp until this year. The holdout teacher is now teaching 4th grade, we have new 6th grade teachers and magically we have 6th grade camp this year.

Ok, it wasn’t magic. I do have to take my hat off to all the poor parents that fought for 6th grade camp to return the past four years. I thought it was gone forever.

I’ve been to about seven Boy Scout camps over the past seven…

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–The missing pieces


The missing pieces

A Poem by Coyote Poetry


Fragrance of what we were do appear. I looked into the mirror. The once warrior had become the house plant. This is sad.


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                                Missing pieces
On paper with black ink and thoughts. I try to replay the days of drunken bliss and delight.
Today like a worn-out cushion. I wait for no-one.
When age was my wealth. I wouldn’t ransom for soul for a few dollars and safety in old age.
Today I’m barren in hope and dreams. I try to re-kindle hope and the energy of my youth.
I can’t find the pieces of what I was.
When I was young. I didn’t want to get old. 39 years and leave the tire body was my goal.
Today 55 years had led me to…

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Granola Sunset

DoubleU = W

eat and swallow what you’re given

don’t ask questions, don’t disagree

any move away from our agenda

will quickly earn you a label

that we can and will plaster there

prominently on your forehead

for all the world to see

go along with us on this

ride toward the granola sunset

you’ll love it there

it’s where only the simple can

ever be spoken but where

hard truths or questions are

quickly and publicly squashed

don’t worry

we’ll be glad to tell you what

to think


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By the Mighty Mumford


Wherever the group, SCARLET FADE,

Performs, plans are made…

By two women

Band followers given

Special front seats in the shade.

One, a ravishing red head,

Each time, turns my head…

Wearing dresses

Femininity expresses,

Drives me wild instead.

So, in the Lord I learn..

It’s better eyes closed than burn…**

Sometimes I see

Without feeling guilty,

Those are few and far between, of concern.

Those two have their own special motions,

Hand dancing as devotions….

In praise to God

No–it’s not odd–

I rock in my own motions!

There was a crowd downstairs,

After, with plenty of chairs…

Unsure in that crowd

I just stepped out,

Into the mid-morning air.

–Jonathan Caswell

** closed eyes….Matthew 5:27-28

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Berlin’s Zombie Hospital

Trekking Tracy

Last Sunday I went exploring in an old, abandoned children’s hospital known as, Zombie Hospital. Its original name was Kinderkrankenhaus Weißensee. It was built-in 1909 and forever closed on January 1, 1997.

It’s been just about a year since I went to my first abandoned building (Check : The Abandoned, Discovered) I’m not sure what it is about freezing cold weather that makes me feel like going out and exploring abandoned places.

This photo set couldn’t have come at a better time, one of my favorite shows, The Walking Dead will be starting again this Sunday!





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