Fear, Panic, Hysteria, And The Media: Reflection On The Real Dangers Amidst Us!

It is shocking and reprehensible how the reaction to the Ebola issue is fear, panic, and hysteria, all fueled by irresponsible, reckless media of all kinds and opportunistic politicians!

Yes, Ebola is something to be concerned about, and knowledge and education is essential, but not the crazy reaction of media, and the demagoguery being promoted by politicians, who do not know or appreciate medicine and science, but are too ready to make Ebola a political issue, and promote, in the process, their own careers by scaring people, and undermining cooperation to resolve this matter in an organized, sensible manner.

IF we really want to overcome dangers, threats, and concerns about what we face, consider the following:

Ebola, as terrible as it is, has killed about 5,000 people, mostly in West Africa, and only one person in America. Even if that death toll rises, it is NOT going to reach the total of about 50,000 annually dying from Flu and Pneumonia in America, and even with that reality, many Americans do not get annual Flu shots or Pneumonia shots as a precaution, because of unfounded fears that any shots or vaccinations, even for children, is dangerous!

Auto accidents cause the death of 40,000 per year on the average, but what do we do about texting while driving; drinking while driving; reckless speeders; and those on illegal drugs who drive and often are high?

Gun deaths average at least about 11,000 per year, but we cannot get any gun legislation through Congress, due to the National Rifle Association.

Smoking, alcoholism, and drug addiction causes hundreds of thousands of deaths per year combined, but no panic and hysteria about that.

Child abuse and assaults on women cause innumerable deaths per year, but no sense of trying to do something about it has occurred, just shaking heads and rolling eyes!

When there was limited media, we had real epidemics of Typhoid Fever, Tuberculosis, Flu, Leprosy, and other diseases, yet no panic on the scale we see now.

We have the continued problem of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and AIDS has caused more deaths than Ebola ever will, without all that much concern by most people, who just figured that since a majority of people who have this disease have been gay or lesbian, at least in America, why worry about “them”, but also there are many heterosexual victims as well, and no great attention paid to it by most Americans.

The point being made is that it is the reckless news media and the political opportunists who are trying to blame Ebola on Barack Obama, and make it seem as if he wants this epidemic to occur in America, and they have a stupid, ignorant portion of the American people who accept every allegation and sensationalistic statement as total truth, when they are bald faced lies!

Elizabeth Warren Should Run For President!

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren has been talked about for months as a potential Presidential candidate, but she has always said she is not interested, and has signed a statement backing Hillary Clinton.

But she has been campaigning for the election and reelection of Democrats across the nation, and has attracted large and enthusiastic audiences everywhere she goes, including early caucus and primary states, such as Iowa and New Hampshire, along with many other states.

She inspires people with her message of attack on the barons of Wall Street, and the need to make the banks lower interest rates on repayment of college loans, which have burdened millions of students, who will never be able to marry, own a home, own an automobile, have children, and a normal life, because their college education has enslaved them in long term debt, due to very high interest rates.

Warren also promoted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one of the major accomplishments of the Obama Presidency.

She has come across as a truly genuine, real, human being, rare for a politician. Her sincerity and real concern for promoting fairness and equity in America has pushed the demand that she run for President.

The odds of her being the Presidential nominee seem low, but her campaign would make other Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and other potential candidates work harder, and make for a better campaign, and she could certainly end up as Vice President or a key member of the cabinet under a Democratic President, assuming she loses the chance to be the Democratic Presidential nominee.

Running for President will certainly not hurt her future, and it just might make our future as a nation much better!

Sexism In Congress: Mistreatment Of Women Who Serve In Our Legislative Institutions

New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently wrote about the sexism that exists in Congress, where she has served in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Now Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren has seconded Gillibrand’s account, making clear that some male members of Congress speak and act in an inappropriate manner, and have no shame about their behavior.

There is a tendency to wish to avoid confrontation by naming names, and holding Congressmen and Senators to account.

But, it would be a great step forward, not only for Congress, but for American society for women to make it clear they will not tolerate inappropriate behavior in the name of “getting along”.

A well known Senator, Republican Bob Packwood of Oregon, was forced to resign after investigation in the mid 1990s of his horrible behavior over a 27 year period in the Senate.

This should not be forgotten, and if heads must roll, so be it, as it is overdue for women in Congress, and everywhere, to have proper respect and behavior displayed toward them by their colleagues, as well as those who have power over them as employers and supervisors!

Death Of A Journalism Giant: Ben Bradlee Of The Washington Post, Who Helped To Expose The Corruption Of Richard Nixon!

The Washington Post Editor, Ben Bradlee, who helped to expose the corruption of Richard Nixon in the Watergate Scandal, and also published the Pentagon Papers in 1971, which exposed the truth of our involvement in Vietnam, died yesterday at the age of 93 of natural causes.

Bradlee was one of the greatest newspaper editors of all time, and made the Washington Post a newspaper competitive with the New York Times.

Bradlee was not afraid to challenge official Washington, DC, and was often threatened by Nixon henchmen, but he was persistent in exposing the truth.

Bradlee hired Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who were rookie reporters who did the underground “dirty work” to develop the story behind the Watergate Break In on June 17, 1972, which brought down a Presidency two years later.

Bradlee did so much for investigative journalism, and will always be remembered for his courage, guts, principle, and long range impact on journalism.

Sadly, however, we will, probably never see his kind again, certainly not in the old system of print journalism!

The Coming War On The 17th Amendment By Conservatives!

The right wing in America has a planned strategy to conduct war on the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, one of the greatest of all amendments added since the first ten were enacted as the Bill of Rights!

The 17th Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1913, came as the outgrowth of the Progressive Era, and occurred at its peak, the vigorous campaign for progressive reform promoted by Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson in the Presidential Election of 1912. It was also endorsed by the incumbent President, William Howard Taft, who had elements of progressivism in him despite his general reputation as a conservative, which led to his disastrous third place finish in 1912, despite being the Republican nominee.

The 17th Amendment developed in reaction to “muckraker” David Graham Phillips’ path breaking non fiction exposure, “THE TREASON OF THE SENATE”, which demonstrated the corruption of the US Senate, and its leading figure, Senator Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island, and led to direct popular election of the US Senate from 1913 onward.

One could argue that even with popular vote, the US Senate often disappoints us, and there are Senators who are an embarrassment and a disgrace to that legislative body.

But now, conservatives are promoting the idea of the repeal of the 17th Amendment, returning us to the method in the Constitution adopted in 1787, to have the often corrupt state legislatures choose the Senators, and deny the population the popular vote involvement in selecting the members of the upper body of Congress.

The theory has developed that all the laws passed to promote political, social and economic reform since 1913, including the massive reforms of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and all other Presidents might be repealed as illegitimate if the Senate method of election returned to the pre 1913 system.

This is an alarming development, and joined with the desire to get rid of the 16th Amendment (federal income tax) and the 19th Amendment (woman suffrage), all of these “Progressive” amendments, could, if enacted take us back to the 19th century Gilded Age!

The Promotion Of Fear And Panic A Typical Republican Response To Any Issue Or Problem!

The Midterm Elections of 2014 might be decided not on the issues, but on the promotion of fear and panic, being utilized to scare voters!

It is not a new tactic by the Republican Party, but rather an old strategy used in the past.

Leave it to the GOP to use fear of “Socialism”, “Progressivism”, “Liberalism”, distorting all three terms as against America, as a way to prevent political, social, and economic reform that takes power away from the wealthy and the corporations!

The Red Scare of the late 1940s and early 1950s, as promoted by Richard Nixon, Joseph McCarthy, and other demagogues, had a deleterious effect on people’s lives, and victimized many innocent people.

Fear and panic were used by Presidents, including Richard Nixon and George W. Bush to promote war in Vietnam and in Iraq!

The Republican Party has abandoned its original support of African American civil rights, and has now promoted racism to attract uneducated and poor and lower middle class whites to vote against their own economic interests.

Now fear and panic are being used because of the Ebola Crisis to convince people to vote Republican, despite the fact that the GOP has done nothing positive in any form, and has set out to obstruct everything that Barack Obama has tried to do, with him succeeding in many initiatives despite constant attack and criticism and attempts to block progress.

If the Republicans succeed in convincing the American people to go nuts over Ebola, when the flu and pneumonia causes 50,000 deaths a year without fear and panic; and if 11,000 people a year killed by firearms annually is not seen as a crisis; then the American people will get what they deserve—incompetent, corrupt, and uncaring government, which will work to undermine all of the progress of the New Deal and Great Society for the past 80 years!

Conservative Argument That America Is A “Christian Nation” NOT True!

The right wing loves to say that Americans are a “Christian nation”, but that assertion is NOT true!

It is true that a majority of Americans are born to the Christian faith, whether Catholic or any of the many Protestant sects, or Eastern Orthodox.

But our Founding Fathers, while born Christian, were in many cases skeptics about organized Christianity, and certainly had no mission to promote a church-state combination, a theocracy, as they knew of the turmoil and sufferings of such combinations in European history, including Great Britain, France, the German states, and Czarist Russia, along with the effects of Islam on the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Therefore, the Constitution of the United States made clear to keep separation of church and state separate, and there is no statement of America as a “Christian nation” by the Founding Fathers.

There are plenty of statements by many Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Adams and others that advocated separation of church and state, and a sense of skepticism about organized Christianity being part of government.

We also have evidence that conservative Christian pastors condemned the Constitution after its adoption because of the fact that it was a document which, clearly, was secular in nature, and some called the Constitution an atheistic document, which shows how hard the Founding Fathers had worked to undermine the creation of a theocracy, which would allow persecution of non Christians or non believers in religion itself.

After the Civil War, the right wing Christian pastors tried repeatedly to amend the Constitution to make America a Christian nation and make references to Jesus Christ, but those attempts failed, and the only religious reference that would become normal was to say “In God We Trust” on American coinage.

The deleterious effect of this movement among right wing Christian pastors, however, led to anti Catholic and anti Jewish practices and laws locally, discriminating against the immigration of so called “undesirable” groups.

Additionally, for a long period of time, commerce was limited by “Blue Laws”, which banned economic activities on Sundays, finally overcome about 50 years ago, as if someone does not wish to do shopping or other commerce on the Christian Sabbath, that is their choice, but should not be imposed on others, one of the examples of what happens when theocracy and its narrow mindedness is allowed to take hold.

So America is NOT a “Christian nation”, but rather a nation of a diverse number of religious groups, with a majority of Christian sects, including Catholicism, something the majority Protestants did not wish to acknowledge!

Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito MUST Go!

Three members of the Supreme Court live in their own parallel world of the Founding Fathers and the Gilded Age and the 1920s, and refuse to consider modernization as a factor in their judicial judgments!

Antonin Scalia, appointed in 1986 by Ronald Reagan; Clarence Thomas, appointed in 1991 by George H. W. Bush; and Samuel Alito, appointed in 2006 by George W. Bush are a team of three, which has worked against gender equality,racial equality, fair treatment to immigrants, and gay rights, among other modern controversies.

Often, Chief Justice John Roberts joins them, and sometimes, but less often than Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy also joins to make a right wing five on the Court.

But Roberts and Kennedy have also taken stands with the four liberal justices on the Court lately–Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

It is time to demand that Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito adjust to modern times, or else leave the Court, and there is a dire need to have a constitutional amendment to limit the terms of all federal judges at all levels, to promote open mindedness and diversity, and allow for change after, at most 18-20 years!

Right Wing Hysteria Over Ebola An Outrage, As Republicans And Conservatives Ignore Much Greater Causes Of Death!

The right wing in America has no limits in its outrages, and now have used the Ebola Crisis to promote hysteria and panic, and of course, blame it all on Barack Obama.

Some lunatics are saying that Obama has caused this problem, and that he wishes to declare martial law and suspend the Presidential Election of 2016 and stay on beyond January 20, 2017, a totally preposterous and whacko idea, which they know is a total lie!

And while Republicans and conservatives rail about Ebola, they have no concern about the much larger threat to life by murders and injuries by firearms; the reality of automobile accidents as a major cause of death, including drunken drivers; the great loss of life from flu and pneumonia; and the ever present danger of domestic violence; along with other causes of death, such as bee stings, drowning, lightning, fireworks, and dog attacks, among others.

There is not an issue or problem that the right wing does not use as an excuse to do harm to our President and the entire government structure, and many wish for the removal of Obama by violence and overthrow, which should be enough for the Secret Service to arrest and imprison critics who go beyond the pale, and threaten our whole constitutional system of government!

Republicans Flub Debates, Both Governor And Senate Candidates

The Republican Party is self destructing in campaign debates in many states!

Florida Governor Rick Scott boycotted the first five minutes of his debate with former Governor Charlie Crist, and came across as dishonest, cold, stiff, and uncaring about those less fortunate.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker did very poorly in his debate against Democratic opponent Mary Burke.

Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis of North Carolina was very unimpressive in his debate against Democratic Senator Kay Hagan.

Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came across as someone who needs to retire, in his debate against Kentucky Democratic Senate opponent Allison Lundergan Grimes.

Texas Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott came across as a hypocrite in his debate against Democratic gubernatorial opponent Wendy Davis.

It is clear that most Republicans are on the defensive on their records, and that the Democrats are coming across as deserving election, or keeping their positions!