Children

115th Congress To Open, On Heels Of Three Worst, Most Unproductive Congresses In Modern History Since World War II!

Today is the opening day of the 115th Congress, on heels of the three most unproductive Congresses in modern history since World War II, and we are on the way to the most corrupt, disgraceful Congress in all of American history, including the Gilded Age years of the late 19th century.

It is as if the Republican majority in Congress is out to repeal the 20th century, going back to the 1920s Congresses that came before the Great Depression, caused by Republican policies, and rectified in great measure by Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal in the 1930s.

The whole concept of a national government that was concerned about the economic status of its people, promoted by the New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, as well as the reforms brought about under later Presidents, including Barack Obama, seem about to be wiped out in great measure by the nasty, vindictive, uncaring right wing Republican Party, which is not even embarrassed about getting rid of their ethics committee, brought about by Congressional scandals a decade ago. Now the thought is, who cares what the public thinks about sex and financial scandals, as we will simply push them under the rug!

That is why the news media, particularly the major newspapers and periodicals and electronic media MUST not allow themselves to be cowed into silence, as it is only the responsible news media that will be able to inform us of the truth and preserve light in a time of darkness.

This is a time for mourning, but one can be assured that the Republicans will pay the price long term for the sins, misdeeds, and even crimes they are now about to perpetrate in harming women, children, workers, the poor, the elderly, the sick, the disabled, the environment, racial minorities, gays and lesbians, immigrants, Muslims, and all other oppressed groups who now are faced with the most right wing extremist Congress in nearly a century.

What Do We Tell Our Children About President-Elect Donald Trump?

Now that it is clear that Donald Trump is President-Elect, the question is what do we tell our children?

Do we tell them to respect a misogynist, racist, nativist, islamophobic President, and one who is not repudiating white supremacists and antisemites?

Do we tell our daughters that they have nothing to fear from boys and men, since Trump has shown total immorality about women?

Do we tell our sons that they do not need to respect girls and women, since Trump does not?

Do we tell our children of both genders, of different races, nationalities, religions, and sexual orientations, that they can feel safe and accepted?

How do we make sure our children are not bullied at school and on the streets of America because they might be “different” than white Anglo Saxon males?

How can any family be secure that we will not have violence and bigotry manifesting itself under a President who has no ethical or moral base?

Can anyone tell me the answers to this concern?

Shocked, Stunned, Need Time To Absorb Before Detailed Analysis Over Coming Days!

This author and blogger is totally shocked and stunned, and needs time to absorb the victory of Donald Trump in the Presidential Election of 2016.

So over time, I will provide detailed analysis over what has happened.

But I can say that I weep for our nation, and the body blow of the Trump victory over the legacy of Barack Obama, and the danger presented to the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson.

I also weep for the harm it does to our children of all races, and to girls and women, and to ethnic and racial minorities, and to our economy and international affairs.

This is truly a major turning point, and a likely constitutional crisis far greater than presented by Richard Nixon four decades ago.

That is all for now and for today.

I apologize for being so wrong in my prognostications, but share that with the overwhelming number of others who study and discuss and write about American politics!

Today, shed tears over what has happened, and then the struggle to do what can be done to lessen the impact of Donald Trump must begin tomorrow!

Vaccinations And Republican Doctors: Total Quackery Views Of Dr. Benjamin Carson And Dr. Rand Paul!

One of the worst aspects of the CNN Republican debate on Thursday night was the discussion about the supposed dangers of vaccinations for children, which many uninformed people and conspiracy theorists think causes autism.

Nothing could be further from the truth, but when Donald Trump, a non doctor, makes it an issue in the debate, gullible people tend to take it as gospel!

And when Dr. Benjamin Carson, a pediatric neurologist, and Dr. Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, say that vaccinations could be dangerous and are unwise to some extent, that is alarming, as the spread of serious diseases that were once overcome by vaccinations in the past 50 years, now become a danger to public health!

If some children are not vaccinated properly and on a schedule, that can lead to an epidemic, as happened with measles in California, recently.

What is it about the Republican Party that they reject medical knowledge widely accepted, with even medical doctors who are candidates for the Presidency, acting like quacks?

And then add the rejection of science—refusal to believe in evolution, and denial of global warming and climate change—and we are back to medieval views of medicine and science in the 21st century!

Hysteria Over Ebola And ISIL (ISIS), But No Concern In The Right Wing About Gun Violence!

The right wing extremists in this nation have gone totally hysterical over the threat of the Ebola disease, and the menace of ISIL (ISIS), and have politicized both issues, making it out as if Barack Obama is responsible for both issues.

This is promoting panic among many people, who tend to believe everything that Fox News Channel and the right wing radio talk show hosts assert, as if Obama is a danger to the country!

Meanwhile, nearly two years after the Sandy Hook Massacre in Connecticut, which killed six adult educators and 20 children six and seven years old, nothing has been done to prevent future gun violence, against children, women, minorities, and even white men, as there is no willingness in Congress to challenge the extremism of the National Rifle Association, which has terrified anyone in the Republican Party or conservative movement from taking any action on background checks; registration; prevention of convicts, mentally ill people, and drug addicts from being able to gain firearms; and even to regulate gun sales on the internet.

We see, instead, the insanity of many states allowing brandishing of firearms in supermarkets, department stores, and other public places, with impunity. We have seen so many “accidents” that have killed children, and so many massacres of large numbers of people, becoming mundane, and hardly gaining as much attention as earlier tragedies before Sandy Hook.

The country, seemingly, has accepted that it is normal to have at least 900-1,000 death by firearms every month, a much greater loss than we suffered in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Why is there not an outcry to make clear that firearm violence is a much greater threat to our safety, security and health, than the threat of Ebola and of ISIL (ISIS)?

The “Southern” Culture A Detriment To American Society!

We have been hearing a lot about the “Southern Culture”, recently, in detrimental ways.

Apparently, part of the “Southern Culture” is to continue to discriminate openly against African Americans, Latinos, and gays and lesbians, and not apologize one iota for Southern behavior!

Apparently, part of the “Southern Culture” is to endorse abuse of women, whether wives or significant others, and give excuses for rape and smacking and beating of women if they anger men!

Apparently, part of the “Southern Culture” is for African American men, in particular, but not only them, to give very harsh corporal punishment to their children, because that is the way that African Americans in the South were taught to deal with children who are unruly and disobedient.  So it seems to be alright that football players, who as an example are often 250-300 pounds, to whip and beat their four year old sons or daughters, and claim it is acceptable discipline, particularly because these bulky football players were treated that way when they were young!

Apparently, part of the “Southern Culture” is to worship football players in colleges, which put the emphasis on sports, rather than on academics, the major purpose of a university!

Apparently, part of the “Southern Culture” is to claim to be religious, “good Christians”, while not practicing the teachings of Jesus Christ, and not giving a damn for the poor, whether minority or white, and making their lives, therefore, a living hell!

It is clear that “Southern Culture” needs to be addressed as a major detriment to American society and progress!

The Obscenity Of Cutting Off Water To The Poor In Detroit!

We are living in very difficult times since the Great Recession of 2007-2009, but one of the worst elements is the total lack of concern about basic human decency and life itself, if one does not have the income to pay one’s bills.

So now in Detroit, a depressed city in a state run by Republicans who have taken away home rule from the Motor City, we are seeing many residents, many of them poor and/or unemployed, who are unable to pay a basic water bill, and therefore, are having their water supply totally cut off, as if water is not a basic part of sustenance!

Without water, one cannot wash and bathe.

Without water, one cannot cook meals for basic sustenance.

Without water, babies and children are endangered, even more than adults.

Without water, toilets cannot be flushed of human waste.

Without water, if fire breaks out, one cannot protect himself against the dangers of injury and death.

Without water, a human being is being told his or her life, and that of his or her family, does not matter one iota!

Without water, people will die in a country which has many religious people insist all fetuses should be born, but apparently,once born, to hell with your children and your personal need for water!

What is wrong with America, that most people will hear about this, and dismiss it, as, after all, they have water?

Should the lack of money tell us that therefore one should die? Apparently so, but that is an obscenity that no moral or ethical person could ever accept!

The Immigrant Children Of El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala And The History Of Children Escaping Persecution And Death!

Nativism in its most incendiary way is rearing its ugly head in regards to the mass migration of women and children, some of them babies, but all under adult age, who are fleeing persecution, bloodshed, and potential death in the unstable nations of Central America, some of the most violent nations on earth.

This is specifically the case of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, with about 90,000 expected to flee their nations, walking on foot, going through tough terrain, many drowning or being overcome by the elements otherwise, but all wanting a better, more secure existence in America.

But the hysteria has grown, that somehow, these women and children are involved in drug smuggling, or are future terrorists over the next generation, or other such ridiculous, hard hearted views of their plight.

One must not forget, however, that this kind of nativism is nothing new in America!

It was visited upon Jews, Italians, Irish, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, and migrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries over the long haul of American history!

This nation refused to open its borders to Jews wishing to escape Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, and very small numbers of children were ever allowed in, and many died in the Holocaust!

Nativism was also utilized against Vietnamese escaping the collapse of South Vietnam forty years ago, with many “Boat People” dying in the South China Sea or the Pacific Ocean, but others making it to America, of all ages.

Cubans escaping Fidel Castro, including many children in the Mariel Boat Lift in 1980, were seen as dangerous and should not be admitted, but eventually were, since they could not be returned to Cuba.

The attempts to bring some Iraqis and Afghans of Muslim religion to this country has been a long battle as well.

But we have a tendency to forget we are a nation of immigrants, and particularly in times of political, social, and economic turmoil, we are the last best hope of mankind to offer asylum!

So now, IF the families of these children from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala can be reunited, then they may be returned to their host nations, but that should only be if their lives are not in danger, as to return them to certain death is unconscionable!

But IF the families cannot be reunited, sad as that may be, we have no realistic choice but to house, feed, and educate them, and give them the possibility of the “American Dream”!

If we simply reject these children and young mothers, we are losing the whole purpose of the American experiment, as expressed by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We cannot turn our back on these children and condemn them to death, particularly in a nation which claims to support life itself as a goal!

Fathers Day And Dads’ Responsibilities To The Family Unit

The role of dads in their children’s lives has dramatically changed in the past half century!

Today, more than one out of five families with children under five years of age with a working mother has his or her dad as the primary caregiver, many of whom also work.

In the last 25 years, the number of stay at home dads with a working mother has doubled.

In the past 30 years, the number of father only families have more than tripled, and almost all are working dads.

Seven percent of families with children are father only families.

Dads are doing nearly an hour more childcare and housework a day than fifty years ago.

62 percent help with housework; 65 percent read to their children; and 95 percent bathe and diaper their children.

Yet, 30 percent of both moms and dads do not have access to either paid or unpaid leave for the birth of a child, and suffer negative career outcomes, due to family responsibilities.

It is time for updating the attitude toward families, on the part of companies and employers, way behind other advanced industrial nations in Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand!

Fifteen Most Right Wing States In America: The Candidates

As America moves forward on so many issues socially, the “hinterland” of the nation languishes in its revelry of backwardness, allowing themselves to be influenced by Christian fundamentalists and business tycoons who do not give a damn about the rights of women, the rights of children, the rights of gays and lesbians, the right to safety from gun extremists, the right to labor protections, the right to promotion of the environment, the rights of minorities, the rights to basic health care, the rights to a public education, and the right to basic civil liberties for all citizens and non-citizens.

Instead, there are many states who are working to outlaw abortion completely within their boundaries; to deny poor children free breakfast and lunch; to refuse to recognize same sex marriage protections; to expand the rights of gun enthusiasts at the expense of public safety; to refuse to expand unemployment compensation and the minimum wage for workers; to undermine environmental protections and fight the federal government on the creation of new national parks and monuments; to imprison and execute minorities on a much larger scale than whites; to refuse to expand Medicaid or provide any kind of health care for the poor and disabled; to promote privatization of schools and charters and cut spending on public schools; to teach creationism as science in public schools; and to give police undue power to shoot and kill when uncalled for in many domestic situations that arise as part of a troubled social structure in America!

Trying to make a list of fifteen most right wing states is not easy, as there are numerous candidates for such dubious honors!

It is as if we live in two Americas–the progressive, modern, secular, advanced states of the two coastlines and the upper Midwest; and the backward, 19th century mentality, theocratic, backward states of the “hinterland”, resentful of a changing America that includes large numbers of people of very different backgrounds and agendas than these mostly rural, isolated states, many with much smaller population, but having influence through the US Senate, and the Tea Party ability to create barriers in the US House of Representatives.

Here is a list of states that the author believes have the unique distinction of competing for the most backward, reactionary states in America in the 21st century. These states are not being ranked, but just listed at this point.

Alabama
Mississippi
Louisiana
Arkansas
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
West Virginia
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma
Idaho
Utah
Wyoming

Notice nine of the fifteen are the old South or border South; three are the Great Plains; and three are the Mountain West.

The author welcomes discussion of this list of most right wing states, and he will make a judgment later on which state is the most backward in 2014!