Conservation

Concerns For 2018–The Social Safety Net, The Wall, Health Care Obliteration, And Environmental Damage All Part Of A Second Year Nightmare Under Donald Trump

In the midst of all the turmoil surrounding the craziness and maniacal behavior of Donald Trump, the reality in 2018 is that there are great concerns over the future of major issues that are facing us in this new year.

The Social Safety Net–the programs of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt (including Social Security), and of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson (including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965)–are in great danger of being obliterated by an extremist Right Wing Republican Party, which is out to destroy everything that has been done in the past 85 years, including contributions by other Presidents, both Republican and Democratic.

Also, at a time when the fate of the “Dreamers” is in danger, Trump wants to build a wall with Mexico, which is unnecessary and will not work to prevent the dwindling illegal immigration from Mexico; is a boondoggle wasting American taxpayer money; and further undermines our relationship with our 2,000 mile neighbor, continuing to promote the nativism of the Republican Party, pure hatred with no moral or ethical justification.

And the total obliteration of Obama Care, which millions signed up for in late 2017 despite so much discouragement and barriers by the Trump Administration, is also on the docket, undermining the health and shortening the lives of millions of Americans.

Also, the destruction of all environmental standards is also a major Trump and Republican goal, eliminating conservation policies since Theodore Roosevelt in the early 20th century, and the refusal to show respect for nature and for the dangers of global warming, is extremely alarming.

Hillary Clinton 70 Today, And Theodore Roosevelt Born 159 Years Ago Tomorrow: From One Progressive President To Another “Should Have Been” Progressive President

Today is the 70th birthday of Hillary Clinton, who should have been the 45th President, and the first woman President.

Superbly qualified and experienced, she won a bigger popular vote victory than many Presidents, including recently, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter, along with others.

But the antiquated Electoral College system defeated her, and clearly, Russian collusion had an effect on vote totals in crucial states, and so, therefore, we were denied her right to be President, and instead have a crooked, corrupt President, who has accomplished nothing more than the division of the nation, and an extremely low public opinion poll rating, and faces removal from office soon, giving us right winger Mike Pence as the 46th President.

Tomorrow is the 159th anniversary of the birth of Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive Republican, who one can be assured, would be shocked and dismayed at the Trump Presidency for a multitude of reasons, but with the environment and conservation being probably the most infuriating issue of all for him. Another issue which would have upset him is changing the rule that controls on corporate campaign finance, limited since his time, are gone since the Citizens United Supreme Court case in 2010.

TR was the 26th President, and Hillary Clinton would have been number 45–so would have been the 20th from 1901 to the present.

They would have been great beginnings and ends of a period of growth of a progressive Presidency, with only a few reversals, under Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover in the 1920s and early 1930s, and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, but with all others, good and bad, bringing SOME Progressive changes, until now with Donald Trump, who is working to undermine all of the changes brought about in the past 116 years of American history.

Environmental Advancements Under Threat From Scott Pruitt And Ryan Zinke At Environmental Protection Agency And Interior Department!

Two of the most alarming appointments, of most of Donald Trump’s selections, for his top cabinet and agency personnel, are Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency he wishes to destroy; and Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior, a cabinet office which is supposed to promote National Parks and conservation, but which Zinke favors industrial development, limitation of national park expansion, and the rights of hunters over wildlife.

These men are like foxes in the chicken coop, out to destroy a century of conservation and environmental advancements that occurred under both Republican and Democratic Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

The refusal of these two men to accept that global warming and climate change are real is also an alarm bell ringing in the night, and both these men need to be blocked, if at all possible, from taking their posts. If just a few Republican Senators on committees or on the floor of the Senate oppose these people, they can be defeated with the help of Democrats in the Senate.

It is as if Donald Trump is out to destroy the entire American past, as he is ignorant of science and nature, and has picked the absolute worst people for these two crucial posts, while other Republican Presidents had respect for the importance of the environment and science.

Theodore Roosevelt And Gifford Pinchot Turning Over In Their Graves At Republican Party War On National Parks And Other Environmental Concerns!

The Republican Party a century ago had leaders who cared about the environment, and promoted conservation as a basic national policy.

Governor and later Senator Robert LaFollette, Sr. of Wisconsin; Senator George Norris of Nebraska; US Forestry Service Director and later Governor of Pennsylvania Gifford Pinchot; and President Theodore Roosevelt, all of them progressive Republicans in domestic affairs, made the promotion of national and state parks and monuments a priority. They set a standard for Democrats who followed their lead, including Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now Barack Obama, who just announced three new national park designations in California, Nevada, and Texas. Obama has added 260 million acres and 19 national monuments in office, making him one of the great leaders on that endeavor. We should also mention Republican President Richard Nixon, who despite many faults and shortcomings, did enough to be rated number two among Presidents on the environment, by a conservation group.

Additionally, we were fortunate to have such outstanding Secretaries of the Interior as Harold Ickes under FDR; Stewart Udall under JFK and LBJ; Walter Hickel under Nixon; Cecil Andrus under Carter; and Bruce Babbitt under Clinton to emphasize the importance of the environment in all of its manifestations.

But the Republican Party of present times is anti conservation, anti environment, fights the concept of global warming and climate change, and has allowed itself to come under the influences of wealthy energy interests that would love to mine uranium in the Grand Canyon; destroy native American and paleontological sites; and conduct fracking for natural gas, despite the vast dangers to health and safety, including water pollution and greatly increased earthquake activity, as in Oklahoma, for instance. The Koch Brothers have had a particularly deleterious effect on the issue of the environment. And Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma is the worst possible enemy of the environmental movement in Congress, and is head, by seniority, of the Senate committee that deals with the subject.

The failure to see the importance of preserving our natural treasures is mind boggling, and those groups involved in promoting the environment know they have a massive challenge to keep what was given to us, and until the 20th century, was being gutted by rapacious capitalists in the oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, and lumber industries who only saw, and still see, only the almighty profit motive, including lack of concern for danger to wildlife!

Fifty Years Of Environmentalism—Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama— All To Be Applauded!

Today, April 22, is Earth Day, first declared by Richard Nixon and his Interior Secretary Walter Hickel in 1970, but the environmental movement was begun, actually, by Lyndon B. Johnson and Interior Secretary Stewart Udall in 1965 with the promotion of the first water and air pollution laws as part of the Great Society.

Jimmy Carter proceeded to promote the most advanced environmental record of any one term President, and with the great assistance of Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus.

Then, Bill Clinton, under the prodding of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and Vice President Al Gore, contributed greatly to advancement of the environment.

And Barack Obama, under the support of Interior Secretaries Ken Salazar and Sally Jewell has also contributed greatly on the issue of the environment.

Additionally, Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, and John F. Kennedy, with Interior Secretary Udall (who served for eight years under both JFK and LBJ), also did a great deal on the environment.

Sadly, with Theodore Roosevelt being the true promoter of the environment in the early part of the 20th century, and assisted by Interior Secretary James R. Garfield and close TR friend Gifford Pinchot, one would have thought that the Republican Party would have continued to be the leader on the issue, but except for Richard Nixon, that has not been the case, and now Republicans are doing everything possible to help advance industry over the environment!

This includes attempting to prevent any future national parks; allowing industrial exploitation of the Grand Canyon and other parks for mining; and wishing to undermine or destroy the Environmental Protection Agency begun during the Nixon Presidency!

So the battle to promote conservation of natural resources and add to public lands is a never ending battle between the political parties, when it should be part of the national agenda that all political leaders believe in and advocate!

70th Anniversary Today Of Greatest 20th Century President’s Passing: Franklin D. Roosevelt!

On this day, April 12, 1945, 70 years ago, the greatest 20th century President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, died in Warm Springs, Georgia, after 12 years and 39 days in office. Many Americans could not recall any other President, as FDR had played a dominant role in the lives of Americans and in world affairs, through the two greatest crises since the Civil War under Abraham Lincoln—the Great Depression and the Second World War!

FDR had initiated a massive set of domestic reforms, known as the New Deal, which had changed the lives of millions of Americans in a positive way, and give the nation hope and confidence in the future, at a time when we had a higher unemployment rate, 25 percent, than we would ever have again. FDR transformed the role of the federal government, and brought about such permanent reform programs as Social Security; Unemployment Compensation; Minimum Wage; Labor Union recognition; the accomplishment of massive public works projects; federal insurance on bank deposits; agricultural subsidies; regulation of banks, the stock market and corporations; public housing; aid to the disabled and dependent children; conservation of natural resources; and so many other programs and ideas.

Then, FDR faced the dangers of Nazism in Germany, Fascism in Italy, and the aggression of Imperial Japan, when it looked as if democracy would be snuffed out worldwide, including in the United States. The greatest military effort since the Civil War created many problems in the postwar world, as the Soviet Union rose out of the war to become the new challenger to freedom in what became known as the Cold War, something FDR was trying to figure out how to deal with, when he died suddenly of congestive heart failure in the early months of an unprecedented fourth term, prevented from happening again by the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution.

One has to wonder how the nation would have fared had FDR been forced to leave office in January 1941 by term limits, as there was no obvious good alternative leader to FDR at that time. The challenge of overcoming isolationist sentiment, and then the Axis Powers aged FDR and caused his premature death at a delicate time when the war in Europe was one month from ending, and the war against Japan seemed likely to go on for several years. Fortunately, Harry Truman took up the mantle and handled the crisis of ending the war and the postwar world, as well as could be expected, as one looks back 70 years.

FDR had his shortcomings as all Presidents do, but the United States was blessed with a great, dynamic leader that we remember today on the 70th anniversary of his passing!

Republicans Declare War On National Parks: Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, And Others Turning Over In Their Graves!

It is hard to conceive, but the 2015 Republican Party has declared war on America’s national park system, wishing to allow uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, and other kinds of natural resource exploitation in our national treasure, our public lands!

A bill has been introduced to prevent any future President, along with President Barack Obama, to create any more national parks, a bill which will gain the Presidential veto if it were to pass both houses!

Fortunately, there would be no possibility of a two thirds override of the Presidential veto, as any such banning of additional national parks would be a war on the environment, and a sin against nature!

This attack on nature and conservation would cause the turning over in their graves of President Theodore Roosevelt, National Forestry Service head Gifford Pinchot (under the TR Presidency), as well as a multitude of Republicans similar to those two party members, as well as Democrats, and all decent, caring citizens. It would also cause dismay among Presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, all who added greatly to our national parks.

Barack Obama is adding wide swaths of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to the national parks, even with opposition from Alaska politicians, including Senator Lisa Murkowksi, who is catering to the oil and gas interests over preserving the last great area of untouched nature.

This is yet another reason why no Republican can be allowed to be elected President, as with a Republican controlled Congress, we would be on the precipice of a disaster of massive proportions, and that cannot be allowed to occur!

The Tea Party Out To Destroy All Progress Since 1900! Progressives MUST Fight To Retain Social Justice And Economic Advancements!

America has changed so much in the past 114 years, from the time of the Progressive Era, through the New Deal, the Great Society, and the time of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter. George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama!

America at the end of the Gilded Age was a selfish, greedy nation of the few elite wealthy victimizing the rest of American society.

But then came Theodore Roosevelt cracking down on big business; showing concern for labor; promoting the Food and Drug Administration; and vastly extending the concept of protection of the environment and conservation.

Then came Woodrow Wilson, who gave us the Federal Reserve Banking System; the Clayton Anti Trust Act; the Federal Trade Commission; and the first national labor laws.

Then came Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal, changing our lives long term with Social Security; public works programs; bank deposit insurance; stock market regulations; the Tennessee Valley Authority; Federal Unemployment Compensation; and labor laws which gave workers and labor unions the right to collective bargaining.

Then came Harry Truman, who promoted integration of the armed forces and Washington, DC; advocated for national health care; and emphasized the need for national commitment to education.

Then came Dwight D. Eisenhower, who enforced civil rights enforcement; promoted federal aid to education; the development of an interstate highway system; and the development of a national space commitment.

Then came John F. Kennedy, who advanced civil rights; promoted the space program; started the Peace Corps; cracked down on the steel industry;  and advocated national health care for the elderly.

Then came Lyndon B. Johnson, who promoted massive civil rights laws; successfully passed Medicare and Medicaid; pursued a War on Poverty; massive increases in federal aid to education; began a national commitment to environmental and consumer legislation; and appointed the first African American to the cabinet and to the Supreme Court.

Then came Richard Nixon, who signed into law the Environmental Protection Agency; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the Consumer Product Safety Commission; and attempted wage and price controls to keep down the inflation level.

Then came Jimmy Carter, who further promoted civil rights; saw the need for an Energy Department; and became the third best environmental President after Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.

Then came George H. W. Bush, who signed into law civil rights legislation to promote disabled people.

Then came Bill Clinton, who promoted civil rights advancements; a greater commitment to education; and attempted a national health care program.

Finally came Barack Obama, who brought about ObamaCare; promoted great environmental expansion; advocated for equality of gays and lesbians including gay marriage; and started to take moves toward immigration reforms.

So much has been done by these twelve Presidents to advance social justice, and economic reform—eight Democrats and four Republicans.

But now, the 2014 Republican Party has been hijacked by the Tea Party extremists and the right wing radio talk shows and Fox News Channel and the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson, and they have declared war on all humane, decent actions that have taken place in the past 114 years, including advocacy of destroying Social Security and Medicare and getting rid of national parks and all labor reforms and the rights of women and the poor!

This is all very shocking and unbelievable, but the battle for progressivism and the retention of the great work done from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama must be forthright and the battle for the future has just begun.  The Republican Party needs to be smashed and reconstituted, if the nation is to grow in the 21st century, rather than move backwards to the 19th century!

White House Solar Panels As A Symbol–Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, And Barack Obama

During the administration of President Jimmy Carter, a much maligned President, unappreciated then and now, we had the oil embargo brought on by the Arabs in the Middle East, and Carter decided to promote the concept of solar panels as a better form of long term energy supply than oil, natural gas and coal, seeing the need for a change in US energy policy. This included the establishment of the Energy Department as a new cabinet position.

So Carter arranged in 1979 for installation of solar panels on the White House, a great symbol of our need to change our energy policies.

But seven years later, after much ridicule by the administration of his successor, Ronald Reagan, the solar panels were taken off the White House, as Reagan made clear that he was going to be captive to the oil and coal industries, and concern himself only with their profits, and ignore conservation and the environment, thus helping to accelerate the global warming and climate change crisis, which even now, the Republican Party refuses to accept as reality!

But now, 27 years later, President Barack Obama has reinstalled solar panels, repudiating Reagan and backing Carter in his vision of the energy and environmental future of solar power.

This is to be commended, although the powerful oil, natural gas, and coal industries will continue their lobbying, as their only goal is profit, not concern over the future of the planet.

So the battle over future energy supplies and climate change continues unabated, as the GOP proves yet again, their lack of concern for the long term future, only concerned about capitalistic profit in the present! It is as if they have their heads in the sand, and live in a world of illusion!

Presidents And Science: The Top 15 Chronologically

A very important measurement of Presidential leadership is to evaluate their interest in the advancement of science, and their willingness to support scientific research as a major part of their administrative goals.

Sadly, many Presidents have shown a lack of interest in the advancement of science, and presently, we have a group of KNOW NOTHINGS in the Republican Party who would rather promote religion in government, and deny evolution and global warming, and are generally antagonistic to any suggestion of the advancement of science, such as Barack Obama newly suggesting an investment through the National Institutes of Health to fund $100 million to work on the mapping of the human brain, which could lead to research and advancement in the study of mental illness, and such other major problems as Alzheimers Disease and Parkinson Disease. But in the Sequester environment we are now in, and the push for austerity by the GOP, it will be difficult for the vision of the study of the brain to be understood as a worthwhile and significant investment!

In any case, the Presidents who can be seen as having advanced science include the following,

Thomas Jefferson–arguably the most science oriented of all Presidents, a true genius and intellectual, who sponsored the Lewis and Clark Expedition for its scientific value, as well as the exploration of a large part of the American continent.

John Quincy Adams—a promoter of federal support of the arts and sciences, and helped to promote astronomical studies, and helped to form the Smithsonian Institution, for which he laid the cornerstone in 1846, as well as the US Naval Observatory.

Abraham Lincoln—-promoted the scientific study of agriculture, and signed legislation establishing the National Academy of Sciences.

James A. Garfield—tragically killed early in his term, but a promoter of mathematical studies, devising a mathematical proof of the Pythagorean Theorem, and promoted funding for agricultural research. Garfield was a great intellectual, and in many ways, was a tragic loss of a President whose potential for greatness was lost so quickly!

Theodore Roosevelt—was a great promoter of nature and conservation of natural resources, quadrupling our national parks and national forest lands. He also set up the US Forestry Service, and went on a dangerous trip to map the Amazon River Basin and discover new species of animal and plant life.

Herbert Hoover—a brilliant mining engineer, and elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, and a great intellectual, who was sadly a disaster in the White House, despite his credentials.

Franklin D. Roosevelt—managed the challenge of the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression, in his promotion of forest conservation, watersheds, and agriculture, and also worked with Albert Einstein and others in development of the atomic bomb to help win World War II.

Harry Truman—signed legislation setting up the National Science Foundation, and saw the need for greater funding of scientific research.

Dwight D. Eisenhower—promoted the beginning of the space program and the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in response to the Russian putting of Sputnik I in space in 1957.

John F. Kennedy—promoted the space program goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, and was a great promoter of science in other ways as well.

Lyndon B. Johnson—promoted the completion of the moon landing, and encouraged more students to go into science through federal fellowships and grants.

Jimmy Carter—received a Bachelor of Science degree with specialty in nuclear physics from the US Naval Academy, and promoted energy conservation research, with creation of the Energy Department in the cabinet, and signed legislation for the original funding of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Ronald Reagan—promoted the Space Shuttle and a space station, and although flawed, wanted to encourage a system to stop nuclear attack, known as the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Bill Clinton—promoted the Human Genome Project and the International Space Station as important for the advancement of science.

Barack Obama—is now promoting human brain research, and has called for action against global warming, and the importance of the study of evolution in science classes.