education

Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention Anniversary On July 19 A Reminder Of Struggles American Women Still Face In 2017!

On this day in 1848, 169 years ago, the Women’s Rights Convention took place in Seneca Falls, New York, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, with about 200 women attending.

It was a two day convention to “discuss the social, civil and religious condition and rights of women”.

The convention condemned slavery, and advocated women suffrage, along with property rights, education rights, equality in marriage and over children, and the rights of women to employment at a decent wage, all very advanced ideas for the time.

The idea that a group of women spoke up for their basic human and legal rights was seen at the time as revolutionary, and it would take to 1920 and the 19th Amendment for women to gain the right to vote nationally.

Here we are a century later, and still the fight for women’s equality is far from over, with the clear attack on women’s rights by Donald Trump, Mike Pence, the Republican Party, and right wing Christianity, including on equal pay, sexual harassment and assault, education, and court battles over privacy rights, including abortion rights and the equal treatment of lesbians.

We have an openly sexist and misogynistic President and Vice President, and even within the Republican Party, its women members, particularly in the US Senate, are shown lack of respect and equality in how they are regarded and treated by their male colleagues.

The fact that three women Republican Senators–Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia–helped to kill the attempt to end ObamaCare without protection for constituents on their health care, is leading to Trump being critical of them, and his disrespect for women is legion.

So the battle for women’s rights is suffering from retreat from earlier accomplishments, and the struggle goes on, and both women and men need to work together on fighting for those basic human rights for women, against women such as Ann Coulter, who has advocated repeal of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment, as we near a century since its addition to the Constitution.

Donald Trump’s Attack On Truth, Facts, Knowledge Leads To An Alternative History And Science, Detrimental To America And Its Future!

Donald Trump has mounted an attack on truth, facts, knowledge, and in so doing, it has led to an alternative history and science, detrimental to America and its future.

His ignorance on both history and science undermines the future of American education, as we see distortion of both areas of knowledge being advocated as reality, when it is just the opposite. The fact that Betsy DeVos is Secretary of Education only undermines true education in history and science, as well as in other areas of the curriculum.

We also see a large number of Trump supporters in the Republican Party and the conservative movement attacking the nature of, and need for, higher education.

This is all part of a plan to promote ignorance, propaganda, and disdain for educated people, and that kind of trend endangers the long term future of the nation, as other countries surpass us in the competition for educated people to deal with the future of the world economy.

The attack on how American history is taught is an alarm bell, reviving the old focus on only white male accomplishments in government and the economy. We have been enriched by teaching and analyzing about the role of minorities, women, and working people in our American history curriculum, on both the public school and college and university level.

The attack on science promotes Christian doctrine, and denies evolution, climate science, environmental protection as important, instead promoting preposterous theories on the age of the earth, and the concept that there is no need to protect the earth and its natural wonders for the long term future, only focusing on profit and capitalism for the present, and ignoring the long term implications. The fact that Ryan Zinke is our Secretary of the Interior, and Scott Pruitt is the head of the Environmental Protection Agency is tragic in so many dimensions.

The struggle to fight the Donald Trump emphasis on alternative truth, which are simply lies, must be continued, no matter how arduous the battle!

Rural America Under Attack By Republicans And Donald Trump, Undermining Their Future

It is ironic that Donald Trump has declared war on Rural America, the part of the nation which put him over the top in the Electoral College.

Rural America is dying, as its portion of the national population is rapidly declining, but they still have enough impact that they could help to put Donald Trump over the top, with the hope that his pledges to revive dying industries would occur, such as the coal industry in Appalachia.

Now these rural citizens are discovering that the so called Trump Health Care plan will cut their medical benefits dramatically, and close down rural hospitals, and therefore, insure many more deaths over time, all due to the obsession with destroying ObamaCare, rather than work to improve it.

Trump’s promotion of the race and religion cards skillfully manipulates the rural citizens of the South, Midwest and the Great Plains, and Mountain West to vote Republican, while their state legislatures continue to favor the elite wealthy, and cut back on education, health care, and protection of the elderly, sick, and disabled.

Donald Trump and his party are the most right wing they have ever been, and they are further undermining the future of Rural America, but only when the citizens finally understand what is happening, will there be any chance of bringing Rural America forward into the 21st century, while Trump and the Republicans are preventing any progress toward a more unified America.

Is it any wonder why more and more young people are fleeing the rural areas of the nation toward the urban areas, which have rejected the right wing philosophy of the GOP?

The hope is that over time the Republican Party will finally pay for its sins against Americans who are too naive and ill informed to recognize it in the present.

Jeff Sessions,Tom Price, Nick Mulvaney: Former Members Of Congress Working Against Civil Rights, Health Care, And Common Decency Toward The Poor!

Three former members of Congress have become leading figures in the Trump Administration, as it works against Civil Rights, Health Care, and common decency toward the poor, and one has to wonder how these three men can look in the mirror and feel they are doing what is proper in any society.

Jeff Sessions, former Alabama Senator, is doing everything he can as Attorney General to undermine the rights of all racial minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and transgender Americans, trying to take us back to the way things were in the era before the Civil Rights Movement began in the 1950s, and trying to deny the role of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation in American society. Jeff Sessions has a hardened look on his face, and anyone can see what a nasty racist, nativist, and misogynist Sessions is.

Tom Price, former Georgia Congressman and a medical doctor, is Secretary of Health and Human Services, and has engaged in corrupt conflicts of interest regarding stock profits given to him by companies that the department must deal with. And now, Price is so eager to knock 24 million Americans off health care completely. What kind of doctor, and basically any human being, would be so hardhearted and cold and distant about the basic life and health of people who are elderly, disabled, poor? The man has such an evil look on his face.

And then we have former South Carolina Congressman Nick Mulvaney, who is head of the Office of Management and Budget, who is out to promote extreme tax cuts to the wealthy by cutting all programs that help the poor to survive just barely, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, as well as health care, education, food stamps, used by poor women and their children, as well as disabled and elderly. Mulvaney sees the poor as a group to exploit and make their miserable lives ever more downtrodden. Mulvaney is Robin Hood in reverse, and is a despicable, uncaring man, who has no conscience.

The thing that unites all three is that they are all “religious”, “good Christians”, in all the hypocrisy of such terminology!

If this is religiosity, to oppose the message of their savior Jesus Christ, who happened to be Jewish, then no wonder so many people are so cynical about religion!

Trump Cabinet Appointments And Other Top Advisers Mostly A “Basket Of Deplorables”! An Outrage To Presidential Cabinet History!

Donald Trump is nearing the end of his search for Cabinet appointments and other top advisers, and sadly, the group is mostly a “Basket of Deplorables”, an outrage to Presidential Cabinet history!

The problem is that some skeptical Republicans and the entire Democratic Party in the US Senate have limited ability to prevent or hold up more than a few of this disgraceful group.

The list of people Trump is offering us includes people too close to Russia; people who are billionaires and deeply engaged in the corporate culture; people who are totally inexperienced and unqualified to hold the positions they are being offered; people who are retired generals who have not been retired long enough from the military, so must have legislation passed to allow them to serve, undermining the idea of civilian control; and people who are simply outrageous in their views on the environment, education, health care, labor rights, and foreign policy.

It is hard to find anyone who one can be content with as a choice, and it seems as if Donald Trump is determined to select the kind of people which seem assured to wish to destroy not only the Barack Obama legacy, the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, but also to promote the interests of major corporations such as in the oil industry and Wall Street at the expense of workers, consumers, and the middle class and the poor, while also stirring up animosity toward China, Iran, and North Atlantic Treaty allies, while strangely becoming cozy with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

We are on the road to a massive constitutional crisis that may surpass Richard Nixon and Watergate, and Donald Trump seems very willing and able to create one crisis after another, as he lurches toward Fascist type government, and declares war on the news media and civil liberties and civil rights. He is already alarming many members of the Republican Party, which he feels no loyalty to, and to think that we are seeing John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, and Floyd Flake as already alarmed about his controversial statements and actions, and he is not yet inaugurated as President, but already is stirring a tempest, is a sign of the crisis that is coming after January 20, 2017!

I just published an article on the Trump Cabinet choices on History News Network, and it is posted on the blog on the right side for everyone to read and consider.

Censorship Beginning In Trump Era: Promotion Of Mistrust Of News Media, College Professors, Entertainment Industry As The New McCarthyism!

It is becoming clear that Donald Trump intends to declare war on the news media, calling them dishonest and out to promote propaganda, while it is precisely Trump and his “Alt Right” White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor Stephen Bannon, formerly of Breitbart News, which is working to establish mistrust among the American people toward their own media that dares to challenge and investigate the many shortcomings of Donald Trump and his cabinet appointees, and his future policies in domestic and foreign affairs.

Additionally, a plan to list college professors who are felt to promote a leftist agenda, a reminder of McCarthyism in the 1950s, has been started by a group termed “Turning Point USA” under the name “Professor Watch List”, to intimidate professors from having freedom of speech in their classrooms. So academic “witch hunts” are back, in order to advocate a right wing educational system.

And the usual attack on liberals in Hollywood and the broad field of entertainment, is also clearly beginning, as censorship and attacks on civil liberties and civil rights groups are being encouraged, to attempt a total crackdown on dissent.

The ultimate goal is to sow distrust and doubt in the fields of journalism, education including universities and colleges, and the entertainment industry, including criticism of the humor of “Saturday Night Live” and other programs on cable, television, and radio, as well as film.

All this is advocated as part of the “fake news” which helped to undermine the Hillary Clinton campaign for President in 2016.

With an authoritarian oriented President coming to office, many elements of our basic freedoms of speech and press, and even assembly, are clearly under attack.

Giant Historical Figure Fidel Castro Dies, A Transformative Figure, With Great Negative Impact On The World!

Fidel Castro of Cuba, the most significant figure in Latin America in the 20th Century, and one of the most vicious dictators of modern times, passed away at age 90 on Friday.

He left behind a legacy of a brutal dictatorship, which while making some improvements in health care and education, took away any semblance of civil liberties and civil rights, and imprisoned, tortured, and murdered dissidents in great numbers over more than a half century of rule.

Castro was the longest lasting leader of modern times, with only Queen Elizabeth II of England having come to office about seven years before Castro took over the capital of Cuba, Havana, on New Years Day 1959.

Who would have thought that someone who came to power on the island of Cuba, which had been a playground for wealthy Americans, under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, at a time when this author was in high school, would last in power for a half century, and then be replaced by his younger brother, Raul Castro, a decade ago, and still rules?

Castro became the dire enemy of the Unites States, and Cuban exiles fleeing to Florida in 1959-1960 and again in 1980 (the Mariel Boat Lift) and constant escapes since then, have affected the history and politics of Florida and the Republican Party, with Cuban Americans flocking to support of the party after John F. Kennedy failed in his attempt to remove Castro from power in the Bay of Pigs Fiasco in April 1961. This made Cuban Americans the one Hispanic group that would refuse to support the Democratic Party, as many Cuban Americans saw JFK as a Communist for failing to succeed to remove Castro. This led to the most dangerous moment in the Cold War years, as Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union’s leader, formed an alliance with Castro, who had declared himself a Communist, and installed Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, with the Cuban Missile Crisis bringing the world closer to the danger of a nuclear war than any other event in history before or since. Only with the cool headed leadership of JFK was nuclear war averted.

Castro was a maniacal figure, who also abused the rights of gays and lesbians in Cuba, and initiated aggression overseas by supporting national liberation movements in Latin America and Africa, and the people of Cuba suffered economically under his five decade rule. Few more influential and significant dictators have existed, and those he is often compared with–including Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini–only lasted 25, 12 and 21 years compared to his 47 plus years.

The question is how Cuba will evolve now, with brother Raul Castro, age 85, having said he will leave power in February 2018, only 14 months away, and also how Donald Trump will react to the death of Fidel Castro, after Barack Obama had begun new relations with Cuba in 2015.

Rural, Blue Collar, Poorly Educated Vs Urban, Suburban, White Collar, Well Educated: The 19th Century Vs. The 21st Century

After the British vote to leave the European Union, and the support that Donald Trump has gained in the United States, one thing is very clear!

We are in the midst of a revolt of the rural, blue collar, poorly educated against the urban, suburban, white collar, well educated who promote modernization and tolerance on the issue of immigration and race.

It was urban Londoners against the rural parts of England who voted to exit Europe, as it is the major urban centers and surrounding suburbs of America against the hinterland of Appalachia, the rural South, the Great Plains and the Mountain West, who love Donald Trump.

It is really nostalgia for the 19th century against the modernization of the 21st century, and a desire to isolate oneself from outside influences and nations.

The effort must be made to prevent the narrow mindedness of what happened in the United Kingdom from spreading, like a disease, to the United States in this year’s election.

All progressives must unite around Hillary Clinton and help to shape her progressive agenda, assuredly more than under her husband, Bill Clinton, in the 1990s!

Memo To Working Class White Males: The Future Is Here, Whether You Accept It Or Not!

It is clear that the vast majority of supporters of Donald Trump are working class white males, along with many elderly white males.

They are in full revolt against the future of America, whether they accept it or not!

That future is as follows:

A growing Hispanic-Latino and Asian American population, with the white population of the nation declining by the 2040s to be less than a majority.

A growing role of women in America, way beyond the old concept that a woman should only be a mother, and stick to the kitchen and the bedroom, and always “obey” the men in her life, when women are becoming the majority of educated and working people, and no longer will accept dominance by men.

The growing urgency of people gaining more education and job training, as the future of America will be very different economically, no matter whether Donald Trump becomes the 45th President, as there is no magic potion to reverse what has been occurring since the middle class reached its peak in 1973.

Racism, nativism, misogyny, antisemitism, xenophobia have no possibility of promoting harmony in the future of a multicultural nation, which is inevitable.

The future is here, and working class white males and many elderly white males cannot change the future, which if they could, would be totally detrimental to peace, security, and stability!

The Best Republican In 2012: Jon Huntsman! The Best Republican In 2016: John Kasich! But Not An Endorsement!

There is no debate that former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman was the best Republican in the Presidential campaign of 2012. He had the best credentials, including real foreign policy expertise, and unwillingness to take crazy, extremist stands on issues or to make nutty statements. Of course, it got him nowhere, and he gave up running for President again long ago!

Now in 2016, there is no question that out of a horrible group of potential Republican Presidential candidates that Ohio Governor and former House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich is easily the best potential nominee in 2016.

Kasich was very late in announcing, doing so only this week, and being ignored in all of the hype about Donald Trump, who has taken all of the oxygen out of the room with his rantings and ravings, and insults against anyone who criticizes him, whether fellow Republican contenders or the news media.

But Kasich is the most experienced of all of the potential GOP nominees, and has avoided coming across as a right wing extremist in his statements. He is clearly a conservative, but considered in the “mainstream”, whatever that means.

No one is saying, certainly not this blogger, that he is about to vote for John Kasich if he was the GOP nominee.

And no one is saying that everything he has said and done is endorsed or acceptable. He has shortcomings as everyone else does, but in comparison, he comes across as the best alternative IF the Republicans were to win the Presidential Election of 2016. His stands on immigration, education, and Medicaid make him better than any alternative the Republicans have.

In many ways, John Kasich is the alternative to Jeb Bush, to whom he has been compared, but has much more experience than Bush has had, and avoids the connection to the Bush name.

And lately, Jeb Bush has been making horrible statements of his views, which seem to be catering to the Tea Party crowd, while Kasich so far is seen as less willing to cater.

Having said that, Kasich has just made some terrible statements about climate change (that nothing should be done as it is God’s will) and about military intervention in the Middle East, making one worry that he could be linking up with the neoconservatives, who took us into the Iraq War, similar in that regard to Jeb Bush.

So again, this is not an endorsement, but simply recognition that were the nation forced to accept a Republican President, John Kasich is the best of a terrible crop of candidates!