Homelessness

Two Anniversaries: Queen Elizabeth II And Ronald Reagan!

Today marks the 62nd Anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne of Great Britain!

While the Queen has very little real power, she has had a great impact, and she has a good opportunity to surpass her great great grandmothe, Queen Victoria, as longest reigning British Monarch and, also, longest reigning female monarch if she can survive another 381 days to September 10, 2014, and at age 87 and in good health, that seems very likely!

It is also the 103rd birthday of the late President Ronald Reagan, who is loved by conservatives and Republicans, recognized as significant by all historians and political scientists, but grossly overrated by the right wing in America, which refuses to see how complex, and often, contradictory Reagan really was!

The right wing loves to point out that Reagan ended the Cold War, as if he did it all on his own.

They fail to accept that he was damaging on the environment; on civil rights; on human rights; on the tripling of the national debt; on the growing homelessness and poverty; on the beginning of the destruction of the middle class (which has continued for 30 years now); on the crisis of AIDS (which he refused to address for a long time and which was the center of humor at cabinet meetings in his first term); on his willingness to support apartheid in South Africa (leading to one of his rare defeats, when Congress overrode his veto of apartheid sanctions); of the numerous scandals of his Presidency (making him the fourth most scandalous President after Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, and Ulysses S. Grant, with the major one being the Iran-Contra Scandal); his willingness to lie consistently (as for example, his Welfare Queen myth, still used today by conservatives and Republicans); and numerous other faults and shortcomings.

We can honor both Queen Elizabeth II and Ronald Reagan today, but realize one did no harm, and the other did GREAT harm in so many ways, which will become more obvious, as the years go by, and further research is done!

Shameful National Figures On Single Mothers In Poverty, And Veterans Who Are Homeless!

Many conservatives love to claim that America is an “exceptional” nation, ignoring the facts that demonstrate just how backward we are, as compared to many European nations and Japan.

For instance, one third of single mothers are in poverty, doing minimum wage jobs that cannot support their children in an adequate fashion. The effect on their children of poverty is not easily measurable, but cannot be dismissed as insignificant. It promotes a sense of inferiority and depression in children at a very young age, and impairs their physical and mental health.

Also, veterans of our wars are horribly mistreated after their military service, with about 60,000 homeless on any single night, and double that total being homeless over a year’s time. Many are victims of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or are connected to substance abuse (alcohol and drugs). Forty percent are African American or Hispanic. Veterans who are homeless range from World War II, through the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan War, and many are younger veterans, who did their duty for their country, but are now being ignored and dismissed as having any claim on government services in return for their sacrifices.

Not only is this unconscionable and unethical, but it is also a danger to the nation, when people trained in firearms develop a feeling of hopelessness, which can lead to bloodshed and violence against fellow Americans out of desperation and mental illness.

If we continue to mistreat our veterans, as well as make victims of single mothers and their children, we are losing our long term future of peace and tranquility, and the pursuit of the elusive “American Dream!”

The Economy Improving Greatly, But Obama Gets Little Credit For It!

The American economy is rapidly growing and improving, and the future is bright, except for the problem of unemployment. The auto industry is booming, as Obama saved the industry by giving them assistance in 2009-2010, and the expansion of the economy has also been benefited by three to four percent growth in the past two economic quarters. But one would get the impression that Barack Obama deserves no credit, when he deserves most of the credit for the improvements!

There is still the issue of refusal of the GOP House of Representatives to promote infrastructure spending, to raise the minimum wage to the level of inflation over the years, to continue the assistance to long term unemployed to avoid starvation and homelessness, and the need to push for education, as the future for the young, with proof that the more educated one is, the much lower the unemployment rate really is, and will continue to be. Also, lowering the debt for college students and graduates, as much as there are subsidies for corporations, would be a massive move in the right direction.

That is why it is essential for an end to the deadlock in the nation’s capital, and for action to be taken, but if not, the urgency of a Democratic Congress majority in both houses in November’s midterm elections is apparent!

Barack Obama And Veterans Day: A Great President On Veterans Issues

Barack Obama may not have served in the military, becoming an adult during a time when military service by draft had ended, and instead choosing to become a community organizer, in many ways a domestic version of the Peace Corps.

Mitt Romney supported the war in Vietnam, but used his religious commitment to the Mormon Church to avoid service, and instead spent his entire life acquiring massive amounts of wealth, with no social commitment to anyone, and only using one term as Governor of Massachusetts as a tool to run for President, and become the ultimate “BOSS’, which has been his only goal in life other than materialism!

Barack Obama has been very respectful and supportive of the plight of veterans who have served in our various wars, and he has done so much for their needs when they return, and he is pledging again our total commitment to them in the future. with recognition of the reality that much needs to be done.

As we become aware that one out of four homeless people in this nation are veterans, and that many veterans are unemployed, it means that no stone shall be unturned to do what must be done to help these people who served with courage and determination.

There may be budget cuts coming, but not at the expense of veterans!

Seeing Barack Obama speak at Arlington National Cemetery right now is such an inspiring moment, and realizing that one of our heroes, Tammy Duckworth, who gave up both legs and one arm in Iraq, is now the Congresswoman Elect in an Illinois district, having soundly defeated one of the worst Tea Party elected Representatives of 2010, Joe Walsh, is a very exciting moment! And seeing Allen West of Florida, who abused his power in Iraq and was drummed out of the military, also leaving Congress in January, is a very satisfying event!

The “Social” Issues In The Presidential Campaign Of 2012: Are They Really Gay Marriage, Abortion, Affirmative Action, Gun Rights, School Prayer, And Immigration?

If you listen to Republican Presidential candidates and “social” conservatives, many of whom claim to be “good Christians”, one would conclude that the social issues for the nation in 2012 are:

1. Gay Marriage
2. Abortion
3. Affirmative Action
4. Gun Rights
5. School Prayer
6. Immigration

All of these issues are extremely controversial, but what are the REAL social issues in America?

1. Homelessness of so many Americans, including those once middle class citizens.
2. Hunger, where many Americans, millions of them children, have inadequate nutrition, which will affect them long term.
3. Unemployment long term of millions, many of them over 40 and through the 50s and early 60s in age, who will never be able to gain employment at all at any time, or at the most, never make anywhere near the same income they had been earning in good times.
4. The destruction of the retirement funds and plans of millions of senior citizens, who now have to work many more years than planned just to survive.
5. The lack of health insurance and coverage of many millions of people who cannot afford to go to a doctor or hospital, or afford extremely expensive medication that would prolong life.
6. The lack of educational opportunity for those who are in poverty stricken neighborhoods, and receive an inferior education due to local property taxes being the main source of educational funding.
7. The discrimination against the children of undocumented immigrants, who discover when becoming adults, that they cannot attend college or join the military, and are threatened with deportation, along with discrimination visited against them and their parents and family members in states, such as Alabama and Arizona, because of illegal immigration laws which are being challenged in the federal courts.
8. The continuing challenge for disabled Americans, whether from birth or as a result of accidents or health problems, who, despite the Americans With Disabilities Act passed under President George H. W. Bush in 1990, still face barriers to equality of treatment.

These eight problems listed above are the REAL social challenges, but the Republican Party and so called “religious” people totally ignore these issues, instead promoting a new version of the old Social Darwinism and Laizzez Faire Economics prevalent in the Gilded Age of the late 19th century!

In other words, they want to go back to the 19th century, wipe out the 20th century, and promote good old “Christian” and “Unbridled Capitalism” values, which made America a nation ripe for reform and change, including the Progressive Era, The New Deal, and The Great Society!

This attempt to return to the old conservatism is a great evil which must be defeated by all good, really “religious” people of all faiths, who believe in equality of opportunity and fairness and consideration of others less fortunate than those of us who are lucky and successful, and do not experience the hardships of others!

The past is the past, and we need to look to the future, and realize if one American is homeless, hungry, denied health care and education, or discriminated against, then we are all worse off because of those realities!

This must be a country of WE, rather than simply ME!