Human Rights

President Joe Biden After One Year: A Grade Of B!

Nearly one year has passed since the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.

After one year, an honest assessment would give Biden a B grade, due to the incomplete nature of his agenda, but with hope for further progress in 2022, despite nearly united Republican Party opposition.

What has the Biden Presidency accomplished?

!. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill, in the midst of the COVID 19 Pandemic
2. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, promoting massive efforts to deal with physical infrastructure projects that are sorely needed.
3. Accomplishing the vaccinations of 61.7 percent of the American people to deal with the COVID 19 Pandemic.
4. The appointment and confirmation of 40 federal judges in his first year, despite Republican Party opposition, the most such appointments in the first year of a Presidency since Ronald Reagan’s first year 40 years ago.
5. Major progress on promotion of the environment and conservation, including canceling oil and gas leases and emphazing the climate agenda to fight global warming and climate change.
6. Promotion of people of varying backgrounds in Presidential appointments in all areas of government, including his Cabinet members and other positions of authority and influence.
7.Lowering of unemployment to 4.2 percent, while more than 6 million jobs have been created, an all time high for the first year of a Presidency.
8. Restoring good relations with our allies, including the NATO nations, and Pacific partners.
9. Bringing back dignity and class to the White House, including the First Lady, and the President’s own character, which includes compassion, decency, empathy, and sincerity.
10. Promoting massive social reform regarding children, the elderly, immigration, criminal justice, women’s rights, gay rights, protection of voting rights, and health care advancement, all this in limbo at the moment, but hopefully much of it accomplished in 2022!
11. Standing up for human rights and against authoritarianism worldwide.
12. Making clear that a thorough investigation and accountability for the January 6, 2021 Insurrection is a priority in 2022.

There is so much more that could be listed, but it is clear Joe Biden has had a moderately successful first year, and that the potential for a rise from a B grade is very likely in 2022!

The Republican Party Of History Is Gone! 1854-2022!

The Republican Party of history once stood for human rights, civil rights, racial equality, in the age of Abraham Lincoln.

The Republican Party of history once stood for progressive reforms, in the age of Theodore Roosevelt, Robert LaFollette, Sr., and George Norris.

The Republican Party of history once stood for promoting internationalism and fighting the Cold War for democracy and against the threat of totalitarianism, in the age of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

The Republican Party of history once stood for Civil Rights in the age of Senators and Congressmen who joined with Democrats to promote political and social reform.

The Republican Party of history had its elements which were evil and divisive, but the party overall stood for basic principles of decency while promoting conservatism and the concept of limited national government.

But now, the Republican Party has promoted massive give aways to the wealthy, while having no concern about the needs of the middle class and the poor.

But now, the Republican Party consorts with authoritarian regimes of the Left and the Right, including collaborating with Vladimir Putin to fix the Presidential Election of 2016, and to make concessions to the Russian Federation during the era of Donald Trump.

But now, the Republican Party has the craziest conceivable elements in its party, who promote sedition, treason, and attacks on the Constitution and the rule of law.

Only a small element of the 2021-2022 Republican Party is part of the mainstream of American politics, and they are outnumbered and attacked for their commitment to decency, honesty, and the tenets of American democracy. Plaudits to Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Anthony Gonzalez, Peter Meijer, John Katko, Tom Rice, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, Pat Toomey, and a small group of other courageous, principled Congressmen and Senators!

Donald Trump and his ilk, which include millions of ignorant, prejudiced white supremacists, antisemites, Islamophobes, racists, nativists and misogynists, represent a dire threat to the American republic, and must be combatted by every legal tool available, to allow America to reach its 250th anniversary in 2026 as a nation still keeping its values and heritage that are a model for democracy around the world in the 21st century!

The Nation Salutes Former President Jimmy Carter On His Record Setting 97th Birthday!

Former President Jimmy Carter celebrates his record setting 97th Birthday today, and this is a cause for national celebration!

The 39th President of the United States has lived more than two and a half years longer than the second longest lived President, George H. W. Bush, who died in November 2018 at the age of 94 years and about five and a half months.

Carter surpassed Herbert Hoover in 2012 as the longest retired President, and on January 20 of next year, he will have survived as a former President for the amazing total of 41 years!

His wife, Rosalynn Carter, turned 94 in August, and the couple have been married longer than the Bushes were, a total of 75 years as of July of this year.

The basic decency, compassion, empathy and genuine nature of Jimmy Carter stand out as virtues not shared by many Presidents, although Joe Biden fits those descriptions for sure.

While Carter has not stood out in polls of experts or of the general public as outstanding, it is a certainty that his historical ranking will rise after his eventual passing.

Carter will be remembered:

for the Egyptian Israeli Camp David Accords;

for the Panama Canal Treaty;

for his environmental activism, ranking as the most successful one term President in this regard, and ranked as number 3 all time by environmental historians, just behind Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon

for his brilliant intellect, with many thinking he is one of the few Presidents to have an extremely high IQ;

for his promotion of the values of human rights around the world in office and ever since leaving office through the Carter Center;

for winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for all of his good works;

for demonstrating what true religiosity was, as he was a genuine “good Christian” rather than being a hypocrite as so many supposedly devout people have been and continue to be;

for engaging in building housing for the poor through Habitat For Humanity;

for creating three Cabinet agencies, in Health and Human Services, Education and Energy;

and for having the closest, most engaged Vice President in history in Walter Mondale, who was a team for more than 40 years until his death in April of this year.

The Supreme Court Is Undermining American Democracy And Basic Human Rights!

America is in a tragic situation, of a nation clearly more progressive than the Supreme Court, which has now been stacked with 6 solid conservatives out to take away voting rights, abortion rights, and protect corporations at the expense of workers.

At times, some of the 6 Republican appointees surprise, but clearly, the rights of people of color, women, labor, environmental causes, and basic civil liberties are under constant threat.

And the thought that five of the 6 Republican appointments to the Supreme Court were made by Presidents (George W. Bush, Donald Trump) who did NOT win the popular vote, but rather in contested elections, were awarded the Electoral College majority in 2000 and 2016!

We are in a crisis situation, where the Court is undermining American democracy and basic human rights!

Joe Biden Restores NATO And G-7 Nations’ Faith On Reliability Of America, After Donald Trump Disaster!

President Joe Biden is committed to restoring the NATO alliance and the confidence of the G-7 Nations as he has meetings and events for the next week, culminating in the summit with Vladimir Putin of Russia in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday June 16.

Biden has known Putin for a long time, and is willing to confront him, and make certain that Putin understands his resolve to do everything to undermine Putin’s determination to restore the old Soviet Union and restrict human rights in Russia and threaten Eastern Europe.

Tough talk will help, but there is no way to know if NATO, the G 7 and Joe Biden can work against the authoritarian nature of Putin with any possibility of success. The kowtowing of Donald Trump to Putin in his four years in the White House was very destructive on relations between the US and Russia.

In many ways, Putin could be more dangerous and threatening, than any Soviet leader after Joseph Stalin, including Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev in particular!

Donald Trump And The Republican Party Are “A Clear And Present Danger” To America’s Future!

The worship and allegiance of most Republican Party officeholders to Donald Trump and the “Big Lie”, that Trump won the Presidential Election Of 2020, makes it clear that Trump and the party are “a clear and present danger” to America’s future.

As the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC makes clear, Trump and the Republican Party have become a Fascist party, with so many similarities to Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Fascist Spain, Fascist Argentina, and a multitude of other Fascist dictatorships over the past century and still so now in Brazil, Hungary, Poland, the Philippines, and other dictatorships around the world!

The following characteristics make it clear that Trump and his party represent Fascism!

Powerful and continuing Nationalism
Disdain for Human Rights
Identification of Enemies as a Unifying Cause
Supremacy of the Military
Rampant Sexism
Controlled Mass Media
Obsession with National Security
Religion and Government Intertwined
Corporate Power Protected
Labor Power Suppressed
Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fraudulent Elections

Laurence W, Britt came up with this listing at Free Inquiry website on SecularHumanism.0rg in 2003!

Social Justice 53 Years After Martin Luther King Jr’s Assassination

On this 53rd anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, it is sad that we see systemic racism still alive and popular among too many Americans.

The George Floyd murder trial; the Georgia legislation that puts voting rights under attack; the anti Asian attacks that have become so prevalent in the past year; the increased threat of domestic terrorism; and the continued attack on immigrants of all backgrounds are signs of the failure of social justice to make progress after King gave up his life in the quest for equity and fairness in society.

The Presidency of Donald Trump allowed people who promote racism, nativism, white supremacy, misogyny, antisemitism, Islamophobia to flourish, as Trump was George Wallace on steroids.

When Wallace ran for President in 1968 and won five states, 46 electoral votes, and 13 percent of the popular vote, it was shocking, but at least there was no way that Wallace could win the Presidency.

But a half century later, Donald Trump was able to gather the forces of hatred and win the Presidency, despite losing the popular vote by 2.85 million votes, and would go on to marshal his forces to promote undermining of American democracy, and continues to do so by promoting the lie that he won the Presidential Election of 2020, and inciting the US Capitol Insurrection of January 6, 2021!

So the commitment of Martin Luther King Jr. to human rights and social justice must continue with a new generation of committed leaders!

The Senate Filibuster Designed For Obstruction, And Historic Denial Of Basic Civil Rights

The US Senate is the greatest deliberative legislative body in the world, but also condemned in history for promoting denial of civil rights for people of color, particularly, but not only for African Americans.

The filibuster was used to prevent federal anti lynching laws in the years after Reconstruction and through to the 1950s by Southern Democrats, and then it was used to prevent basic civil rights laws, until Lyndon B. Johnson showed great courage, and used various tactics to overcome the denial of civil rights, and accomplish the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Now, the Republicans have used it in the past decade to stop progress under President Barack Obama, and now are threatening the same under Joe Biden, and specifically in areas including voting rights, and inhumane treatment of various minorities, including people of color, women, gays and lesbians, disabled people, and immigrants from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

They claim the mantle of “minority rights”, but only for their narrowminded effort to promote white supremacy, and refuse to accept the reality of a multi ethnic and multi racial and diverse future America in the next 25 years.

The Senate has been an obstructionist legislative body, where Senators who represent far less than a majority of the population are able to prevent what a clear majority of the population wishes to see in the promotion of human rights and work against racism, nativism, misogyny, homophobia, antisemitism, and Islamophobia!

So a change, requiring a “spoken” filibuster, which used to be the norm, needs to be revived, and that will bring about the ability to overcome the filibuster in a short period, and allow for progress on so many important issues the Senate needs to address to advance American democracy!

The 2021 Republican Party Is The Democratic Party Of 1861

It has been 160 years since the outbreak of the Civil War.

The Democratic Party of 1861 was the party of secession, treason, sedition, and white supremacy.

The Republican Party was the party of the Union, and promotion of anti slavery expansion, and many of them were also anti slavery, promoting human rights and democracy.

Now, the Republican Party is the party of secession, treason, sedition, and white supremacy.

And the Democratic Party is the party of promotion of human rights and democracy.

This complete reversal, and the concept of the Republican Party fighting to prevent demographic change, and accept that America will be a multi racial society with a white population minority in 2045, is truly shocking!

It weakens the nation as it faces so many challenges internally, and in foreign policy!

The Heroes Of 2020: Bright Lights In A Year The Worst In Most People’s Lifetimes

The year 2020 has been the worst year in most people’s lifetimes, but there have been heroes who deserve attention and appreciation from all decent Americans.

The ultimate hero is Dr. Anthony Fauci, who reached the age of 80 yesterday, and has been an inspiration to anyone who believes in science, and respects expertise over “junk science”, or science that is generations out of date.

Some of our greatest heroes of the year, sadly, have departed, including Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who left a legacy of promotion of equal rights for all groups in America, including women, people of color, the disabled, and equal justice for all.

Also departing this world was Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, who promoted the concept of “good trouble” to advance human rights in a world and nation that too often is not engaged in such efforts.

Another hero is former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who advanced equality of gays and lesbians, just by becoming the first known gay Presidential contender, and now will be the first openly gay Cabinet officer as Secretary of Transportation.

Another hero is Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who has done an amazing job pursuing justice, equality, and the interests of the American people, in a time of the massive threat presented by Donald Trump, and has not blinked at his threats, misogyny, and crazed insanity. She has had to deal with the unrelenting misogyny of many in the Republican Party opposition, and Trump supporters who show a total lack of respect for her that they would never utter against a man!

Another hero is California Congressman Adam Schiff, who was a key player in the impeachment investigation of Donald Trump, and is Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He has suffered from threats and vicious attacks by Donald Trump and his minions, but has demonstrated courage and conviction in an admirable manner.

Another hero is South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, the highest ranked African American in Congress as House Majority Whip, third ranking leadership role. If it were not for Clyburn, Joe Biden would not have been able to become the Democratic Presidential nominee this year, as Clyburn’s endorsement was a major factor in Biden winning the South Carolina Primary and moving forward to the top of the Democratic Presidential ticket.

Another such hero is the future First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, who, with her elegance and intelligence, will raise the level of that position from the disgraceful low level it reached in the past four years.

California Senator Kamala Harris, soon to be Vice President of the United States, is another hero, who will be the first woman, and first woman of color with her Jamaican and Asian Indian heritage, to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. She is a role model for women and racial minorities, and will be a very influential Vice President, more in the direction of Joe Biden, Al Gore, and Walter Mondale, than Mike Pence!

And last but not least, Joe Biden, who is a man of decency, compassion, ethics, and empathy, will be our 46th President on January 20, 2021. He will face the most daunting set of issues of any President since Abraham Lincoln in 1861, Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, and Barack Obama in 2009. His long career in Congress, and his outstanding Vice Presidency give America hope, that in a time of a “dark winter”, as Joe Biden calls the COVID 19 Pandemic and the Second Great Depression, that Biden will take leadership on the level of FDR’s New Deal to take us to brighter days and a recovery in 2021 and beyond!

Everyone needs to pray for his success, but all know that he will not waste a minute or a day in promoting himself on Twitter or playing golf, as our despicable 45th President, Donald Trump, has done more of in the past four years, than doing his job!