Justice

Suspension Of New Entries On Blog, Until After Hurricane Irma Passes, And Able to Post Again

This blogger has, in his nine years on this blog, rarely missed days of entries, particularly in the last few years.

But now, everyone in Florida is threatened by the worst hurricane in American history, Hurricane Irma, with winds of 185 miles per hour, Category 5 churning out in the Atlantic Ocean, and I am doing what I can to protect my home, family, and possessions.

It has been busy getting prepared, and I am no longer able to focus on the constant flow of events.

So I am signing off now until at some point in the future, when electric has been restored, with some predictions that it will take weeks to restore the situation, and hopefully, without harm to property and life.

I wish everyone in the hurricane path, not only in Florida, but elsewhere up the Atlantic Coast, the best of fortune and safety.

This is a very emotional time, and I hope and expect I will be back on this website soon.

In any case, the fight for the American future must go on, to insure the basic principles of the American experience–liberty, equality, and justice!

George McGovern Birthday, What Would Have Been His 95th: A Moment To Remember

Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee against President Richard Nixon, would have been 95 today, a moment to remember this great man, who passed away five years ago on October 21, 2012.

McGovern may have been an historic loser, winning only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia in his race against Nixon 45 years ago.

But McGovern was, in many ways, the most principled man ever to run for President.

He ran as an anti Vietnam War candidate, who had been a fighter pilot in World War II.

He ran as a person committed to the hungry, the poor, the disadvantaged in our society. He worked across the aisle with Bob Dole of Kansas to take action to help the most deprived in our society.

He ran as a principled and decent political leader who wanted to bring America back to its purpose, to promote equality, justice and compassion.

Americans instead voted for the most unprincipled and corrupt President in American history, until Donald Trump came along.

George McGovern was my idol, my hero, as a young man in graduate school, inspired by the fact that he had, like myself, pursued a PH. D. in American history, and had taught on the college level before entering politics.

What is it about America that too often they vote for the candidate who is far less principled, decent, and compassionate–as with Richard Nixon and Donald Trump as two examples?

Why is it that we have, as a nation, too often made the wrong choice?

This is something that will be repeated until the better side of our nature finally returns to the basic principles of America, and steers away from those who exploit our fears and insecurities and worsens the American condition!

152nd Anniversary Of “The Nation” Magazine, The Oldest Weekly Publication In America!

Yesterday, July 6th, was the 152nd Anniversary of “The Nation” Magazine, the oldest weekly publication in America!

Started right after the Civil War’s end in 1865, “The Nation” has always been hard hitting, principled and honest!

It has held to liberal values more than any similar publication, never diverting from it in any fashion.

It has often been attacked and vilified but has always stood proud for its beliefs in equality, justice, freedom, and against right wing extremism from wherever it has emerged.

Many brilliant scholars and authors have penned essays for “The Nation”, and has helped to make it one of the great examples of literary excellence over a century and a half of American history.

It has never had a great amount of financial support, but has somehow survived through difficult times, including the Red Scare in 1919-1920 under Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer (Woodrow Wilson), and the Second Red Scare of the late 1940s and early 1950s, generally known as McCarthyism, but much more than just one Wisconsin Republican Senator who was allowed to go berserk from 1950-1954.

“The Nation” is leading the charge against Donald Trump, and is part of the great journalistic tradition of challenging government authority, when it aims to take away our civil liberties and civil rights.

The 4th Of July In The Trump Era: America Has Lost Its Way!

Today is the 241st anniversary of Independence Day, declared in 1776.

America was a great experiment in being a republic, and over the nearly two and a half centuries since, America ended slavery; opened its arms to scores of immigrants from all over the world; expanded the right to vote to all citizens over time, no matter what race, religion, nationality, or gender they were; promoted a social safety net; and expanded public education to all.

The Constitution was expanded to face modern realities; and both major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, contributed to the advancement of tolerance and justice and equal opportunity; and the Supreme Court became a body that dealt with expansion of civil liberties and civil rights.

There were many detours along the road to today, but overall, progress was made, and a sense of optimism reigned.

And then, September 11 occurred, and the nation’s politics veered from one viewpoint to another and then to what is now present, a dark view of our nation, its people, and the world.

We live in the Trump era, which is in process of delaying, deleting, and destroying so much progress that has been accomplished in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

We are seeing race, religion, ethnicity and gender being used in an abusive manner to take away basic civil liberties, civil rights, common decency, and a sense of civility.

We are seeing the wealthy becoming the most stratified group in American history, and the middle class, created in the 20th century, destroyed, and the poor being treated in a shabby fashion.

One political party, the Republicans, has become the party of negativism, hatred, prejudice, and pure nastiness, and we have seen the shift of the Supreme Court toward a hard right conservatism that brings back memories of the Gilded Age Supreme Court.

It is as if we are in a time warp, and have reverted to 140 years ago!

So while we celebrate our national holiday, we have a lot to mourn, and it MUST make all of us determined to fight and resist with all our abilities combined, to resolve this crisis in a constitutional manner, with the removal of Donald Trump from the Presidency, as a tyrant and authoritarian figure who has met his match with our Constitutional remedy!

The PBS “Roosevelts” Series Inspires Need For Progressive Leadership To Stop New “Gilded Age”!

The Ken Burns PBS series, “The Roosevelts”, started on Sunday night and continues through Saturday night, a 14 hour event, and is easily the best documentary presented on PBS in many years!

Seeing the story of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt  and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt inspired a desire in this author and blogger of the need for Progressive leadership of the type that TR and FDR and Eleanor represented, now in the 21st Century, to stop the abuses and damage that right wing conservatism has done, creating a new “Gilded Age’, and seeing wealthy billionaires wield power, and attempt fix elections, similar to JP Morgan and other millionaires at the time of TR in the White House.

But TR used the Presidency and federal power to crack down on unregulated capitalism, in what became known as the Progressive Era, and future Presidents of both parties, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama followed suit, but except for FDR and JFK, not in the same exciting vein and dynamic leadership that TR represented!

We now desperately need a new “Progressive Era”, but the right wing Supreme Court, picked by conservative Republicans, has done great damage, and the Congressional Republicans have made it very difficult for President Obama to accomplish many of his goals, although he has done a great deal that can be commended, despite strong obstructionism!

But to recognize the democratic nation that TR and FDR promoted, we need a massive change, and this series could have such an effect on the American psyche in the future, and we should all pray for that as the only way to advance democracy, justice, and true freedom in America in the future!

51st Anniversary Of March On Washington, And We Are Moving Backwards!

Last year, the nation celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for justice, civil rights, and advancement of the nation economically and socially, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s speech the highlight of the event, attended by a crowd of all races and nationalities.

Now, a year later, we have a massive problem of outrageous law enforcement abuse in St. Louis, New York City, Los Angeles, and every day, more evidence of police officers killing, rather than wounding or tasering many suspects or citizens, a tremendous over reaction!

Racism has never disappeared, but now we have police departments with equipment used in the Iraq and Afghanistan War, and acting more like the Gestapo, being very trigger happy!

There is no need for military style equipment to be given to communities in America, as we are not a military or police dictatorship, and journalists and citizens should not be abused with tear gas, rubber bullets, or weapons being pointed at them menacingly, and having foul language used toward them.

Additionally, there have been cases of mentally ill people, disabled people, being seen as a threat when they are not, and immediately, the reaction is “Shoot to kill”, and multiple bullets to vital areas, and often by multiple police officers, making the events a massacre!

We are a government of, by and for the people, not of, by and for the police! The police deserve respect, but not obedience when they are committing crimes as police officers, and they need to be brought under control!

The Republican War On The IRS Is An Anarchistic, Extremist Attack!

The Republican Party has declared war on the Internal Revenue Service, the basic backbone of how the federal government operates, how it protects the nation, and advances the domestic agenda of the United States, to make it the nation of freedom, justice, and equality that it was meant to be!

If you left it to the Republican Party, which operates as an anarchistic, extremist movement against the whole structure of our federal government, they would move to repeal the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which Republican President William Howard Taft advocated.

The Republican Party calls for abolition of the IRS, without saying how they would replace the funding that it provides for our national defense; for our multitude of federal government agencies that give Americans all kinds of services; and for protection of our elderly, our children, our disabled, our poor!

It seems that the Republican Party wants to go back to America and what it was in 1789–a nation of four million people with state governments having all of the power, or lack of it, to help maintain the safety, security, and advancement of its citizens!

Anyone who has studied American history knows that state governments have always been incompetent, inept, and too corrupt to be in charge of all of the massive responsibilities that the federal government has had since the First World War, the Great Depression, and the Second World War!

If the Republican Party were, somehow, able to accomplish what they advocate, it would lead to total chaos, anarchy, disruption, and the dissolution of a stable government!

So the right wing of the GOP is a dangerous, anarchistic, extremist group! Let’s call the reality what it is, a danger to all of America’s citizens!

The False Glamor Of Secession: The “Red” States, Quebec, And Scotland

The concept of secession has become a key word in society when there are discontented people who somehow believe central government in a democracy is evil, because it will not allow them to pursue their prejudices.

So we have, more in the past than right now, the glamor of secession that has been promoted by French speaking Quebec to overcome the English influence in the rest of Canada, although Quebec would be in very poor economic shape if it did secede.

We also have the move for Scotland to secede from the United Kingdom, breaking away from England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, but in reality, that would impoverish Scotland.

And then we have the “Red” states, particularly those in the South, but also including the Southwest and the Great Plains, who dream of secession, mourning the failure of secession during the Civil War.

And yet, it is these “Red” states that are, by far, the poorest states in America, and get loads of benefits from the national government that they profess to hate!

It seems more the reality that these people living in the “Red” states who wish secession are purely ignorant, lack education, and have no clue as to how much they benefit from the federal government, so they are spiting themselves with their own stubbornness.

But really, what it comes down to is that they resent the inability to discriminate freely against African Americans, Latinos, women, and gays, due to federal laws and intervention by federal courts.

These states claim to be “devout” and “religious”, but actually are far from being so, as they lack all ethics and morals that true religion teaches!

These states have many people who wish the 19th century was back, when men dominated women, whites dominated over African Americans, and a small plantation elite controlled all government, much of it in the national government, until that “evil” man, Abraham Lincoln, came along and reasserted the basic teachings of the Founding Fathers, that this was a nation of freedom, liberty, and justice, even though many of the Founding Fathers practiced hypocrisy and deception themselves, but knew it was wrong! The Civil Rights Movement had begun with the end of slavery, a long, hard fought battle still being waged!

Lincoln opened up a new concept of America, and he would see leaders in the 20th century, including Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson assert federal authority in the manner of Lincoln, revolutionizing the two political parties. The Democrats would become the Republicans of the Civil War in principle, and the Republicans would become the old, prejudiced Southern Democrats, fighting against equal opportunity and justice.

Meanwhile, the people of the “Red” states became victims, who were appealed to on the basis of fundamentalist religion, which had worked against integration of the races, and wanted to keep women down in a subservient position, and worked against promotion of equality for gays and lesbians, even though they had such people in their own midst, preaching one thing and conducting their lives as the opposite, pure hypocrisy!

Once the struggling people of the “Red” states realize they have been victimized by religious and political propaganda, the Republican Party will be as dead as a doornail, as it is a party based on pure hypocrisy and lack of basic principles of the party they created 160 years ago!

Senator Rand Paul Becomes Poll Leader For GOP Presidential Nomination: What Does It Mean?

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, the son of libertarian favorite Ron Paul, former Congressman from Texas, has suddenly emerged as the leader in two polls–the CPAC straw poll and the New Hampshire straw poll, both in the past ten days.

This is seen as very surprising to many observers, and it certainly upsets Establishment Republicans who see Rand Paul as far from who they prefer to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2016.

Rand Paul seems to appeal to young people, who also liked his dad, due to their desire to cut down American involvement in overseas interventions, but that is seen by critics as an unrealistic isolationism, which becomes more problematical with the Russian takeover of Crimea, and the possible intervention in the rest of Ukraine.

Rand Paul’s desire to cut the federal government and spending dramatically in a downward spiral also appeals to many young people, but worries those concerned about the growth of poverty and the decline of the middle class.

And Rand Paul’s statements about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in regards to the dislike of “forcing” businesses to serve customers they do not want to serve, is also alarming to ethnic minorities, particularly African Americans and Latinos.

Rand Paul’s opposition to women controlling their own reproductive lives also is an alarm bell to many.

There are many who think Rand Paul is a shallow person, who should not even be considered Presidential material.

Are we ready for a libertarian isolationist in the 21st century, after the growth of government in the 20th century, and engaging in wars to promote freedom and liberty and justice in the world?

Are we ready to negate TR, Wilson FDR, and LBJ in domestic affairs, and turn inward in foreign policy?

These are the questions all Americans have to consider, and the thought of Rand Paul possibly becoming President terrifies many Republicans, as well as American citizens who feel that he cannot walk in the shoes of our greatest Presidents!

Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A True National Treasure!

Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, appointed by President Bill Clinton 20 years ago, has suffered two serious bouts with cancer, and has lost her husband, but she continues to plug on at age 80, with no plans for retirement.

Since other Supreme Court Justices have stayed on in their 80s, it is not all that surprising that Ginsburg refuses to consider retirement.

Always very friendly and accessible, unusual in the history of the Supreme Court membership, Ginsburg has become more openly outspoken over the years, being the true champion of the progressive side of the Court, and critical in a gentle way of her conservative colleagues, while expressing respect for them as individuals.

And she set new ground by marrying two gay men in the past week, one of them being the President of the Kennedy Center, and the other a well known economist. And she also has spoken out now on the Constitution as the promoter of equal rights for all—race, gender, and sexual orientation—even though it might take a long time, many generations, for the promotion of equality to become the norm, in the story of American history!

Ginsburg is an inspiration to all who believe in equality, justice, decency, and fairness, and a great symbol to women, as to what they can attain, as she is the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court, after Sandra Day O’Connor.

It is certainly clear that Ginsburg, O’Connor, and the only other two women appointed to the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan have all contributed to the humanization of the Court, and advocated an open minded attitude, which will have a long range effect on Constitutional law!

Applause and commending of the role and significance of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is certainly in order!