Social Justice

25 Years Of “RBG”, Ruth Bader Ginsburg In August, 85 Years Old And No Intention Of Retiring Before 2021 At Earliest!

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, bless her heart, is finishing 25 years on the Court, and 38 years in total in the federal court system, having been appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, and then elevated to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993.

She has become a “rock star”, often called “the notorious RBG” in recent years, after the publication of a biography by a scholar in 2015.

She has survived bouts with colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009. and the death of her husband in 2010, days after their 56th wedding anniversary.

Through it all, she has stood up for the rights of minorities, women, gays and lesbians, the disabled, workers, consumers, environmentalists, and all other causes that fight against the enemies of civil rights, civil liberties, and social justice.

At age 85, she has had a stent put in her right coronary artery, and she has had a strict regimen of exercise for many years.

The question is whether Ginsburg can hang on and stay in office until 2021, when she would be 88 years old, and hopefully, a Democratic President could replace her after 28 years on the Court.

Ginsburg herself has said she plans to stay to the age of 90, the age that former Justice John Paul Stevens, now 98 and thriving, was when he left the Court in 2010.

June 17 In American History

Today is Father’s Day and the birthday, also, of my oldest son, David, who was born on Father’s Day, a coinciding event that occurs rarely.

But it is also a major historic day in American history in a number of ways.

1775–Battle of Bunker Hill in Boston, actually at Breed’s Hill location nearby, second battle of developing American Revolution against Great Britain.

1856–Republican Party opens its first National Convention in Philadelphia.

1885–Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, arrives in New York Harbor, will be installed in 1886.

1932–“Bonus Army” veterans of World War I march on the US Capitol, demanding veterans benefits in midst of Great Depression under President Herbert Hoover.

1954–The end of the Army-McCarthy hearings, which leads to the Senate censure of Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin for his misbehavior.

1972–The Watergate Break In occurs, the beginning of the downfall of Richard Nixon, the most corrupt President until Donald Trump.

2015–Nine African American worshipers at Emmanuel AME Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, are murdered by a 21 year old white racist gunman.

All of these events are tied together–the promotion of freedom, liberty, principle, social justice, civil rights, and the rule of law.

All of these principles are under attack in 2018!

Donald Trump Throws Everyone Who Worked And Supported Him “Under The Bus”, As His Only Purpose Is To Promote His Own Glory

Donald Trump is for Number One, himself, and has been so all of his life.

He bullied kids when he was a teenager, and he has bullied adults in his work and personal life ever since.

The problem is that he has never been held accountable for his behavior, both in business and in personal life.

He does not care about Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen. George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates, Roger Stone, or anyone else in legal trouble, and in many cases, facing prison for the dirty deeds they did for Donald Trump.

He does not care about the multitude of people who have worked for him in the Presidency, and who he has dumped unceremoniously over his 16 months in office.

He uses everyone to advance himself, insults them, gets them to lie for him, and spends not a minute concerned about their welfare in any form.

He cares not about the nation, but only about himself, and that includes his mistreatment of his three wives, including Melania, who mysteriously has been “missing” for nearly three weeks without any explanation that makes sense. His lack of respect for women is worse than any accusations against earlier Presidents.

He cares only about money and glory, and will see his children in legal trouble and loss of reputation, due to his own selfish, narcissistic nature.

He does not care how much he hurts women, racial minorities, immigrants, children, workers, farmers, and undermines the rule of law, social justice, and basic ethics and morality. He lacks the capability to have compassion, empathy, and common decency toward fellow human beings.

Donald Trump is a very sick man mentally, and a threat to American values, and the urgency to remove him from power and make him legally accountable for his crimes must fuel momentum for a Democratic takeover of both houses of Congress this November in the midterm elections.

Another Massive Tax Cut For The Wealthy: Sacrificing The Middle Class, The Poor, And The National Debt Totally Immoral And Unethical

Donald Trump is promoting yet another massive tax cut for the elite wealthy and corporations, who already have many methods to avoid fair payment of taxes.

What Trump is ready to do is further sacrifice the dwindling middle class and the poor, and add trillions of dollars to the national debt.

This is totally immoral and unethical, and will undermine basic needs of millions of Americans who will lose health care, lose labor protections, and be subjected to corporate abuse of workers, consumers and the environment.

And one can be sure that Trump, who has refused to reveal his tax returns, will benefit handsomely from the massive tax cut.

The concept of social justice which advanced America under both Democratic and Republican Presidents over the past 85 years since the New Deal is being destroyed, as America moves backward.

The Republican Party has lost all humanity, and only if a few GOP Senators refuse to go along with this unconscionable tax proposal, will it be avoided! But don’t bet on that possibility!

Grand Opening Of Democratic Campaign As Tim Kaine Is A Rock Star In Introduction To The American People In Miami Rally!

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, presented himself to the nation yesterday at a political rally in Miami, Florida, with Hillary Clinton, at Florida International University, a heavily Latino school.

Many observers had said that Kaine was a “boring” personality, but he was anything but that. He was a “Rock Star”!

The TV audience and the crowd learned just how dynamic, caring, committed, and principled Tim Kaine is, apparently a secret just unveiled, as he was not well known nationally.

Tim Kaine is a wonderful human being with compassion and concern for social justice, just the opposite of Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who has demonstrated an extremist right wing Tea Party view on so many different issues.

The future debate between Kaine and Pence will be very revealing, and will help Hillary Clinton win the Presidency.

And we will be blessed in January with a great successor in the Vice Presidency to follow Joe Biden, who must be recruited for some important position, as we should not lose his talents and expertise.

A good suggestion is to make Biden Secretary of State or Attorney General, both areas of his expertise and knowledge, not only as Vice President for eight years, but also his years as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Democrats have, once again, blessed us with outstanding Vice Presidents—Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter, Al Gore under Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden under Barack Obama, and now they offer us the talents and great judgment and humanity of Tim Kaine.

Republican Party, The Party Of Conservatives Abraham Lincoln And Ronald Reagan: Really, Lincoln A Conservative?

As the Republican Party is imploding, we are hearing Florida Senator Marco Rubio and others talk about how Donald Trump is not a conservative, like Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, and that Trump cannot be allowed to inherit their conservatism.

Really?  Abraham Lincoln  a conservative?  Give us all a break!

Lincoln was NOT a conservative, as he challenged the Establishment of his time in so many ways, including opposing any expansion of slavery!

Lincoln waged war on the South, to prevent their successful secession from the Union, and that is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln moved to promote freedom of the slaves, via the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment, and that is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln promoted a major national government commitment to a transcontinental railroad, and that is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln promoted creation of a national banking system; a national currency; the first federal income tax; the first land grant colleges; the Department of Agriculture added to the Presidential cabinet; the Homestead Act; and set up the first military draft; and all of this list is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln was a Liberal, a Progressive, who believed in the use of Presidential power and authority!

Lincoln became the inspiration for another Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt, who is condemned by conservatives, because he believed, as Lincoln did, in in expansion of federal authority, and assertion of Presidential authority and Social Justice, a la Abraham Lincoln!

That is why it is two Liberals, two Progressives, Lincoln and TR, on Mount Rushmore, because they were NOT conservatives!

 

July 30, 1965 To July 30, 2015: 50 Years Of Medicare!

Today is the 50the Anniversary of Medicare, finally brought about by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965.

An idea originally proposed by Theodore Roosevelt in his Progressive (Bull Moose) Party campaign of 1912; further conceptualized by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the mid 1930s, but thought to be moving too rapidly for Congress, when there was the fight over Social Security in 1935; and promoted by Harry Truman in his promotion of his Fair Deal, it was signed into law with former President Truman sitting next to Johnson at the Truman Museum and Library in Independence, Missouri.

Johnson accomplished what John F. Kennedy wanted to fulfill in his New Frontier agenda, but was unable to do because of the opposition of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Wilbur Mills of Arkansas, but Johnson convinced Mills to move ahead, as part of LBJ’s great “wheeler dealer” abilities to promote his Great Society.

Medicare was a “God send” to millions of senior citizens, who no longer had to go into poverty as a result of medical and health issues, and it made the last years of the elderly a lot less stressful and worrisome.

Of course, the issue of cost overruns and corruption has arisen, and with people living longer, there is a long term problem in Medicare, but careful administration and some tax increases will manage to keep Medicare afloat for the long run, although present House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential running mate in 2012), wants to phase it out over time.

Many Republicans want this, but Democrats will fight tooth and nail to insure the continuation and financial stability of the greatest social program since Social Security, an essential part of the “safety net”, and part of the social justice agenda of liberals and progressives since the time of Theodore Roosevelt!

Gay Marriage Finally National: The Advancement Of Human Rights Reaches A New Pinnacle Of Social Justice!

On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn, a gay restaurant and nightclub in Greenwich Village in New York City, was raided by police, leading to a large scale riot. It was the beginning of the gay rights movement, the struggle against oppression.

46 years have passed, and on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court upheld the right of gays and lesbians to marry everywhere in the United States, a path breaking advancement in human rights, reaching a new pinnacle of social justice. It makes America a more perfect democracy, promoting equality and liberty for another class of citizens who have faced oppression. It is a tremendous expansion of human rights and social justice!

America is a better nation for this fantastic development, and much credit is due to several people, including:

Then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who was the first chief executive to promote gay marriage in California, and officiate at many gay weddings n 2003. He is now Lieutenant Governor of California, and likely successor to Governor Jerry Brown in the next gubernatorial election in 2018.

Ted Olson and David Boies, opposing attorneys in the Bush-Gore Presidential battle in 2000, who pursued the constitutional case promoting gay marriage, helping to lead it to Supreme Court decision yesterday.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in four crucial Supreme Court cases, in 2003 (Lawrence V Texas), two in 2013 (Hollingsworth V Perry) and (US V Windsor), and yesterday (Obergefell V Hodges) Without him, none of this advancement of gay rights and gay marriage could ever have occurred. Interestingly, all four of these cases were decided on June 26, of those years, 2003, 2013, and 2015!

The history of the gay rights movement is yet to be written, but it will be seen as part of the great movement forward as evidenced by the abolitionist crusade against slavery; the woman suffrage movement; the civil rights movement; the labor union movement; the environmental movement; the disability reform movement; the promotion of a safety net as represented by Social Security, Medicare, and now ObamaCare; and the immigration reform movement!

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Second Bill Of Rights (January 11, 1944) Not Yet Achieved In 2014!

Now that THE ROOSEVELTS series on PBS, the seven part series presented to the nation by the great documentarian Ken Burns, is over, many thoughts and emotions cross one’s mind.

FDR offered so much to the nation in his New Deal, and in his leadership of the struggle against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan in World War II.

But what struck this author more than any of this, while watching this 14 hour series over the past week, is an often forgotten speech, the State of the Union speech of January 11, 1944, delivered by FDR in a joint session of Congress.

The speech dealt with the issue of a “Second Bill Of Rights”.

FDR knew that the Bill Of Rights had made America the beacon of the civilized world, with the basic civil liberties it granted to all Americans.

But FDR was looking ahead to the end of World War II, and envisioned a nation that would extend the concept of a bill of rights to other issues that affected all Americans.

So FDR called for a future guarantee of everyone having a decent job with a living wage; a guarantee of decent housing for all Americans; a guarantee of a decent supply of food, clothing, and leisure for all; a guarantee of a decent education providing opportunity for all to advance; an expansion of Social Security beyond the beginning of the concept nine years earlier in 1935; and  provision for a decent health care system for all Americans.

Now 70 years later, none of these have been accomplished, although Social Security has improved tremendously for the elderly, and for women who are widowed and children who lose a parent or are orphaned: Medicare has done so much to help the elderly and disabled; and ObamaCare, under great duress, has provided health care for millions of Americans who never had health coverage before.

But yet, conservatives and Republicans are out to make Social Security and Medicare privatized, and want to destroy ObamaCare!

But we have too many people who cannot find work, due to the Great Recession of George W. Bush and cannot even gain extension of the New Deal concept of unemployment compensation; many Americans live in substandard housing; many people go hungry and live in dire poverty; many have to work multiple jobs and cannot have time for leisure, with most Americans not able to have vacation time, less than any European democracy, or Canada or Australia;  and many children are denied a good education system and can only gain minimum wage employment as adults.

The right wing extremists are trying to destroy the New Deal and Great Society reforms, and return American to a century ago before there was social justice and economic opportunity and political reform offered, starting with the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.

How can any decent American not rise up in protest and anger at the selfishness and greed of the elite one percent and their propagandists, who do not care what happens to anyone other than their own class?  Why is acquisition of obscene wealth and power so important that these right wingers have no humanity, no common decency, no desire to see their fellow Americans have a chance to succeed as they were given?  Why is the hatred of taxes so vehement, as if one can take his or her wealth to the grave, or give it in obscene amounts to offspring who will never know responsibility or the virtue of accomplishing on their own?  What is wrong with this nation, that 70 years after the “Second Bill of Rights” speech of FDR, we have made very little progress on the goals of the speech, and have even backtracked on them, and we have evil forces wanting to destroy the most significant programs of the New Deal and Great Society?

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!