states rights

Republicans, Normally States Rights Advocates, Now Trying To Limit States Rights On Sanctuary Cities, Marijuana Laws, And Oil And Gas Drilling!

The Republican Party is long famous for promotion of states rights, and their strong stand against national government authority over the states.

Oh, until now, when they are doing their best to LIMIT states rights.

The Trump Administration and the Republicans in Congress are working to undermine “sanctuary cities”, major cities around the nation which are working to protect and support undocumented immigrants from arrest and deportation, as long as they have no criminal record.

Also, with eight states allowing marijuana use, and medical marijuana permitted in many other states, we have Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration trying to promote enforcement of penalties, that has led to tens of thousands of people in prisons, for possession and or sale of the drug, when there is no connection between marijuana and crime, or auto accidents, or deaths.

Also, oil and gas drilling off the coasts of the United States, is an attempt to take away environmental rights of mostly “blue” states, but with Florida, under Republican Governor Rick Scott getting special dispensation on the matter, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie working with Democrats to prevent such drilling off of New Jersey shores. But all the other states, along the Atlantic Coast, from New England to Georgia; the Pacific Coast; and Alaska should also have the freedom and authority to ban such energy exploration as detrimental to the environment.

When one compares the “Red” States and how they are governed, to the “Blue” states and their greater progress and open mindedness, it is as if we have two nations, and the Republicans are becoming so extreme that a chasm has developed between them and the Democrats.

Trump Voter Fraud Commission An Attack On Voting Rights, Clear And Simple!

The Trump Voter Fraud Commission, set up and headed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is infamous for promoting voter suppression tactics, has become a total failure, as 44 states refuse to comply with all of the information that the commission is asking the states to provide.

Trump wants this commission, because he cannot accept that he lost the popular vote by 2.85 million to Hillary Clinton, and claims that millions of illegal immigrants voted, with absolutely no such evidence of this crazy theory.

What Trump is trying to do is a clear attack on voting rights, and an attempt to cut millions off the voter rolls, so that Trump can have less opposition for a reelection campaign in 2020.

The fact that all but a few states refuse to cooperate is a good sign, as we now have a situation in which the stares are the progressive forces, against a right wing reactionary federal government headed by Trump cronies.

This is the precise opposite of the 1960s, when we had southern states, including Mississippi and Alabama most notably, but others as well, that worked to undermine civil and voting rights, and were forced into compliance by the federal government.

There are those conservatives who believe in states rights when it is convenient, but now want that to be ignored when it comes to states and cities protecting the environment; and also law abiding immigrants, even if they may have overstayed their time as a visitor, or entered illegally, but have led law abiding lives for decades in this nation, and should not face deportation, as the Trump Administration is pursuing, to the outrage of millions of Americans!

History Tells Us Many States Are Not Protective Of Their Population: Reason Why We Need Federal Government!

Conservatives and libertarians love to promote the propaganda that “states rights” are the best government, and that state governments are there for their population’s needs.

History tells us otherwise, clear and simple.

“States rights” promoted 76 years of slavery under the Constitution, until it was ended by the Union winning the Civil War over the Confederacy.

“States rights” promoted segregation of the races for nearly a century after the Civil War until the 1960s.

“States rights” promoted laws against marriage, including blacks and whites, and gays and lesbians.

“States rights” promoted vigilante justice, including lynchings, chain gangs, and overly harsh criminal justice laws.

“States rights” promoted men having dominance over their wives in marriages, and resulting abuses toward women.

“States rights” promoted inferior education, including denial of historical facts, and of science, favoring religious ideas over facts.

“States rights” promoted violations of voting rights, with the intent of ruling white upper classes controlling who could vote.

“States rights” promoted denial of health care to people, while insisting on all fetuses being taken to birth against a woman’s wishes.

“States rights” promoted resistance to the Bill of Rights, and to federal government political, social, and economic reforms that made America pursue the goals of democracy, equality, and justice.

Those states that have regularly promoted “states rights” have been the most backward, the most discriminatory, the most regressive. the poorest, and have depended on the more advanced and open minded states for their economic existence.

It is the “Red” states, those in the old Confederate South, and in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain West, where we see the worship of “states rights”, as long as the elite political and religious hierarchy keep control over their populations, and keep them ignorant and under mind control.

History tells us that these states are not protective of the needs of their population, the reason we need a strong, assertive federal government, ready to step in, and having bettered life for people who are seemingly unaware how they have been manipulated by corrupt state governments.

The Threat Of The Alt-Right Made Clear By Hillary Clinton In Nevada Speech: White Nationalists And Anti Semite Hate Groups And The Radical Fringe

The Alt-Right is the new extremist Right Wing, which makes Fox News Channel, the right wing radio talk show hosts, and the conservative think tanks seem moderate.

These are groups and individuals, including Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News, now working with Donald Trump, who are white nationalists, mixed with anti Semites, nativists, misogynists, xenophobes, homophobes, and Islamophobes.

They include Confederate sympathizers, who hate the federal government, and want the end of all government regulation on any area of the economy, and would love to get rid of civil rights laws and civil liberties protections.

If they could gain power, they would love to wipe out the New Deal and Great Society reforms, that have made America the nation it is today.

They want the return of the “good old days” of states rights, racial discrimination, and women being “put in their place” in the bedroom and the kitchen, and not being out in the work force and promoting feminist causes.

And they believe in a “great Jewish conspiracy”, which connects them to Nazi mentality.

These are the groups that Hillary called a “Basket of Deplorables” yesterday, a perfectly appropriate term.

The Death Of Phyllis Schlafly: The War On Women And Social Change By A Divisive Woman Of The Right Wing

The death of Phyllis Schlafly yesterday marked the end of the life of a hateful woman who opposed feminism and gay rights, and promoted the rise of Republican conservatism in a masterly, if overwhelmingly nasty, manner.

Schlafly became first noticed when she vigorously backed Republican Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964, when the Establishment Republicans repudiated him and led to his massive defeat.

She ended her life with an endorsement of Donald Trump a few weeks ago, again a candidate repudiated by much of the Establishment Republicans.

In between, she bitterly fought the Equal Rights Amendment and Gay Rights, and headed the Eagle Forum, an extreme right wing organization, which became engaged in promotion of right wing attitudes on all subjects, including immigration and attacks on the federal government in favor of states rights.

The woman was very intelligent and effective in promoting her beliefs, and became noticed when she debated the role of women in public life on numerous television programs back in the 1970s, infuriating those who could not stomach her extremist views.

Somehow, it seemed as if Phyllis Schlafly would never leave us, but now, finally, at age 92, she has, and her impact, as negative as it is, will still be felt for a long time.

A Dozen Republican Governors Are The Most Horrendous In Memory!

It is amazing how so many people seem to believe that the federal government cannot be trusted, and that the true level of competence is state government–legislatures and governors, when the evidence is that, despite the many problems of the federal government, the state governments in many states is absolutely horrendous.

Both parties have their issues in state governments, but it is Republican governors which are particularly wretched as witness the following governors who have set records for the most incompetent and inhumane leadership:

Michigan–Rick Snyder, who has created a major health crisis in Flint, where the water system is totally lead polluted, and is responsible for the poisoning of many infants and young children, who will suffer effects for the rest of their lives.  For this, Snyder should be removed from office, and should be indicted and convicted and sentenced to life in prison, as effectively, he has destroyed thousands of young lives, through his decision to save money by forcing Flint to use polluted water systems.

Maine–Paul LePage, who has been totally off the wall in his rhetoric, and has displayed racism and other indications of insensitivity on a regular basis for the past five years, and faces a likely move toward impeachment and removal from office.

Kansas–Sam Brownback, who has totally bankrupted his state, and has cut education and health care coverage to dangerous levels  that undermine the state, all to cut taxes for the wealthy, and is a great example of a fake religiously devout leader.

Texas–Greg Abbott, who wants to take Texas back to the Civil War, calling for a constitutional amendment to forbid the federal government from having any influence or power over the states, arguing states rights will better protect the nation.

Florida—Rick Scott, who has refused to accept climate change as having an effect, even though his state is already seeing great evidence of the damage that the Sunshine state faces in the next 20-40 years, and also has done everything possible to undermine the lives of the poor in the state.

Wisconsin–Scott Walker, who has engaged in policies to undermine public workers and to destroy the reputation of the state as one of the most advanced states in the nation, and has also engaged in widespread political corruption on a massive scale.

North Carolina–Pat McCrory, who has managed to turn a progressive Southern state into one of the most backward, regressive states in America, one influenced by the corruption and move for dominance by the Koch Brothers in so many areas  of public policy.

Oklahoma–Mary Fallin, one of the most heartless and nasty state leaders, ignoring the growing number of earthquakes caused by the fracking industry, and totally committed to capital punishment even if there are no appropriate drugs to use for execution.

Louisiana–Bobby Jindal, who lost his Presidential ambitions, but set a record as a totally destructive and  heartless governor toward the poor of his state, and destroyed the public education system of New Orleans entirely.

Indiana–Mike Pence, who has caused a major health crisis over AIDS, by his refusal to address the issue of drug abuse, and has shown unwillingness to deal with the needs of those at the bottom of the economic system.

Arizona—Doug Ducey, who has shown total lack of competence or concern for the large number of Latinos in his state, and has shown evidence of corruption on a level that makes one wish former governor Jan Brewer was still in office, as bad as she actually was.

Kentucky—Matt Bevin, with no government experience, and a Tea Party activist, wishing to destroy the ObamaCare Medicaid system of his state, which was a model for the nation, but now is on the chopping block.

 

Right Wing Militia Takeover Of Federal Wildlife Refuge In Oregon Must Be Ended, And Federal Authority Asserted Over Public Lands!

Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican President, asserted federal authority over public lands in the West in the early 20th century, to insure that industry and big business would not destroy our natural wonders.

Abraham Lincoln, a Republican President, asserted federal authority to prevent the Southern secessionists from breaking up the Union through assertion of states rights in the Civil War.

George Washington, a Federalist President, used federal troops to resist defiance of the federal government’s authority to impose taxes on Pennsylvania at the time of the Whiskey Rebellion.

Andrew Jackson, a Democratic President, was ready to use federal military force against South Carolina in the Nullification Crisis, but avoided through a negotiated compromise.

We live now in a time of right wing militia who have in the past, and still do today, work to defy federal authority, and to claim the Constitution backs them up, which is a total misunderstanding of the nation and its history.

The US government must enforce taxation and control of public lands under the Constitution  and its laws, and must not allow open defiance of such authority!

If the seizure of public lands in Oregon, a federal wildlife refuge, this past weekend, by members of the lawless Bundy family, can be ended peacefully, all to the good!

But one can be sure that if it was black activists or Muslims or Latinos who were occupying and seizing public lands, the outcry would be that they must be removed forcefully from the scene of their illegal actions.

We would have people saying these are terrorists, law breakers, dangers to national security and the rule of law.

So the fact that these are white men is no excuse to allow a pass on enforcement of federal authority!

Negotiations for these rebels, these trouble makers, these law breakers, to leave peacefully and soon must begin, but after a reasonable period of time, the FBI and the ATF and other law enforcement authorities MUST take action, including the use of force, to let all extremist right wing elements to know that the US government will not allow itself to be pushed around by hoodlums, by bullies, by extremists, who want to undermine the authority of our federal government!

150 Years Since Final Confederate Surrender Of Robert E. Lee To Ulysses S. Grant At Appomattox Court House In Virginia, Ending Civil War!

Today, April 9, marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War between the Union and the Confederacy, with General Robert E. Lee, the leading Confederate general, surrendering to Union General and future President Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

This tragic war ended a four year conflict, just three days before its fourth anniversary, having killed an estimated 620,000 men, with the Union military losing about 360,000 and the Confederate military losing about 260,000 men.

The Civil War ended slavery forever, and upheld nationalism over states rights, and was an inspiration to many people in England and France, which saw it as a movement toward the evolution of democracy.

But sadly, the end of the war did not change the minds of many white Southerners, and over the generations, the Democrats of the South continued to promote Jim Crow segregation; brutal lynchings of African Americans and others, including Jews and Catholics; and fought toot and nail against civil liberties and civil rights, while parading the Confederate flag, which even today flies in South Carolina and some other Southern states.

And when civil rights laws were forced on the South fifty years ago under Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democrats lost their tight control of the South, and the Republicans, the party that had freed the slaves under Abraham Lincoln and promoted civil rights under Dwight D. Eisenhower, abandoned their principles and decency and became the new party of Southern resistance to justice and civil rights. Today, all of the Southern governors, with the exception of Virginia, and the Senate, with the exception of the two members from Virginia and one from Florida, are Republicans, working to undermine voting rights and promote racism and nativism at full speed, a total disgrace.

So while we celebrate the end of the Southern rebellion a century and a half ago, in many ways, the rebellion still lives on, poisoning the political atmosphere in many states, and in the national government, and particularly so with the very clear disrespect of Southern office holders for the African American President of the United States, who has been vilified in a manner unlike anyone since Abraham Lincoln!

The Shame Of Alabama, The Republican Party And the Supreme Court On The 50th Anniversary Of The Selma To Montgomery March!

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March of 1965.

On this significant anniversary, three things are clear.

Alabama has NOT shed its image of bigotry!

The Republican Party, many of whose members supported the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is not sending anyone to commemorate this event. Late news reports indicate that former President George W. Bush and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy are to show up, but few other Republicans, and none other than McCarthy in the leadership of the GOP.

And the Supreme Court has contributed to the withering away of the Voting Rights Act by its 2013 decision permitting new voting rights restrictions!

Not only is racial discrimination still very obvious in Alabama and much of the South, but now Alabama is the center of a so called states rights struggle over gay marriage, with the state Supreme Court, headed by George Wallace like Chief Justice Roy Moore ordering that gay marriage be stopped, after a federal judge ordered it go forward, and with the Supreme Court poised to consider the case, which will be decided by June.

So prejudice, discrimination, and the false argument of states rights still reigns in the original home of the Confederate government!

And for the GOP to bypass major representation at this premier civil rights anniversary is to the shame of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

And for the Supreme Court and African American Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Chief Justice John Roberts to promote a weakening of the Voting Rights Act two years ago, and see what it has wrought on voter suppression, is to the shame of the top Court of the land, which has not done its job to uphold the Constitution of the United States!

The Schizoid Supreme Court: All Based On Moods Of John Roberts And Anthony Kennedy!

It is clear that the Roberts Supreme Court is a schizoid body, sometimes doing what is right, and sometimes going totally wrong!

So the Roberts Court upheld the Affordable Care Act; gay marriage; and environmental regulations now–all attacks on states rights in these areas.

But at the same time, they have opened up the political system to corruption by billionaires with recent decisions; have weakened the Voting Rights Act; and have damaged affirmative action, believing that civil rights no longer is a major problem, just as we realize the extent of racism that still exists in America, despite having an African American President!

It all comes down to the mood of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. as the votes of Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, are extremely predictable, based on their own lack of ethics in their business dealings, and their close association with the Koch Brothers, creating a conflict of interest.

If things were legitimate, Justices Scalia and Thomas, in particular, would be facing impeachment and removal from the Court, as they have demonstrated that they are the most obstructive Justices of the past century, only matched by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, but with an argument that they are more right wing than Rehnquist ever was!