Day: October 16, 2009

A Model Federal Judge Dies: Judge William Wayne Justice Of Texas

There are hundreds of federal district court judges, and seldom will one hear much about them on a national level. But Judge William Wayne Justice, who died this week in Austin,Texas, at age 89, was a memorable figure in bringing Texas into the 20th century.

Appointed a district judge by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968, and still presiding over his court recently, Judge Justice asserted a broad liberal view of the judicial role, and in so doing, benefited many Texans.

He promoted the integration of Texas public schools. He advanced major reforms of Texas prisons, which were among the worst in the nation. He asserted the right of illegal immigrant children to an education. He also promoted the reform of the juvenile justice system, integration of public housing, and bilingual education.

Two generations of African American, Mexican American, and poor white children and adults gained basic civil rights that would still be among the worst in the country today, were it not for the actions of Judge Justice. His last name was so appropriate, and although he was not a national figure, he deserves our respect and thanks for the leadership he demonstrated for 41 years!

Rush Limbaugh And The St. Louis Rams Football Team

It is well known that I despise Rush Limbaugh, who I believe has sowed division in this country for the past 21 years on his radio show. He is a detriment to the Republican party’s success and reputation, and has wished for the failure of President Obama, which in my mind is an unpatriotic statement.

Having said that, I think that the concerted campaign by Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and other African American spokesmen to prevent (successfully) the opportunity of Limbaugh to become a partial owner of the St. Louis Rams football team was ill conceived and, to a great extent, based on lies.

Realize that both Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have many “skeletons in their closet”, statements and actions that could be considered by many to be racist and anti semitic. They are not exactly paragons of virtue.

For them to conjure up false statements that Limbaugh never said is dishonest and disgraceful. Yes, Rush has made outrageous statements and claims, and has been and should be condemned for them.

But are we to say that an individual shall be denied the right to make a business deal based on his speech utterances? I say NO, as this is undermining the Bill of Rights that protects all of us, even a despicable character named Rush Limbaugh!

Mixed Race Couples And A Louisiana Judge: Is This 2009 Or Fifty Years Ago?

It is hard to believe that a Justice of the Peace in Southeastern Louisiana refused this past week to perform a marriage ceremony for a mixed race couple, a white female and an African American male.

Are we back in the years before the civil rights movement? Is this refusal another commentary on the fact that our President was the product of a mixed race couple?

Is this another sign of the Old South continuing to rear its ugly head, one of not just anti black, but also anti Jewish, anti Catholic, anti immigrant discrimination?

One has to wonder why this issue has arisen now, when interracial marriages were declared constitutional by the Supreme Court in 1967.

Thank goodness for one fact: No one in today’s political climate is going to remain silent and cover the reputation of a racist bigot. At least, such vermin are fully exposed, but it is a sad day that in the year 2009, we can have such a demonstration of racism and bigotry by an elected official, a part of the court system.

What is necessary now is prompt, swift action to remove this disgrace of a judge from public office! Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu has called for his removal, but we have not yet heard from Republican Senator David Vitter. Hmm, one wonders why?

The Urgent Need For Job Creation And Aid To Small Businesses: Are You Listening, President Obama?

It is shocking to see the stock market flourishing, with a 3,500 point gain in seven months, and some banks reporting record profits. It is also disgraceful to see some financial institutions and insurance companies paying outrageous bonuses to their executives. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate flirts with ten percent, foreclosures are setting a record, and more people are facing poverty they had never experienced before. We are in mortal danger of making the “Great Recession” turn into the “Great Depression 2”!

Nine months into the Obama Presidency, it is clear not enough has been done to help ordinary Americans, and it is now essential that direct and quick action be taken to promote jobs and give aid to small businesses, not just the big corporations.

Aid to small businesses would promote job creation, and therefore low interest loans to allow small business to expand is a priority. Something must also be done to force banks, which have received federal money, to start opening up their money to expanded credit investments at reasonable interest rates.

More must be done to keep people in their homes, as if nothing is done on the massive foreclosure issue, it only downgrades all of us who are able to pay our mortgages. Everyone is the victim long term if we allow “nature” to take its course.

It is clear that if the national economic crisis does not start to turn around, we are in danger of widespread violence (already starting to emerge) and the possibility of a right wing whacko succeeding Obama, and the likelihood of a turn far worse in domestic and international affairs.

So, President Obama, focus on the workers and small businesses of this country. Stop concerning yourself with Wall Street bankers and the power elite. In fact, do what Franklin D. Roosevelt did in 1935–switch from a comparatively conservative economic approach of flirting with big business, and change your focus to deal with the massive crisis facing ordinary American citizens.

Just as FDR moved from the so called “First New Deal” to the more productive “Second New Deal”, it is time for Barack Obama to do the same thing now. If you do, the American people will be with you and against the banks, corporations, and Wall Street.

We are reaching a turning point, and the President needs to change direction, and focus on the reality that more must be done for the ordinary American citizen and small businessman!

The Swine Flu Crisis Magnifies: Time For Decisive Public Relations Campaign

It is now clear that the H1N1 Flu virus is becoming a public menace, and it is evident that those who get this virus are increasingly becoming more susceptible to a severe Pneumonia virus deep in the lungs, therefore threatening a high death toll.

Are we going to allow moronic health care workers who refuse to get vaccinated, and religious zealots who hate science and medicine and are suspicious of government to put their children under threat because of their irrational views?

It is necessary to mount a massive public relations campaign to get all children and the elderly and the medically endangered to get this vaccination. We are, otherwise, liable to have a national disaster that will lead to a lot of recriminations later!

Banning Smoking In Public Places Essential, Based On New Evidence

A new scientific study demonstrates that public bans on smoking lower the number of people who have heart attacks and heart disease.

Not only those who smoke, but also those exposed to second hand smoke benefit when there is a ban on smoking in theaters, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls and other public venues.

Seventeen states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC ban smoking in bars, restaurants and work places, while fourteen states ban it in one or two of the three locations mentioned above. Also, 350 cities and towns have similar bans.

Such a ban would cut health care costs dramatically, and realize that it would affect all Americans, as we end up paying for those who land in hospitals and other medical facilities because of their habit.

The war against tobacco in public places must be waged ferociously!

Sarah Palin To Campaign For Rick Perry: How Low We Have Gone In American Politics!

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has agreed to campaign for embattled Texas Governor Rick Perry in his March 2010 primary fight against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

So a woman who has become the favorite of the extreme Right now will speak up for a governor who is trying to cover up a mistake on capital punishment, and has spoken up in support of secession of his state from the United States!

Is there anything more insane than this? These two mediocrities, these two embarrassments to our political system, these two examples of the dumbing down of American politics are working in support of each other, as if they have a positive message for their states and for America.

While we are at it, I suggest that Governor Perry invite South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, Nevada Senator John Ensign, Louisiana Senator David Vitter, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and even former Idaho Senator Larry Craig to come and campaign for a “true conservative”!

IF this is the conservative alternative in America, then the Republican party is in for a bigger defeat in 2012, and maybe the end of their party as the opposition. Maybe a new moderate centrist party is in the offing as the challenge to the Democrats. We shall see!