Day: July 26, 2013

Harry Truman And Integration Of Armed Forces In 1948: True Beginning Of Modern Civil Rights Movement 65 Years Ago!

On this day in 1948, 65 years ago, President Harry Truman, who had grown up in a traditional Southern Confederate home in Missouri, took a very courageous step, integrating the military by executive order, causing an uproar in the South and in the military itself, but standing by his decision that segregation and second class citizenship in the military must stop, particularly after the major contribution of African Americans during World War II.

This was the first Presidential action since Ulysses S. Grant promoted the Civil Rights Acts during his administration 75 years earlier.

It harmed Truman’s quest for a full term, spurring the creation of the States Rights party (Dixiecrats), and the candidacy of Strom Thurmond for President, and Thurmond won four Southern states and 39 electoral votes, the second best total ever until that time, but Truman pulled out a miraculous victory anyway!

Truman followed up the action on the military, by integrating Washington, DC, which had been ordered segregated by executive order of Woodrow Wilson in 1913!

What Truman did had an effect on the Supreme Court and future Presidents and Congresses, and the civil rights movement owes a lot to the courage and principle and decency of President Truman, who took a stand that could have defeated him, but that he knew was the right thing to do!

60th Anniversary Of Castro Revolution In Cuba: What Is The Future?

60 years ago on this day, Fidel Castro led a failed attempt to seize an army barracks, which is marked as the beginning of his revolutionary uprising against Fulgencio Batista, leading after five and a half years of struggle to his seizure of power in Havana on January 1, 1959.

Fidel Castro gave up power due to medical problems in 2006, after 47 plus years of leadership, but his brother Raul succeeded him, and the Castro dynasty is still in power in Cuba after 54 and a half years, and Fidel Castro will be 87 years of age nest month, and is reported in good health.

Fidel Castro, as evil a man as he is, will go down as the most significant Latin American government leader of the past century of history, with only Juan Peron of Argentina a weak second behind him.

The effect of Cuba on the international scene has been massive, considering the fact that Cuba never made a dent in world affairs before Castro, and we nearly had nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union 51 years ago, a year and a half after a failed American attempt to use Cuban exiles to overthrow him in the Bay of Pigs fiasco!

And our domestic politics has been profoundly affected by the loyalty of the few million Cuban Americans to the Republican Party, making them a distinct Hispanic group in their political behavior, particularly in Florida!

We have also seen three Cuban US Senators–Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Ted Cruz of Texas–who have a great impact in the US Senate, as well as a few in the House of Representatives. Menendez is the lone Cuban Democrat who has made it to a prominent position, Chairman of The Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The question is what will happen when Fidel and Raul Castro leave the scene, at least officially in 2018, according to the plans of Raul Castro to retire. How will Cuba evolve, and how will the United States react to change in Cuba? Will democracy develop in Cuba or come about by a new revolution, or will the Castro influence and Communism persist in Cuba?

This island, just 90 miles from the Florida Keys, will become the center of world politics again very soon, and what happens there will affect America domestically and in foreign affairs for the long term future, just as it has for the past six decades!

The Castro brothers have managed to survive in power through the terms of 11 Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama! It is an amazing story just by that reality!

Minimum Wage Must Be A Living Wage, And Corporations Must Treat Low Wage Workers With Dignity And Respect!

The fight is on for a rise in the minimum wage, so that it is a living wage, and corporations that have low wage work forces must show evidence that they treat their workers with dignity and respect!

Applebee’s, Papa John’s, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steak House and other restaurants have all seen profits fall, and fewer patrons, after they threatened to cut workers down to part time, fewer than 30 hours, so they would not have to provide employer health care for their workers under ObamaCare!

At the same time, Walmart has continued to pay low wages, mistreat its women workers as compared to men, and force their workers onto Medicaid and Food Stamps, because they will not provide benefits to their workers, despite the fact that they are the largest retail corporation in the world, and their four owners of the Walmart dynasty have as much in assets as the bottom 40 percent of the nation’s population combined!

This is the new GILDED AGE all over again, with low wage workers, half of whom are over 25, and majorities being women and minorities, with many having families to support, not just young people who are single and hang out on the streets without responsibilities!

The minimum wage, set up in 1938 under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, at 25 cents per hour, would be today over $22.00 an hour if kept up to the cost of living! Instead it is $7.25 per hour, and the proposal being promoted is to raise it to about $10.00 an hour, which is far from adequate, but essential as a beginning of promoting the ability of workers to support themselves and other family members, and have a sense of dignity and respect from their employers!

And if prices need to go up, so be it, as no one should be exploiting others for the sake of another dollar or less for items, and if enough consumer protests occur, the management, already overpaid and over pricing, will be forced to accept somewhat less than the obscene profits they now earn, making them an elite Gilded Age aristocracy in a country that is supposed to be promoting equality and justice!