Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Name:
Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Truth


Charlotte Aldebron wrote "What the American Flag Stands For" at 12 years of age.  It brings to mind Hans Christian Anderson's "The Emperor's New Clothes," in which a child is the only one to speak the truth.

"The American flag stands for the the fact that cloth can be very important.  It is against the law to let the flag touch the ground or leave the flag flying when the weather is bad.  The flag has to be treated with respect.  You can tell just how important this cloth is because when you compare it to people, it gets much better treatment.  Nobody cares if a homeless person touches the ground.  A homeless person can lie all over the ground all night long without anyone picking him up, folding him neatly and sheltering him from the rain.  School children have to pledge loyalty to this piece of cloth every morning.  No one has to promise that people will get a fair wage, or enough food to eat, or affordable medicine, or clean water, or air free from harmful chemicals.  But we all have to promise to love a rectangle of red, white, and blue cloth.”

In his book "Had Enough?", James Carville tells of Conservative Alabama Governor Riley; who cites his Christian faith; and called for the largest tax hike in Alabama history, largely on the backs of the wealthy for the benefit of the poor. Riley wrote: "Alabamians are faithful people who believe that creating a better world for our children and helping our neighbors are both sacred duties...Jesus says one of our missions is to take care of the least among us." That tax plan lost because of Republicans.

Unconscionable tax cuts and subsidies for the very wealthy, and profitable corporations tarnishes both "Old Glory" and Christianity.

Friday, May 30, 2014

West Point Speech


Recently, President Obama traveled to West Point to congratulate the newest officers in the United States Army and to reflect on America's foreign policy agenda.  He acknowledged that our world is changing with accelerating speed and that America must be equipped to respond to an increasingly dynamic environment.
He spent most of his speech outlining his vision for how the United States, and our military, should lead in the years to come.  He believes the four elements of American leadership included:
1. Using military force when our core interests are at stake or our people are threatened.
2. Shifting our counter-terrorism strategy by more effectively partnering with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold.
3. Continuing to strengthen and enforce international order through evolving our institutions, such as NATO and the United Nations.
4. Supporting democracy and human rights around the globe, not only as a matter of idealism, but one of national security
President Obama insisted that our country is a global leader, a nation that "must always lead on the world stage.  It will be your generation's task to respond to this new world.  The question we face; the question you will face; is not whether America will lead, but how we will lead, not just to secure our peace and prosperity, but also to extend peace and prosperity around the globe.
“Ultimately, global leadership requires us to see the world as it is, with all its danger and uncertainty.  But American leadership also requires us to see the world as it should be; a place where the aspirations of individual human beings matter; where hopes and not just fears govern; where the truths written into our founding documents can steer the currents of history in the direction of justice.  And we cannot do that without you.”

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Rejecting Reality


Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio announced: “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate.  I do not believe that the laws that they proposed we passed will do anything about it.”

The National Climate Assessment has been released.  It was a three year study, that included input from over 300 of our best climate scientists.  Nevertheless, Rubio, who thinks, that he’s ready to be President has no proposals to abate climate change, but instead contradicts the findings of respected scientists.  Rubio is sending a message to his conservative base that reject nearly all of those scientific studies. 

Scientists are telling us that time is running out and unless we move away from fossil fuel toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy, our children and our grandchildren are going to be living on a very inhospitable planet.

Scientists have reported, that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a crucial milestone.  Instruments show that CO2 has reached an average daily level above 400 parts per million.  Evidence suggests the amount of CO2 in the air hasn’t been this high for at least three million years.  Scientists believe the rise foretells dangerous changes in the climate and the level of the sea.

Dr. Ralph Keeling runs a monitoring program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  His father, Charles David Keeling, began carbon dioxide measurements on Mauna Loa in the late 1950s.   The elder Dr. Keeling found a level in the air then of about 315 parts per million — meaning that if a person had filled a million quart jars with air, about 315 quart jars of carbon dioxide would have been mixed in.

These new measurement came from analyzers atop Maura Lao, the volcano on the big island of Hawaii that has long been ground zero for monitoring the worldwide trend on carbon dioxide.  Devices there sample clean, crisp air that has blown thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean, producing a record of rising carbon dioxide levels that has been closely tracked for over half a century.

For the entire period of human civilization, roughly 8,000 years, the carbon dioxide level was relatively stable.  But the burning of fossil fuels has caused a 41% increase in CO2, the heat-trapping gas since the Industrial Revolution.  Scientists claim the climate is beginning to react, and they’re expecting much larger changes in the near future.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Kynect


President Obama pointed out: “There`s a story that came out of Kentucky where some folks were signing people up at a county fair somewhere and some guy goes up and he starts looking at the rates and decided he was going to sign up, and he turns to his friend and said, this is a great deal.  This is a lot better than Obamacare -- which is fine, because I don’t have pride of authorship.  I just want the thing to work.”

In the last election, Obama lost Kentucky by 23 points, so Kentucky officials decided to give that state’s health care exchange the unrelated name, “Kynect.”  Kynect has turned out to be a great success with more than 413,000 Kentuckians purchasing insurance or qualifying for Medicaid, and 75 percent of them were people who lacked health insurance before “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” became law.

The story Obama told was anecdotal, but a new NBC News poll found that while Obamacare remains unpopular in Kentucky, with a 57 percent unfavorable rating, Kynect which is merely Obamacare under a different name has a 29 percent favorable rating and a 22 percent unfavorable rating.

The Republican message that Obamacare is a disaster continues to resonate in the minds of many people especially in red states.  However, the good news is that when the healthcare law is depoliticized in a deep red state like Kentucky, it’s seen as a lot better.

Apparently, House Republicans not planning any votes or hearings on the health care law.  Polling on Kynect may serve as a preview regarding how an increasing number of Americans will view Obamacare in the future.

Elisabeth Jensen is the Democratic candidate for Kentucky’s sixth congressional district.  In a radio ad against the Republican incumbent Andy Barr, she said: “Thanks to Governor Beshear, Kentucky Kynect provides health care to Kentuckians who had no insurance.  But Barr, along with Mitch McConnell vote to end Kynect and let insurance companies drop coverage, deny care and charge women more.”

Although, there are 413,000 Kentuckians enrolled in the healthcare program, Andy Barr has voted 19 times to end Kentucky Kynect.  According to Elisabeth Jensen, Kentucky is at the top of the list of obesity, heart disease, and lung cancer.  She added: “it’s wrong for them to fight against this for so long, and they’re going to have to take the blame for that.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fast Food Workers


Fast food workers across the country have walked off the job for the third time this year.   They want a livable wage, and it’s not $10.10.  It’s $15 an hour.  They’re saying that their work is creating wealth, but so far, they haven’t gotten any of that wealth. 

Employees from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Dunkin’ Donuts and Domino’s are organizing, because many fast food workers have to survive on $7.25 an hour. They’re forced to apply for public assistance, and taxpayers end up paying the bill.  Taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for corporate greed.

The average fast food worker in America makes $8.94 an hour, which is roughly $18,000 a year.  That’s not a livable wage.

A study by the University of Berkeley show 52 percent of fast food workers rely on government assistance.  Low wages for workers cost taxpayers $7 billion a year.  Our tax money shouldn’t be going for Medicaid and food stamps, because the people at the top of these fast food corporations are raking in enormous profits, and their CEOs are making huge salaries.

After taxes in 2013, McDonald’s made $5.6 billion in profit.  Their CEO took home $7.7 million.  Wendy’s made $45.5 million in profit, their CEO made $5.5 million.  Domino’s Pizza raked in $143 million in profit, and its CEO took home $10.5 million. 

Research shows fast food CEOs receive 1,000 times more than what their average worker makes.  This is a disturbing example of greed and social injustice.  Corporations care about only one thing and that is a return for the shareholders.  There should be some social consciousness amongst these corporations, who can clearly afford to pay enough to get their workers off government assistance.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day


During the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on May 2, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres.  An exploding German artillery shell landed near him.  He was serving in the same Canadian artillery unit as a friend of his, the Canadian military doctor and artillery commander.
The brigade doctor, Major John McCrae was asked to conduct the burial service for Alexis, because the chaplain had been called away somewhere else on duty that evening.  It is believed that later that evening, after the burial, McCrae began the draft for his now famous poem “In Flanders Fields.”

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Canadian Energy Project


The Nanaimo Daily News in British Columbia has reported that Canada’s hydro electric program is in deep financial trouble, because it’s $8 billion dam project has been stalled because of a lack of funding.  It’s estimated, that 450,000 homes could see their energy costs go up significantly unless they do something soon.

The reason the Canadian government is pushing so hard for the XL pipeline is that it has been estimated the project would add $617.4 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product.  The pipeline creates a huge risk to the quality of our air and water.  We take all the risk and the Canadians get all the reward.  

NASA climate scientist Dr. James Hansen insists: “Tar sands are among the dirtiest and most carbon intensive fuels.  It makes no sense to setup a system to exploit them in a major way.  If we don’t approve it, a lot of that tar sands will never be developed.

“The world is going to realize pretty soon that we’ve got to limit the amount of carbon we put in the atmosphere and must going to have to do that via a price on carbon and that’s going to cause the most carbon intensive things to get left in the ground and that includes tar sands.”

Tar sands oil is one of the most toxic fuels on the planet.  Oil companies have to heat the sands with toxic additives to extract it from the ground, and the process creates three times more carbon emissions than conventional oil.
Congressman Lee Terry of Nebraska sent an e-mail to his constituents saying that their monthly energy bill would go down if the Keystone XL pipeline was built. 

Nowhere is there any guarantee, that people’s energy prices will go down if the pipeline is built.  The price of that oil will be speculated on Wall Street.  TransCanada want their massive 36-inch pipeline to cut through the farms and ranches in Nebraska, because it’s the easiest path to the Gulf Coast refineries. 

The oil will go straight to the export market, since the refineries that are capable of handling tar sand oil are all export refineries.  And, one of them owned by Saudi Arabia. 

Only Canada and foreign countries would benefit from the XL pipeline.  It’s estimated, that Canada’s mega energy company, TransCanada could make $2 billion a year in revenue from the pipeline.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Unconditional Love


The Lord’s Prayer has been called the summary of the gospel.  Although, I’m an agnostic the phrase: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us” has helped me to realize happiness comes from finding peace within and to recognize that hate is like a powerful acid, which does more harm to the container, than that upon which it is spewed.

I practice my skepticism with an abundance of love and mutual respect.  It’s not religion, that I disapprove of, it’s the compulsion of religious zealots to shove their religious believes down the throats of others.

Unquestionably, sometimes our relatives do things, to arouse other people's anger.  The problem isn’t merely hurt feelings, but the repeated vilification of another person, that tends to close the door on the possibility of loving thy neighbor, or at times your own relative.

Robert Reich wrote: “the greatest conflict of the 21st century is between; those who believe in science, reason and logic and those who believe that truth is revealed through scripture and religious dogma.”

The truth revealed through scripture is subjective truth predicated by one’s faith.  By definition faith is belief in God, and in the doctrines or teachings of religion.  Therefore, faith is the antithesis of skepticism, distrust and objective truth.  I have become skeptical and distrustful of most religions, because they stifle freedom of thought, and blinds the righteous to the role faith plays in perpetuating human conflict.

Historical, arguments bolstered by faith and tradition have been made to support slavery and dismiss as heresy, the heliocentric view of the solar system.  Objective truth is not affected by faith, or tradition.  Logic suggests that God would expect us to acquire vast amounts of objective information and make maximum use our ability to reason.  Whenever, we use scientific methods, reason and logic, we are making use of the greatest gift a Supreme Being could bestowed upon mankind.

The purpose of education should be to develop critical thinking, which enables a person to evaluate all sources and come to reasonable conclusions.  I’ve concluded that “the greatest thing, that you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

Friday, May 23, 2014

Aging Infrastructure


There are some things we can only do as a nation, in order to keep pace with the times.  Republican President Dwight Eisenhower launched the massive government undertaking known as the Interstate Highway System.

Those that claim government is inherently bad ignore the fact, that in a democracy, government is us.  We have the power to choose our leaders, change our laws, and shape our own destiny.  Rebuilding our nations infrastructure will put construction workers back to work, and also improve the quality of life in communities across our country.

President Obama pointed out: “There’s no reason for Republicans in Congress to stand in the way of more construction projects.  There’s no reason to stand in the way of more jobs.”

If Republicans fails to act, federal funding for the highway trust fund could run out in August.  They’d be putting nearly 700,000 good paying jobs at risk.  And, thousands of America’s roadways and bridges are in need of repair.

In 2007, thirteen people died when a bridge in Minneapolis suddenly collapsed during rush hour.  More tragedies caused by crumbling bridges are avoidable if Republicans agree to invest in the future of America.

Recently, President Obama visited New York’s nearly 60-year-old Tappan Zee bridge.  He noted: “We’ve gotten so partisan, everything’s become political.  They’re more interested in saying no because they’re worried that maybe, they would have to be at a bill signing with me, than they are at actually doing a job that they know would be good for America.”

At current spending levels, it would take 80 years for our country to address all of the 70,000 bridges that are in need work.  Congressional Republicans shouldn’t wait until after the election to work with President Obama to pass a $302 billion highway trust fund bill. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Falling Behind

For middle-class American, the median per capita income has stagnated since 2000, but incomes are up for the typical Canada and Northern Europe worker.  In many ways, Canadians and citizens of several European nations are doing better than middle- class Americans.

For example most of them get free health care, subsidized childcare, and if they lose their jobs, they get more generous unemployment benefits.  Presently, 75 percent of jobless Americans lack unemployment benefits.  

Most Canadian citizens and Northern Europeans get at least three weeks paid vacation, paid sick leave, and paid parental leave.

 According to data compiled by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, our citizens are working an average of 4.6 percent more hours more than the typical Canadian worker, 21 percent more than the typical French worker, and 28 percent more than the typical German worker.
Canadians and Northern Europeans live longer, their infant mortality rate is lower, and women in those countries are far less likely to die as result of complications in pregnancy or childbirth.
Poor children in those countries have a better chance of getting ahead.  In fact, 42 percent of children born into poor America families remain poor, but only 30 percent of Britain’s poor children remain impoverished.  
Our children between the ages of 16 and 24 rank near the bottom among rich countries in literacy and math.  That spells trouble for our future economy.  Canada and European doing better job at training more skilled workers. 
Their CEOs take home far less than their American counterparts, and wealthy Americans pay much lower taxes than do the rich in Canada and Europe.  
The choice in November isn’t between capitalism and welfare-state socialism.  It’s between a system that’s working for a few at the top, or one that’s working for the rest of American.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It’s Gotten Worse


First, the Supreme Court has made it easier for super-rich corporate donors to buy elections, by opening the flood gates for corporations to spend massive amounts of  money.  
Now, things have gotten much worse.  By a 5-4 vote the Supreme Court voted to give super-rich individuals even more power, much like Citizens United did for corporations.  The McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling means the super-rich can dole out up to $5.9 million,(the limit had been $123,000) per election cycle to political candidates and parties.
Reportedly, America’s 25 richest families were worth a combined $418 billion in 2009.  However, according to the Associated Press: "95 percent of the income gains reported since 2009 have gone to the top 1 percent."
The Waltons are America’s richest family.  The 6 heirs to the Walton fortune were worth $90 billion back in 2009.
Two of four Koch brothers, David and Charles own 42% each of the second largest privately held company in America.  Corporate activists like the Koch Brothers have proven they aren't going to go away quietly. They're hoping to overwhelm the progressive movement by sheer force of purchasing power.  They think that if they buy enough ads, elected officials and judicial decisions, that the working class will eventually give up and allow them cement their control over our democracy.  This is a big step in a right-wing campaign to turn our democracy into a government of, by, and for the super-rich.
Once again, the voices of average working Americans are at risk of being drowned out of the political discussion by a new flood of special interest cash.  Many of us believe that in a democracy, that the size of your wallet should not determine the volume of your voice.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Richard Clarke’s Opinion


A review board headed by Mike Mullen and Tom Pickering investigated the Benghazi attack.  Mullen was a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Pickering was an eight-time ambassador.  Both were non-partisan career federal employees, each of whom had served over 40 years, one in the military, and the other in the foreign service.  They provided a series of recommendations, that are being implemented. 

Career counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke served under four presidents beginning as an analyst on nuclear weapons under Reagan and established a record for continuous service in national security policy positions.  Clarke believes, that there is nothing more that can be learn from another House committee investigation of Benghazi.  He insists: “This has been completely examined, examined many times.  And we shouldn’t even dignify this with pretending that it’s a serious effort.  The fact of the matter is everyone in Washington, on both sides of the aisle, knows this is a political stunt, and that’s all that it is.  It’s a political stunt using the lives of dead Americans, and there’s no reason in my mind to give the Republicans or anybody who says that this is serious any credibility whatsoever.  Just call it for what it is.

“Look, the truth is Chris Stevens was a great ambassador.  But Chris Stevens knowingly took a risk that resulted in his death.  People are reluctant to say that.  But that’s the truth.  There’s nothing beyond that.

“We have 500 diplomatic missions, consulates, and embassies around the world.  The notion that we have a Defense Department SWAT team on standby that can rush in a matter of hours to save every one of those missions is foolishness.  And professionals know that. There was no backup.  There was no way that you could get military forces
in there in time.

“And even if you had, what would they have done at that point by the time they arrived?  This has all been examined five ways from Friday.  The only point of continuing this discussion is to try to smear the former Secretary of State, who wasn’t involved in any of this decision-making.  That’s all this is about.

“I had two embassies blown up on my watch.  Every administration has embassies attacked and diplomats killed.  Ronald Reagan had a heck of a lot of diplomats killed on his watch.  Nothing like this ever happened, because it used to be that these issues of national security were non-partisan.  And one looked at the facts.”  

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Slippery Politician


The Consumer Protection Bureau is protecting consumers from those banks, credit card companies, mortgage lenders and student loan lenders, who had been cheating us for years.
Congressman Gibson voted to dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which works to level the playing field for everyday consumers and hold big banks and other financial institutions accountable.  Weakening the CFPB undermines its ability to protect American families from unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts.
According to the Federal Elections Commission, Gibson accepting $20,000 from Goldman Sachs, $18,500 from Bank of America, and $14,000 from JB Morgan.  Perhaps, those donations had something to do with Gibson voting against Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Actually, he votes the way Speaker Boehner tells him to vote.
Ten days into the government shutdown, Congressman Gibson told WNYT: “In my view, this shutdown should’ve never happened in the first place.“  Nevertheless, he voted for that government shutdown, including 16 votes against reopening our government.  According to CNN Money that 16-day shutdown “took a $24 billion chunk out of the US economy.”
Gibson insisted: “The tax code is unfair to small businesses and we need to close corporate tax loopholes.”  However, he voted against consideration of the Big Oil Welfare Repeal Act to End Tax Deductions for Oil Companies.  The bill would have amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to disallow the deduction for income attributable to domestic production activities with respect to oil and gas activities of major integrated oil companies.
On 6/9/10, Chris Gibson signed the Americans for Prosperity climate pledge to take no meaningful action on climate change if it would hurt Big Oil companies, that pledge is commonly known as the Koch brother’s pledge.  Rather than break his pledge, he voted in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Keep Pushing


Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is a socialist, who was recently asked on national T.V. about the chances of Congress passing minimum wage legislation in the next six months, and before the 2014 election.

Senator Sanders replied: “Well, I think you’re hearing some of the more sophisticated political Republicans understanding that if the Republicans continue to reject a raise in the minimum of wage, it’s going to hurt significantly.  Most Americans know that $7.25, an hour the national minimum wage is a starvation wage. And now, we’re beginning to hear some Republicans who say, ‘Look, you guys voted against extending long-term unemployment, you want to cut Medicaid, you want to transform Medicaid, you want to cut back on education, and now, you don’t want to raise the minimum wage? We’re not going to get a lot of votes doing that.’

“So I think, we keep pushing this issue.  I think we’re going to win. And at the end of the day, I think we will raise the minimum wage.  I think that some of these guys understand quite correctly that the Republican Party is identified with the top 1 percent more tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, more throwing Americans out of work and moving to China.  And if they want to win elections, they need to start paying some attention and needs of low income and working families.”

“Well, what I think has to change is that millions and millions of people have got to tell the Republican leadership and members of Congress that it is unconscionable that when people are making poverty wages that they were not raising the minimum wage, as you well know, compared to 1968.  If the minimum wage went up with inflation, it would today be somewhere around $10.50 an hour.”

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Freedom Schools


The following is an excerpt from an column written by Marian Wright Edelman.
“As a brand new law school graduate in 1963 I was fortunate enough to receive one of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF)’s first two fellowships to help young attorneys seeking to practice in the South. After a year of intensive preparation at LDF’s New York City headquarters under the tutelage of an extraordinarily gifted and committed band of attorneys, I opened a law office in Jackson, Mississippi. God was headed south to Mississippi and Alabama and Georgia and I went along for the scariest, most exhilarating, most rewarding, and most challenging years any human being could hope for. I moved to Mississippi at an extraordinary moment—just in time to witness firsthand and assist the unfolding of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project.
“The Mississippi Freedom Summer Project engaged college students from around the country to work together with local Black community members to open up Mississippi’s closed society and demand basic human and civil rights for all Mississippians. Hundreds of White middle-class students brought visibility to the too long invisible and incredibly courageous struggles of Mississippi’s Black citizens for simple justice and the right to vote. While attending one of the training sessions at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio designed to prepare the White students for Mississippi’s harsh realities the horrible news of the disappearance of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner after the three had left the Ohio training to return to Mississippi to investigate the burning of Mount Zion Methodist Church in Neshoba County reached us. Mount Zion Methodist Church was a planned Freedom School site in that county. A huge pall and fear swept over all of us after hearing about their disappearance. Bob Moses urged everyone to think hard about the grave dangers involved in the summer project and whether they still wanted to participate. A very few went home. Most determined to continue in the movement that over the next few months laid the groundwork for transforming Mississippi and ultimately our nation.
“The Freedom Schools were designed to keep Black children and youths out of harm’s way and give them a richer education experience than Mississippi public schools offered them. Some of the student Freedom Summer volunteers were trained to teach in these “schools,” held in church basements, on back porches, in parks, and even under trees. I remember visiting a Freedom School under a tall old oak tree in Greenwood, Mississippi and hearing Pete Seeger sing. They provided reading instruction, a humanities curriculum including creative writing, a general mathematics and science curriculum, and even French. They also taught subjects the public schools did not, including Black history and constitutional rights, and covered the freedom movement in detail—encouraging students to be independent thinkers and problem solvers and become agents of social change in their own communities. More than 3,000 children, teens, and some adults attended the Freedom Schools that summer.
“Over twenty years ago the Children’s Defense Fund began proudly drawing on the 1964 Freedom Schools tradition, and this summer’s CDF Freedom Schools® theme is “Freedom Summer to Freedom Schools: Changing the Odds for Children,” honoring the 50th anniversary of the historic Mississippi Freedom Summer.
“The CDF Freedom Schools program seeks to build strong, literate, and empowered children prepared to make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, nation, and world today. By providing summer and after-school reading enrichment for children who might otherwise not have access to books, Freedom Schools play a much needed role in helping curb summer learning loss and close achievement gaps. The CDF Freedom Schools program also gives children safe spaces and they are taught by college student mentors from the communities where they live and who look like them. It’s hard to be what you can’t see. The program provides an exciting integrated reading curriculum including carefully chosen developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant books. One child characterized them as “being about our lives and giving us hope.” Children receive two meals and a snack every day in the summer program. Parents are engaged through weekly workshops and child “scholars” are taught nonviolent conflict resolution and critical thinking skills and required to engage in community service and social action projects. They learn that they are not citizens in waiting but can make a difference right now.
“For a week every June college age servant leader interns and Freedom Schools site coordinators attend the Ella Baker Child Policy Training Institute at CDF’s Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee (near Knoxville) to prepare to teach and lead at Freedom Schools sites. Approximately 1,450 college age servant leaders and site coordinators will participate this year. The Freedom Schools program is a servant leadership incubator for two generations—the children served and the college servant leaders who teach and serve them. I am proud that many of our college age servant leaders have gone on to become committed teachers and school administrators. We are eager to help prepare a pipeline of desperately needed Black and Latino male teachers for our nation’s public schools.”

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Working Poor


Recently, President Obama reported: “Our businesses as of now created 9.2 million new jobs over 50 consecutive months.”

Republicans insist that if we give more tax breaks to millionaires and large corporations our economy will create millions of good paying jobs.  Actually, during the first five years, of George W. Bush’s presidency tax cuts legislation was passed, which mostly benefited the very wealthy.  The richest 1% of Americans saw their income go up an average of more than 10 percent each year.  As the rich got richer, the middle class saw their income stay the same, and the number of people in poverty increased.

If we had a minimum wage, that kept pace with inflation, since 1968, the minimum wage today would be $10.50 an hour.  Obama wants Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, because there are too many working families struggling, and are being left behind in today’s economy.  

Economist understand that most of the GDP is dependent on consumer spending, and when people don’t have money to spend, we’re not going to create the kinds of jobs that we must create.

Congressional Republicans represent the interest of the very wealthy and have turned their backs on working families.  They’re the same people who believe that it’s not Congress’s job to provide healthcare, or make sure that when workers are on the job, they have safe working conditions.  They’re the same members of Congress who believe that it’s not Congress’s responsibility to maintain Social Security.  They include extreme right-wingers who believe we should abolish the concept of the minimum wage, and allow people to work for 4 dollars an hour.  Basically, they want to make sure that our government isn’t doing anything to protect the elderly, working families, children, and the poor.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Significant Repercussions


Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired Army Colonel and a former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell.  

When asked: “Do you think Americans care about Benghazi?  He answered: “Of course Americans care, at least a great majority of them do.  I think the Accountability Review Board headed by a career ambassador, Tom Pickering and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, whom I have a great deal of respect, have looked at Benghazi thoroughly and made their recommendations, which are being implemented.  

“We shouldn’t forget that the host nations are real security for our consulates and embassies, and the Libyans failed miserably.  In his press conference, Tom Pickering talked about a classified aspect, that they weren’t allowed to look into, because the classified aspect might reveal that the CIA has more capability than we’re seeing.

“At the State Department, Secretary Powell and I knew that one of the biggest challenges we had was that Congress cuts the money, allocated for security enhancement every time a budget is submitted.  If money had been let out in accordance with the way those recommendations went, we would have a lot better security situation in every consulate and embassy that the United States runs in the world today and that is a statement of fact.”

“It’s very difficult to handle a crisis.  And you take the talking point from whomever you can get them who is on the scene.  And this case, the CIA provided most of the talking points Susan Rice used.  Those talking points turned out to be wrong as they often do.  I don’t find that to be a great problem.  I do find it to be an enormous problem in my political party.  I’m still a Republican, and I find it an enormous problem that after something like the Benghazi tragedy, Republicans don’t go after something that is a colossal tragedy like the war crimes of Richard Bruce Cheney.

“I think we’re going to regret the fact that we actually condoned torture in the world.  We set human rights and international criminal justice back.  We were supposed to be the leaders.  Now, we’re the laughingstock of the world.
“This has significant repercussions for the United States and George Bush and Dick Cheney are largely responsible for it.  And the fact that I was a member of that administration will haunt me to the grave.”

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Our Goal


The following excerpt is from a speech made by President Obama on 5/9/14.
“One of the biggest factors in bringing jobs back to America has been our commitment to American energy over the last five years.  When I took office, we set out to break our dependence on foreign oil.  Today, America is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades.  We generate more renewable energy than ever, with tens of thousands of good American jobs to show for it.  We produce more natural gas than anyone -- and nearly everybody’s energy bill is lower because of it.  So are our carbon emissions that cause climate change.
“We set new fuel standards for our cars and trucks so that they’ll go twice as far on a gallon of gas by the middle of the next decade.  That saves the typical family about $8,000 at the pump.  And for the first time in nearly 20 years, America produces more oil here at home than we buy from other countries. 
“So we’re producing more traditional energy, but we’re also becoming a leader in the energy sources of the future.  We’re becoming a global leader in solar, thanks in part to the investments we’ve made in the Recovery Act.  Over the past few years, the cost of solar panels have fallen by 60 percent; solar installations have increased by 500 percent.  Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar, and every panel is pounded into place by a worker whose job cannot be overseas.
“So today, no matter where you live or where you do business, solar is getting cheaper and is getting easier to use than before.  And with more businesses and rural cooperatives and homes choosing solar, prices keep coming down, manufacturers keep getting more innovative, and more jobs are created.  Last year, jobs in the solar industry increased by 20 percent.

“But we’ve got more work to do.  And I want to work with Congress to do it.  Unfortunately, Congress has not always been as visionary on these issues as we would like.  It can be a little frustrating.  But in this Year of Action, wherever I can go ahead and create my own opportunities for new jobs, I'm going to take it.” 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bully Tactic


Apparently, Congress has reached a point where a deal has to be reached to ensure billionaires will make more money, so that the working poor can get paid $10.10 hour.

If congressional Republicans are going to hold Democrats hostage on climate change, they could be digging their own grave.  The Keystone XL pipeline isn’t a job creator, the oil isn’t clean and there’s no guarantee the TransCanada won’t be sold to a foreign country.

Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse insists: “I think the Keystone project should fall on its own merits.  The effort that the coal and oil industry is making to big foot through congress with the old fashion techniques of arm twisting and bullying and throwing money around is really unpleasant to watch and it’s wrong on the facts.  It’s really a contest between the science and the truth and taking care of our children and grandchildren.  And a lobby that’s using every tactic it can get its hands on to try to bully it’s way through this issue.

“At some point we’ve got to stand for something, and stand up for what’s true and for what’s going to matter to our grandchildren and not just a quick hit from the oil company lobbyist.”

In an interview, Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III has said regarding global warming: “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen, that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.
“You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level.  Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past.  We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific.  The average is about 17.”

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hilda Holbrook


In a letter to the editor, Hilda Holbrook wrote: “The Bible tells us in 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 3 verse 10: ”That, if any will not work, neither should he eat.” 

Last year, Tennessee’s Republican Congressman Steven Fincher used that same biblical quote to argue for cutting food stamps.  Although, Fincher has repeatedly insisted that he hates socialism, both he and his family have been living off more than $3.5 million in agriculture subsidies dollars for generations.
Notwithstanding the fact, that 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty, and forty-five percent of the beneficiaries of food stamps are children, Delhi’s Congressman Gibson voted to cut food stamps by $40 billion.
Grazing cattle on private land would have cost Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy about $25 to graze a cow and calf per month.  For 20 years, Bundy has been a government freeloader, who put 500 head of cattle on federal land, and has repeatedly refused to pay the $1.35 per month fee.  A subsidy, that according to court decisions amounts to $1 million dollars.
Many profitable corporations like Walmart pay a subminimum wage, that is worth what the minimum wage was in 1968.  The cost for taxpayers amounts to $7 billion in food stamps every year, because most Walmart employees don’t earn enough money to stay out of poverty.
Subsidies for profitable oil corporations are costing taxpayers $21 billion a year.  Oil subsides were meant to bolster an “emerging” industry a 100 years ago.  Cumulatively, oil companies have benefitted from trillions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies over the last century.
Some Republicans want to repeal estate taxes, that only impacts the top three tenths of one percent of the very wealthy.  Inherited wealth isn’t earned, and serves to concentrate wealth at the very top.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

No Deal


Republican Senator John Thune announced: “I voted for minimum wage increases in the past when they were coupled with things that we thought actually would create jobs.  The problem that we have and I’m somebody who worked for minimum wage.  I think a lot of people can identify and associate with people who are working at minimum wage levels.  A lot of those people are going to younger people, first job, and entry level jobs.  In my state, South Dakota a lot of seasonal work, we need those jobs.  And some of those jobs are going to go away if you raise the minimum wage. 
“Now, having said that I think that if you are looking at 40 hour work week and going back to that, doing some things on Keystone, things that we actually believe will create jobs.  That will be a discussion I think Republicans would be willing to have.  But right now we’re not getting any indication from the Democrat leadership in the Senate that their willing to entertain votes on those issues.”

Senator Thune wants to promote a deal, that would do something for the working poor, but only if he can first make sure that the Koch brothers make billions of dollar.  He wants Senate Democrats, and President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, in order to raise the minimum wage.

The Koch brothers have a huge financial interest in the pipeline, and will profit billions.  Then, they’ll throw millions into our political process to make our country even more of an oligarchy.

Congressional Republicans refuse to acknowledge a single issue that can stand on it’s own merits like paying hard working Americans a livable wage.  Climate change needs to stand on its own merits, and so does an increase in the minimum wage.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

National Climate Assessment


On May 6th, the Obama administration released a third national climate assessment, which is the most authoritative and comprehensive source of scientific information to date.  Climate change has impacted all regions of our country and critical sectors of the economy.
Over the past four years, hundreds of scientists, business experts, and local communities have contributed to developing a comprehensive climate assessment.  They’ve reported that climate change is happening, now.  More severe floods, droughts and wildfires are affecting every sector of our economy, by costing cities, states, families and businesses a lot of money.
Walmart has already got the most installed on-site solar capacity of any company in America.  Recently, they announced plans to double that capacity.  Their goal is to buy or produce 7 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy by 2020, because it is expected to save Walmart $1 billion a year in energy costs.
The Treasury Department and the IRS are making it easier for renewable energy companies to operate and attract investment.  The Obama administration is going to support training programs at community colleges across the country that will help 50,000 workers learn the skills that solar companies are already looking. 
Corporations and government have been demonstrating that there are cost-effective ways to tackle climate change and create jobs at the same time. 
It’s become obvious that generating more clean energy, using less dirty energy, and wasting less energy overall can be good for business and for consumers.  Furthermore, it will be good for the world that we leave for our children.
Conserving energy will be good for the economy long term, and doing nothing will increase the damage to our economy from rising sea levels, drought, wildfires, and severe storms.  Without a doubt climate change is occurring and we have to act now.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Blocking Medicaid Expansion


On the House floor in 2009, Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson insisted: “The Republicans’ health care plan for America - don’t get sick.  That’s right.  Don’t get sick.  If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this.  Die quickly.  That’s right.  The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.” 

Those comments led to the National Republican Campaign Committee claiming: “This is an unstable man who has come unhinged.  The depths of which Alan Grayson will sink to defend his indefensible comments know no bounds.  This is an individual who has established a pathological pattern of unstable behavior.” 

Republicans insisted that Grayson apologize, but instead Rep. Grayson said in 2009: “I would like to apologize to the dead.  According to a study published two weeks ago, 44,789 Americans die every year because they have no health insurance.  That is more than 10 times the number of Americans who died in the war in Iraq.  It’s more than 10 times the number of Americans who died in 9/11.  I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America... The people who should be apologizing are the Republicans.  They’re the ones who should apologize for dragging us all through the mud here while we’re trying to improve health care in America.”

Although, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has become the law of the land, even now Republican governors and legislators in 21 states are blocking Medicaid expansion, for about 5 million people.

"The New York Times" recently reported that a study on the effects of the Romneycare in Massachusetts had found that the mortality rate: "fell by about 3 percent in the four years after that law went into effect.  The decline was steepest in counties with the highest proportions of poor and previously uninsured, adding to a growing body of evidence that people with health insurance could reap the ultimate benefit, longer life."

Today, people are still alive because of Romneycare, who would otherwise have died.  And, the uninsured rate in our country has reached its lowest level since Gallup polling  started, because the law was designed to reduce the number of people who are uninsured.  As impolite or uncivil as it may be to point this out, it’s also true that blocking the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act is going to cost lives.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Out of Step


Congressional Republicans are out of step with most Democratic, Independent, and Republicans voters, who support an increase in the minimum wage.  Paul Ryan’s budget proves that they’re only interested in taking care of special interest.  The Ryan budget doesn’t get rid of a single tax break for special interest to reduce the deficit.  It lowers the top rate to 25 percent, which means a $2,000 increase for every middle class family.

The Tea Party controlled House of Representatives approved the budget designed by Rep. Paul Ryan.  Ryan is a contender to be the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, and has insisted that his budget is balanced and "harnesses the power of economic freedom and respects the dignity of every person."  However, it fails when it comes to basic math.

Notably, Bruce Bartlett, who was a economist in the Reagan administration criticized Ryan’s approach as "just another way for Republicans to enact tax cuts and block tax increases.  It is not about honest revenue-estimating; it's about using smoke and mirrors to institutionalize Republican ideology into the budget process.”

A CNN poll conducted after Obama's State of the Union Address, found that 67% of Americans want "bipartisan compromise with Congress on major issues."  Paul Ryan’s budget rejects compromise.

The Ryan's budget suggests that Congress is being dragged back into ideological battles that most Americans reject.  This budget breaks last year's compromises that avoided a government shutdown and threatened a dangerous default on America's debt.

The budget deal reached last fall cut defense and domestic spending equally, but the Ryan budget would increase military spending and provide large tax cuts for millionaires.  Since, the House can’t cut enough discretionary spending to fund Ryan's budget, it attacks entitlements.  The plan increase the Medicare eligibility age and turns Medicare into a voucher program.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Booming Economy


Speaker of the House, John Boehner claims: “The Obama economy is producing slow economy growth, high unemployment and stagnant wages.”

When, President Obama took office, we we’re in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  America had lost 650,000 jobs in December 2008.  An additional 700,000 jobs were lost in January, the month Obama was sworn in.  Twenty-four days after Obama took office the Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed, without a single Republican vote in the House and only 3 Republican votes in the Senate.  With the exception of those 3 RINO Senators, congressional Republicans have had nothing to do with this economic recovery.

Last month, the economy added 288,000 new jobs.  Considering where were in January 2009, our economy is booming. 

The issue in 2012 election, was that the Bush tax cuts were set to expired in January of 2013.  They expired and our economy has done very well since.  Actually, there has been 50 straight months of private sector job growth, and the private sector has added 9.2 million jobs since March of 2010. 

Republicans make the bogus argument that we can’t raise taxes on the job creators because that would kills jobs. However, billionaire venture capitalist, Nick Hanauer has rebuked that Republican false argument regarding job creators.  

Hanauer insists: “If there was no one around who could afford to buy what we had to sell, all those companies and all those jobs would have evaporated.  That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs.  Nor do businesses large or small.

Congressional Republicans don’t want to raising the minimum wage, because it would enable 28 million Americans to spend more.  They do not want to admit that an  improving economy is actually bad news for the Republicans Party.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Fastest Job Growth


According to the Department of Labor our economy added 175,000 jobs in February. The job market showed some improvement in March, with the economy adding 192,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate remaining steady at 6.7 percent.  Those numbers were close to what economists had expected.  However, in April, the data from March and February was revised to show 36,000 more jobs than previously reported.
In April, the Labor Department also reported that non-farm job growth had surged by 288,000, which was the largest gain since January 2012 and those numbers beat Wall Street's expectations for only a 210,000 increase. 
We have witnessed a job growth increase at its fastest pace in more than two years, thereby suggesting a sharp rebound in economic activity early in the second quarter.
Although, the unemployment rate went down to a five and a half year low of 6.3 percent, the Labor Department believed that was because of a drop in the number of unemployed people reentering the labor market as well as a fall in new entrants into the labor force.
The unemployment rate was last at 6.3 percent in September 2008.  The employment report together with other favorable data such as increased consumer spending and industrial production has indicated that the first quarter's 0.1 percent annual growth pace was an aberration and is not an accurate reflection of the economy's otherwise sound fundamentals.
The Federal Reserve has shrugged off the dismal performance in the first quarter.  The U.S. central bank announced further reductions to the amount of money it is pumping into the economy through monthly bond purchases.
Republicans have claimed that Obamacare was a”job killer.”  Actually, health care employment increased by 19,000 jobs in April, which is an improvement over the prior 12 month gain of 17,000 jobs per month.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Unchecked Lending


The concept of a consumer protection bureau began as an idea published in 2007, in a small quarterly periodical, by a Harvard Law School bankruptcy professor named Elizabeth Warren.

The financial crisis of 2007-08, that had its roots in unchecked lending practices by our financial sector, brought Elizabeth Warren’s 2007 idea to the attention of President Obama, who embraced her plan in June 2009 as an important part of overhauling the financial industry.

For nearly two years, as political infighting and financial industry resistance held up the confirmation of its first director, the bureau operated under a cloud of uncertainty. 

As director of enforcement, Warren chose Rich Cordray.  He had just lost a bid for reelection as the attorney general of Ohio, where he had taken Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup to court over mortgage servicing practices and losses to that state’s pension funds. 

In July 2011, just days before the bureau launched, President Obama chose Cordray, who was also Warren’s favorite candidate for the job. 

In the end, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threatened to get Cordray approved with the “nuclear option,” which would have eliminated the supermajority routinely required under Senate filibuster rules.  The threat worked.  The final vote was 66 in favor to 34 against, and the Consumer Protection Bureau had gained some friends, and it’s enemies, had less power to retaliate for any actions they might not like.

That federal agency did not exist until Elizabeth Warren thought it up, and then teamed up with congressional Democrats and President Obama to get it created by law.  Obama had to force through the appointment of a director for that agency.  A lot of people expected that the president would pick Elizabeth Warren for the job, but he didn’t.  

However, even in losing, Elizabeth Warren eventually won, because she has since become a Democratic senator from Massachusetts.

Senator Elizabeth Warren had warned: "This next generation is starting their economic race 50 yards behind the starting line.  They’ve got to pay off the equivalent of one full mortgage before they make it to flat broke in order to pay for their education.  They can never get ahead of the game because they’re constantly trying to play catch-up.”

The Consumer Protection Bureau has begun to protect consumers from those banks, credit card companies, mortgage lenders and student loan lenders, who had been cheating us for years.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Racist Revealed


First, we have Nevada freeloader Cliven Bundy admitting: “But let me tell you something about what I’ve said toward the Negros.  I feel like what I said from heart.  And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves?   The question is are they slaves the way they are.  I’m wondering, I’m wondering whether they`re that much better off.  I don’t think this happening with our government subsidy going.  I’m not saying that I though they should be slaves.

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro.  You know, I’ve work with the black people.  If I say Negro or black boy or slave, I think maybe they had misunderstood me a little bit.  If those people cannot take those kinds of words and not be a offended then Martin Luther King hasn’t done his job done yet.”

Then, Donald Sterling, who owns the Los Angeles Clippers is recorded telling his girlfriend, V. Stiviano: “Don’t come to my games.  Don’t bring black people, and don’t come.”

Stiviano reasoned: “But you can change yourself.”  Sterling admitted: “I don’t want to change.”

Stiviano asked: “Do you know that you have a whole team that’s black, that plays for you?”  Sterling answered: “Do I know?  I support them and give them food, clothes, cars, and houses.”

Soon after, Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner said: “This has been a painful moment for all members of the NBA family.  Sentiment of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that formed the foundation of our diverse, multicultural and multiethnic lead.”

Then, Commissioner Silver announced: “Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers Organization or the NBA.”

Across America, there are many more racist like Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling.  

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Greed


In a January 2007 speech, former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy advocated for an increase in the minimum wage, when he asked congressional Republicans: “What is the price that you want from this working men and women?  When does the greed stop?  We ask the other side."

A report from the Center for Global Policy Solutions shows a massive wealth gap in our country between white and black Americans.  White Americans have a median net worth of $111,000, while black Americans have a median net worth of $7,000.  On average, white people own 15 times more than black people in America.

We’re not going to address the wealth gap unless the minimum wage is increased.

Recently, the Senate had a chance to give 28 million Americans a raise, but the minimum wage vote failed 54 to 42, because Senate Republicans insisted on a sixty vote super-majority.

Afterwards, Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa warned: “This is not the only time that you’ll see the Senate vote on the minimum wage bill this year.  We’ll be back again and again and we’ll keep trying until we get this to the Presidents desk.  I’m confident that if we don’t raise the minimum wage in Congress before the election, the American people are going to speak about this at the ballot box this November.”

President Obama wonder: “Republicans in Congress have found the time to vote more than 50 times to undermine or repeal the healthcare bill for millions of working families.  Earlier this month they voted for a budget that would give the wealthiest Americans a massive tax cut, while forcing deep cuts to investments that help middle class families, but they won’t raise wages for millions of working families when three quarters of Americans support it?  It makes no sense.”

Friday, May 02, 2014

Posse Comitatus


In the years after the Civil War, the Southern states were occupied territories, and still under the control of the federal troops.  

After years of the Reconstruction era, and being occupied by federal troops, white Southern lawmakers used a series of political maneuvers to pass a law, that stated: "From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States as a Posse Comitatus.”

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 declared that federal troops could no longer replace local authorities in handling law enforcement and protection of the population.

Our federal government pull its troops out of the Southern states, and local white officials in the South reassert their authority over their own communities.

The end of the Reconstruction era led to Jim Crow segregation, lynchings, cross burnings and organized terror campaigns against black Americans.  Many people argued that the civil war hadn’t really ended in the South. 

In 1957, after, the Supreme Court made school  integration the law of the land, Republican President Eisenhower sent federal troops back into the American South to stand guard over the integration of Little Rock Central High School.

At the time, William Potter Gale was preaching anti-federal government, and white supremacy, which he put under the banner of a Christian identity movement.

Eisenhower’s decision so enraged William Potter Gale that he started a movement called Posse Comitatus after the 1878 law that had forced Union troops out of the South. 

Gale explained: “County sheriffs were the supreme legal law enforcement officers in the land.  And county residents had the right to form a posse to enforce the Constitution however they as sovereign citizens chose to interpret it.  Public officials who interfered should be hung by the neck at noon.”

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Experiences and Qualifications


Chris Gibson was a teenager in the ROTC at Siena College, when he began serving his ecclesiastic and corporate masters.  The Vatican would be disappointed if Congressman Gibson voted to fund Planner Parenthood.

As a teenager I enlisted in the Marine Corps during the Korean War.  It was my first experience in southern states, where I witnessed contemptible racism, both on and off military bases.  My experiences as a noncommissioned officer in the 1950’s were much different than those of commissioned officer.  Although, I left the Marine Corps disapproving of homosexuals, I now look forward to being represented by Sean Eldridge, who could become the seventh openly gay member of Congress.  He’ll fight for equality for all Americans.       

What did military experience qualify former Army veteran Timothy McVeigh for?  He detonated a truck bomb in front of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, that killed 168 people, and wounded were more than 500.

Except for my 3 years in the Marine Corps, I’ve lived my entire life less than 100 miles from Delaware County.  But, that alone doesn’t make me more qualified to represent upstate New Yorkers in Congress, than Gibson.  I’m sure that both Sean Eldridge and Gibson will agree with that.

Congressman Gibson talks about bipartisanship, but his voting record shows the opposite.  Although 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty, Gibson voted to cut food stamps by $40 billion.
Voters will decide what this election is about, and it shouldn’t be about Sean Eldridge purchasing a home in Rep. Gibson’s newly gerrymandered eleven county congressional district.  It should be about, which candidate support spending $4 billion of tax payers money to subsidizes the oil industry every year, and which one will support children who are trying to get an education.