Here we are after 152 years

Charlotte NC Confederate Monuments Protest Violence
Charlotte NC Confederate Monuments Protest Violence http://www.mcclatchy-wires.com/incoming/awac4/picture166918347/alternates/FREE_768/APTOPIX_Confederate_Monuments_Protest_92256.jpg

Its been 152 years since the end of the US Civil War,  and 52 years after congress passed the Civil Rights Act, still, sadly, prejudice and bigotry are prominently displayed in our country.

It is shameful that the seething under tow of hate has been fanned to flame by the actions and statements of a man elected to high office by his manipulation and intent to rally separatist, nationalist, xenophobic hate to support him.

This is not the United States of America I want

This is not the United States of America I love

Fear, hate, and despair are the road to tyranny and oppression!

I will fight with every molecule of my being for compassion, consideration and understanding, to dispel hate and fear, and for the rights and dignity of all!

Something else to remember on this day in July –

 

 

Jefferson and Adams
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams

Something else to remember on this day in July –

On this day in 1826, fifty years after the Declaration of Independence from England, former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who were once fellow Patriots and then adversaries, die on the same day within five hours of each other.

On July 4, 1826, at the age of 90, Adams lay on his deathbed while the country celebrated Independence Day. His last words were “Thomas Jefferson still survives”. He was mistaken: Jefferson had died five hours earlier at Monticello at the age of 82.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the last surviving members of the original American revolutionaries who had stood up to the British empire and forged a new political system in the former colonies. However, while they both believed in democracy, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their opinions on how to achieve these ideals diverged over time.

The differences of opinion and the bitter 1800 campaign for president led these two men to never again speak directly to each other. After many years they exchanged letters and reconciled. There was always great respect each for the other. We carry on the differences over which they argued in our governance today. Let’s not forget that despite the differences and opinions they argued, they were able to found a new government and a country which has endured more than two centuries.

We must carry on a commitment to the new form of governance they created, with civil discourse and heated debate, But each side must at least attempt to reconcile and find a way forward beyond the vitriol as these two men did.

 

“Necessitous men are not free men.”

“Necessitous men are not free men. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

That quote is from a January 1944 State of the Union speech –

FDR went on to outline what was then, and is still, a set of rights for peace, prosperity, and security for our country. He described to congress a “second bill of rights”.

“In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.”

He finishes the statement with –

“America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.”

FDR Jan1944 SOTU address
FDR Jan1944 SOTU address click to play

By today’s standard FDR Was a left wing progressive radical. His policies worked for bringing back prosperity, and got us through the Great Depression.

Big business did not, and does not, like how it was done. Big business has, through the Republican agenda, dismantled as much of the New Deal as possible reversing the progress made to realize FDR’s goals. Big Business continues to erode these rights, and in the process they erode the very fabric of the governance which make these rights and successful businesses possible.

These are simple human rights, and provide simple human dignity.

Livable wages
Fair trade
decent housing
health care
a good education

All are necessary for “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”

Support FDR’s “second bill of rights”. Raise the standard of living for all of America in the 21st century. Stand up for personal dignity, and the dignity of our fellows.

Fight for what is right, and do what we are able to do to make it happen!

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Action, Action this day, Action every day

The other day I happened across these statements in an article titled

Action this day, Action every day

“While it sounds obvious, we’re all often tempted to do nothing or to wait for the right moment. Waiting for the right moment to take certain actions can be prudent. But waiting for something to come to you will result in nothing happening.”

” Either you can do something on a task—even a small amount—today, or you can return to it later. But no matter what, take some action towards your goals every day if you ever want to make progress getting there.”

The statement about action made me realize, I use this tactic to be highly productive and accomplish many things in many areas every day.

Take action today!

Contribute to a goal of changing the direction of the US congress.

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What have we lost? What more will we lose?

It is difficult to imagine what we have lost of our past. It is even more difficult to  imagine what more we will lose….

Organ Mountains image
Organ Mountains

Changes to and reversal of federal  policy  will dissolve federal designations of land which could threaten development of resources within some of the most pristine and sensitive ecologic and archaeologic areas in the US.

Rio Grande Del Norte
Rio Grande Del Norte

We have lost much of the cultural  knowledge and life-ways of our world by the assimilation of cultures into “modern western culture”, by force or with the  promise of “a better life”, ancient heritage, language, crafts, survival methods, and many other things are repressed and forgotten.

Bears Ears National Monument image
Bears Ears National Monument

We have a chance to at least save the landscapes, and those sites and sacred places we have left, for the future. Perhaps our grandchildren will visit these places and recapture and revitalize understanding of those things which have been forgotten.

Only preservation will allow the future to have a physical connection to the past, and only that connection will give those future children the knowledge and skills needed to understand, to know, the bond between the earth and us and truly revel in its wonder.

It is time to Act and demand the preservation of our natural, spiritual,and ancient heritage!

5 Tribes circle Logo
5 Tribes circle Logo

Incarceration, poverty and opportunity

In the current economic environment where despair and joblessness have become normal, 30% of New Mexico children are hungry and homelessness is on the rise. Investments in social services and mental health are being cut. It is not difficult to understand the rise in crime – in particular property crime, and a corresponding rise in the rate of incarceration.

The answer is not to jail more people but to truly improve the economic environment. Providing work and livable wages will lift people out of despair, help them feed their children, and have a real opportunity to change their lives for the better.

How do we provide a realistic possibility to rise from poverty and despair? How do we create tens of thousands of opportunities across the country?

There are needs all over the nation for creating new public infrastructure. Infrastructure for commerce, for transportation, for information, and for energy distribution to meet the challenges of the next century. We have neglected much of the country’s critical utilities and public works. The American Society of Civil Engineers have estimated the cost to bring the nation’s infrastructure back to “good” condition would be 4.6 trillion dollars.

With careful direction and a goal in mind, antiquated components could be upgraded and integrated into an new energy and transportation paradigm. An energy and transportation system built for a new energy economy and designed to serve the nations changing needs as we move to a less fossil fuel dependent economy.

Making this type of change is an enormous task which will require millions of people working to bring the needed changes. The job opportunities created provide wages which will encourage and improve the economy across the nation. It is not just a jobs program but a national revitalization program. The resulting improvements to commerce and industry will continue to build upon the efficiency of the newly revitalized systems.

The cost of a plan like this can be compared to the war efforts over the last twelve years. The present estimates are that the “War on Terror” and military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost 4.4 trillion. This is compounded by the interest as this money has been borrowed, adding to the ever larger national debt. Think of the country had we invested 4.4 trillion over the last twelve years here at home.

Getting people working will reduce incarceration rates, and reduce hunger and homelessness by providing livable wages while providing the infrastructure we will need in a changing economic and climatic environment.

What The ….!?

Really! We are out of the Paris Accord? Why?

An Agreement with almost 200 nations and ten years in the making! Trashed because one ignorant man decided the agreement was “a bad idea”. There are mistakes and missteps in world politics and then there are errors of world catastrophic proportions bordering on species extinction stupid. Trump just made an error of the second type.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/02/european-leaders-vow-to-keep-fighting-global-warming-despite-us-withdrawal

America is not first making the change that is needed to reverse greenhouse gas effects.

 

Immemorial

On this weekend when we remember those who gave their lives in service to our great nation.

I salute you and your service to our country.

  Please stand with the men and women who serve our military and our Veterans.

On this Memorial day as every Memorial day – in remembrance of my father and his flight crew –

John L. Abrams,

James H.Romanski,

Raymond D Robinson,

Dennis M. Womble

Final Mission of LT John L. Abrams

Posted on 10/14/16 – by wkillian@smjuhsd.org

On July 13, 1968, a U.S. Navy helicopter UH-1B (tail number 62-12515) from HA(L)-3 (Helicopter Attack [Light] Squadron Three “Seawolves”) was on a mission in the vicinity of Dung Island in the lower Bassac River area when it drew Viet Cong ground fire. The aircraft apparently took a .50 caliber round or rounds in the main engine’s transmission. The transmission failed and eliminated the possibility of auto-rotation, causing the aircraft to fall straight to the ground from 800 feet. There were no survivors. When a ground party made it to the crash site, they reported the aircraft was about 18 inches high. The lost crew was composed of pilots LT John L. Abrams and LTJG James H. Romanski, and crewman AMH3 Raymond D. Robinson and AMS3 Dennis M.Womble.
[Taken from vhpa.org and tf116.org]

 

Public College Education should be free!

What would it take to make a public college degree free?

According to Collegedata.com the average annual cost for a college education at an in-state public institution including all living expenses is $9650.00 for the 2016-2017 school year. The National Center for Educational Statistics states that 20.2 million students were enrolled in degree-granting institutions in 2014.

That means the estimated average cost of higher education is near $200 billion per year.
This estimated cost does not factor in interest on student loans or the higher costs of private institutions. However, it is a number to think about particularly when you look at other expenditures in the Federal Discretionary Budget.

In 2015, military expenditures accounted for about 54 percent of our discretionary spending, according to The National Priorities Project. In contrast, education accounted for only six percent of the discretionary budget.

For fiscal 2016, the government is spending $22 billion to fund Pell Grants. Pell grants provide college tuition assistance for low-income students. Education spending peaked in 2009 at $97 billion, thanks to an injection of dollars from the economic stimulus spending on education. This still pales to the $581 billion spent on our military.

Education spending for FY 2016 was down to $68 billion for all education, head start through higher Ed.

We are under funding education massively.

The Trump administration is calling for further reductions in education spending. This will cripple our ability to compete in a world where knowledge and innovation is driving our economy. We must change our priorities to meet the challenges of the future and have a highly educated, innovative, flexible, workforce ready for that future.

Without realistic investment in education we will not lead no matter the military might we may have.

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