Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Memorial Day is a special, sacrosanct time in our lives. Families come together, people remember events, and it is a time of great reflection. Memorial Day began in the midst of very important events. There were many memorial ceremonies in America before and during the American Civil War. On May 1, 1865, freed slaves gathered in Charleston, South Carolina. They came there to commemorate the death of Union soldiers and the end of the American Civil War. The U.S. Civil War was very destructive and bloody. The former slaves wanted to honor the 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. Then, they or African Americans held a parade of 10,000 people, which was led by 2,800 black children where they marched, sang, and celebrated. This event was the first widely publicized observance of a Memorial Day type of observance after the Civil War. It was reported by the New York Tribune including other national newspapers. Many other places nationwide had Memorial Day ceremonies. By 1882, the preferred name of Memorial Day existed from Decoration Day. Memorial Day became more common after World War II. A federal law made Memorial Day official in 1967. On June 28, 1968, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. That law moved four holidays including Memorial Day from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in America in 1971. After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all 50 states adopted Congress' change of date within a few years. Most businesses observe Memorial Day. Some people have classified the holiday as the unofficial beginning of the summer season. In life, we do need time to remember those who passed away. Memorial Day is a solemn day where people acknowledge the sacrifice of many people throughout historical events involving war, etc. Therefore, I wish everyone a happy Memorial Day.

We live in a new era. We live in an era where many people trust a flip flopping white male spewing disturbing propaganda than real truth. White far right people are not gods, and we have the right to promote Black Liberation, Black Unity, and total human liberation too. Anyone (who is black) who wants the black community to be extinct in the future is a traitor. Anyone, who is black, who believes that whites are infallible, is a traitor. It is always the intolerant, bigoted types who want to condemn (in evil ways) women, minorities, immigrants, etc. in broad brushes, but they reject thinking in nuisance and complexities. There are scientific studies about conservatives and that's another story. I love my progressive views of believing in environmental justice and desiring social justice. I want the black community to thrive in the future. We also see the truth that we will not give in to far right wing extremism either. Donald Trump is a hypocrite. He claims to be outside of the establishment, but he is part of the establishment by being a lobbyist for years for many mainstream politicians (who are Republicans and Democrats). He is heavily funded by numerous big corporations and Wall Street interests. For years, he gave financial donations to Hillary Clinton and now he is running against her ironically. His new finance chairman is Steven Mnuchin. Mnuchin has worked for Goldman Sachs for 17 years and for billionaire George Soros’ Soros Fund Management LLC. Donald is an establishment insider. Trump is part of the establishment, capitalist Republican Party. That means that he isn't outside of the establishment by definition. People have the right to disagree with Donald Trump. There are many people who want to demonize people who disagree with Trump ideologically (and that's wrong). Donald Trump supports torture which against the Eighth Amendment. He talked about taking out terrorists' families even if they innocent. He said that he wants to not allow any Muslim to come into America (even the new London Muslim mayor), then he made his token clarification. He doesn't mind if other nations like Japan & Saudi Arabia have nuclear weapons, which is a reckless foreign policy position. He believes in no federal increase of the national minimum wage (even by one dollar). Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been linked to anonymous companies created by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, according to documents released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists known as the ICIJ, according to an NPR report. Offshore companies are not illegal, but are often used to evade taxes.

Vince Foster's family has rightfully criticized Trump for his exploitative comments about Vince Foster's passing. The leaked documents show that the Trump empire is linked to 32 offshore companies, including the real estate project Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama. So, he is not for economic justice. He has draconian views on libel laws and he is a total misogynist. He has disrespected women in the most vulgar terms. There is no way I will vote for a vulgar misogynist period. Therefore, I don't support Trump at all. His company was investigated by the feds decades ago for accusations of racial discrimination involving housing. His company was sued again in 1978 for violating conditions in a settlement from the first case — by continuing to discriminate against black people. Trump has flip flopped on many issues for weeks and months. He has no ideological core and he lacks a political consistently. Trump’s senior campaign adviser Paul Manafort has now bluntly stated that Trump has no intention of making his tax returns public. That is wrong since any Presidential candidate should release their tax returns and other information about themselves since Presidents have the power to use the nuclear button. In 1985, Manafort and his first lobbying firm, Black Manafort Stone & Kelly, signed a $1m contract with a Philippine business group to promote dictator Ferdinand Marcos just a few months before his regime was overthrown and he fled the country. Paul Manafort is a known lobbyist for nefarious characters. I don't trust anyone who has incited violence in his rallies and came out to disrespect women. Trump had called black people lazy (According to a book written by former Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino president John R. O’Donnell) and has disrespected the Central Park Five even after they were acquitted and released from jail. Trump has said nothing to promote racial justice, to promote an end police brutality, to promote investments in science, technology, and education (in a real way). He opposes universal health care and he's a disgrace. I don't worship Hillary either (I don't agree with Hillary's imperialist policies, her refusal to release the transcripts of her paid Wall Street speeches, her promotion of fracking globally, her links to Wall Street interests, etc.), but this story isn't about Hillary. It's about Donald Trump. Trump had a recent meeting with a war criminal Henry Kissinger. I would never have a meeting with a war criminal like Henry Kissinger. So, Trump is easily refuted by the facts. I believe in promoting the general welfare and protecting human civil rights, expanding health care, protecting our civil liberties, showing compassion for the poor, desiring the separation of church and state, and believing in justice for all.
Uhuru Sasa.

During the start of the 20th century, Philadelphia had gone through changes. There was political corruption in the city. The Republican controlled political machine was controlled by Israel Durham. The machine dominated the city government. One official estimated that US$5 million was wasted each year from graft in the city’s infrastructure programs. The majority of the residents in Philadelphia back then were Republicans. Yet, voter fraud and bribery were still common. The city enacted election reforms in 1905 like personal voter registration and the establishing of primaries for all city offices. Many residents became complacent. The city’s political bosses continued in control. After 1907, Durham retired. His successor was James McNichol. He never controlled much of the city outside of North Philadelphia. In South Philadelphia, the Vare brothers (George, Edwin, and William) created their own organization. With no central authority, Senator Boies Penrose took charge. In 1910, infighting between McNichol and the Vares contributed to the reform candidate, Rudolph Blankenburg, to be elected mayor. During his administration, he made numerous cost-cutting measures and improvements to city services, but he served only one term. The machine again gained control. The policies of Woodrow Wilson’s administration reunited reformers with the city’s Republican Party and World War I temporarily halted the reform movement. In 1917, the murder of George Eppley, a police officer defending City Council primary candidate James Carey, ignited the reformers again. They passed legislation to reduce the City Council from two houses to one and provided council members on annual salary. With the deaths of McNichol in 1917 and Penrose in 1921, William Vare became the city’s political boss. In the 1920’s, the public flouting of Prohibition laws, mob violence, and police involvement in illegal activities led Mayor W. Freeland Kendrick to appoint Brigadier General Smedley Butler of the U.S. Marine Corps as director of public safety.

Butler cracked down on bars and speakeasies and tried to stop corruption within the police force, but demand for liquor and political pressure made the job difficult, and he had little success. After two years, Butler left in January 1926 and most of his police reforms were repealed. On August 1, 1928, Boss Vare suffered a stroke, and two weeks later a grand jury investigation into the city's mob violence and other crimes began. Many police officers were dismissed or arrested as a result of the investigation, but no permanent change resulted. There was strong support among some residents for the Democratic Presidential candidate Al Smith (who was Catholic), which marked the city’s turning away in the 20th century from the Republican Party.  Also, immigrants increasingly came into Philadelphia from Eastern Europe, and Italy. African Americans migrated from the South to Philadelphia too. There was World War I which briefly interrupted foreign immigration. There was demand for labor for the city’s factories. One factory is U.S. Naval Yard at Hog Island, which constructed ships, trains, and other items needed during the war effort. This helped to attract blacks in the Great Migration of African Americans. By September 1918, there were cases of influenza pandemic. This was reported at the Naval Yard and it began to spread. Mortality on some days was several hundred people and, by the time the pandemic began to subside in October, more than 12,000 people had died. There has been the rising popularity of automobiles led to widening of roads and the creation of Northeast (Roosevelt) Boulevard in 1914. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway was developed in 1918. There were many changes to many existing streets to one way streets in the early 1920’s along with the construction of the Delaware River (Benjamin Franklin) Bridge to New Jersey in 1926. Philadelphia began to modernize, steel and concrete skyscrapers were constructed, old buildings were wired for electricity, and the city's first commercial radio station was founded.  In 1907 the city constructed the first subway. It hosted the Sesqui-Centennial Exposition in South Philadelphia, and in 1928 the city opened the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

By Timothy

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