Monday, May 29, 2017

Information on this Memorial Day 2017

One of the greatest events in human history was the Second Great Migration of African Americans. It was the migration of more than five million African Americans. They traveled from the South to the North, the Midwest, and the West Coast. It happened from 1941 to 1970. It was much larger and was different from the first Great Migration (which lasted from 1910-1940). The Second Great Migration started during the era of World War II. During the Second Great Migration, people traveled into Californian cities too like Los Angeles, Oakland, Richmond, and Long Beach. These places offered skilled jobs in the defense industry. In the Midwest, the West, and the North, discrimination still existed. Back then, many African Americans already had urban jobs in the South before they relocated. Many black workers were forced to work in segregated, low skilled jobs in many cities of the South. The Great Migration allowed African Americans to get highly skilled, well paid jobs at California shipyards. The Second Great Migration caused many African Americans to live in urban locations in a higher level. By the end of the Second Great Migration, 80 percent of black people lived in cities. Fifty-three percent remained in the Southern United States, while 40 percent lived in the Northeast and North Central states and 7 percent in the West. Many black people experienced dangerous work conditions too. There was a mention explosion at Port Chicago, California (near San Francisco). It killed over 200 black people in 1944. Later, some workers refused to work until conditions improved. Up to 50 were tried for munity and imprisoned. Many people migrated for a diversity of reasons. Many wanted economic improvement in their own lives. They didn’t want economic deprivation. African American men and women wanted skilled jobs. They wanted to support their families. Northern employees hired African Americans from the South and whites from the South as a cheap labor force to replace the more costly European immigrant workers. Racial violence, political disenfranchisement, and educational opportunities were other reasons for the 2nd Great Migration too. In cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc. de facto segregation existed. De Facto segregation is segregation by policy not by law. Many black people were forced into low income housing, because of racial and economic discrimination. Freeways, urban renewal, and covenant policies in the Midwest, the West, and the North harmed black communities and advanced more segregation. Many families were overcrowded. White flight grew during the 1960’s too. White flight was driven in part by the process of blockbusting. White property owners, fearful of minority groups, sold their homes to real estate agents at a low price, often due to the tactics of the real estate companies themselves. Agents would then encourage that the vacant properties be bought by black families seeking respite from the overcrowded neighborhoods in which they were sequestered. When one black family moved in, the white neighbors would immediately sell their homes to the waiting real estate companies, who would in turn sell to more black people at a significant markup. Black people fought discriminatory housing laws too. The 1963 Rumford Fair Housing Act banned discrimination in housing in California. Yet, right wingers ended that law by the Proposition 14 (which harmed housing rights) in 1964. It would take the Supreme Court to declare Prop 14 unconstitutional. Some scholars believe that Prop 14 (which is an evil policy) contributed to the Watts rebellion of 1965. Many black Southerners brought their culture from food to music to areas across the West Coast, the North, and the Midwest in homogeneous communities. The Second Great Migration changed the culture of America forever.

Track and field has tones of benefits to society. It promotes teamwork. There are coaches who help track and field athletes in maximizing their performances. Even individual track and field activities revolve around a team from a coach, advertisers, research leaders, reporters, and other people who are engaged in the sport. Track and field is both an individual and team sport. Relay races personify team sports since when all of them do well, then the team excels. One example of a great track and field team was the 2012 and 2016 Olympic USA Women’s Track and field 4 X 100 relay teams. They worked together as one in order to be victorious in the Olympic relay 4 X 100 Relay races. For a long time, track and field has caused friendships to blossom. Track and field caused tons of health benefits too. Running is a real way to improve cardiovascular fitness. It can reverse bone loss. It can lose weight and it improves the running abilities of human beings. Running can also burn fact and increase muscle tone. It’s a fact that healthy foods along with training plus a powerful will can cause magnificent results involving track and field. Track and field has promoted mutual respect and cooperation among peoples among many nationalities and backgrounds too. Track and field can develop a positive mood. Exercise causes the brain to reorganize itself to handle stress. Exercise grows neurons in the brain. Better sleep patterns,  better balance, stronger legs, and better decision making (which increases the brain derived neurotropic factor called BDNF. BDNF is a brain protein that helps with decision making), etc. are all benefits from track and field plus exercise in general. Exercise can increase the volume of a human’s prefrontal cortex, which assists with thinking, memory, and other aspects associated with learning. Therefore, track and field is a beautiful sport that has improved the lives of so many people in the Earth.

Tons of people know where they were when the first inauguration of President Barack Obama transpired. It happened in the date of January 20, 2009. I was 25 years old and I remember the event like yesterday. After his oath of office, he became the 44th President of the United States and the first African American President as well. The Inaugural theme was “A New Birth of Freedom” which was a phrase from the Gettysburg Address. It was used to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth year of Abraham Lincoln. On January 17, 2009, Barack Obama and others used a commemorative train tour from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. There were many events from the time of January 18 to 21, 2009. There were concerts, a national day of community service on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, inaugural balls, and the interfaith inaugural prayer service. There was a large audience to witness the swearing in of Barack Obama as President. There was the first ever Neighborhood Inaugural Ball with free or affordable tickets for ordinary citizens. That time was a transitional era in America as Barack Obama was the first President born from the 1960’s. Also, Barack Obama in 2009 was about to deal with serious issues from the financial crisis, racism, foreign policy issues, etc. Two committees planned by inauguration mostly. They were the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee. Money was raised to make sure that it was funded. Celebrity donors to the Presidential Inaugural Committee included Jamie Foxx, Halle Berry, George Soros, and George Lucas. There were about one million public invitations to the inaugural ceremony of Barack Obama. There was the "We are One" concert on the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2009. About 400,000 attended the concert. On Dr. King’s holiday (on January 19, 2009), there was the King Day of Service to promote citizen volunteering in honor of Dr. King. Barack Obama visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center privately with the families of troops recovering from wounds sustained from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He visited Martin Luther King III to help teens in homeless shelters. Joe Biden hung drywall at a Habitat for Humanity home in N.E. Washington, D.C. Biden's wife, Jill, their daughter, Ashley Biden, Michelle Obama and the Obamas' daughters, Malia and Sasha, spent the morning at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium where they helped thousands of volunteers prepare more than 85,000 care packages destined for U.S. troops overseas. Later that evening, the President-elect hosted three separate bipartisan dinners to honor the service of John McCain, Colin Powell and Joe Biden. Michelle Obama and Jill Biden hosted a children’s concert called “Kids’ Inaugural: We are the Future” event at the Verizon Center. Many people performed and spoke from Demi Lovato, Queen Latifah, Corbin Bleu, Shaquille O’Neal, and Jamie Foxx. Michelle Obama wanted people to be engaged including children to help homeless people, visit the elderly, and write letters to U.S. troops.

The inaugural ceremony took place at the West Front of the United States Capitol on January 20, 2009. Evangelical pastor Rick Warren delivered the invocation. Vocalist Aretha Franklin sang “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” Tons of performers were in the ceremony like Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero, Yo-Yo Ma, Anthony McGill, and others. Joe Biden took the oath of office from Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. Barack Obama took the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts. It occurred shortly after noon. Then, President Barack Obama delivered his address. It was a mixture of hope for the future and a realization that the recession was still upon America. Barack Obama spoke about wanting accountability and responsibility in Washington. He wanted ordinary people to be involved in the democratic processes of democracy. The speech was critical of former Presidents too, especially George W. Bush. The 21 gun salute existed from the military. Poet Elizabeth Alexander then delivered the inaugural poem, "Praise Song for the Day", and civil rights activist Joseph Lowery, minister of the United Methodist Church, delivered the benediction. Afterwards, a luncheon took place. Then, the inaugural parade came about in Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walked in the parade to wave hands and celebrate. They traveled on Pennsylvania Avenue. Vice President Biden and his wife Jill walked the parade route at several points with their children Beau, Hunter and Ashley. The parade lasted for 2 hours and many marching bands were a part of it. I saw the parade on television. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended 10 official inaugural balls during the evening of January 20, 2009. Barack Obama wore a tuxedo and Michelle Obama wore a white, one shouldered sleeveless gown. It was designed by then 26 year old NY based designer Jason Wu. The famous part of the events was the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball. It was held at Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Barack Obama and Michelle Obama danced while BeyoncĂ© sang her rendition of Etta James’ classic “At Last.” BeyoncĂ© Knowles-Carter was very emotional at the end of her powerful singing. Tons of people attended the historic inauguration. Over 1 million people attended the inaugural ceremony.  Kenya, the United Kingdom, Israel, Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, and other nations had people who celebrated the inauguration too. After later January 2009, the new era began and President Barack Obama’s future as President has been filled with the good things that he has done and the mistakes that he has made. His historic Presidency began in the midst of celebrations and high hopes.

The first 100 Days of the Presidency of Barack Obama lasted from January 20, 2009 to April 28, 2009. On the eve of President Barack Obama's inauguration in January 2009, Obama's popularity reached 80 percent, and large numbers of Americans had sky-high expectations for the incoming administration. A USA Today poll showed that seven of 10 people believed the country would be better off after Obama's first term. Many folks had high hopes of him of being a progressive champion for the people. Yet, as time goes on, we see him as a person who governs mostly from the center-left including certain aspects of his foreign policy being not progressive at all. Early onward, he quickly gathered support to support the economic stimulus package. The law was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It agree with the tenure of the law, because the Great Recession harmed millions of lives and emergency assistance is necessary and justified to help those Americans suffering from economic turmoil. The bill passed the House in late January and it was passed in the Senate on February 10, 2009 by a 61-37 margin. Like many laws, there is a catch. The stimulus law allocated 40 percent of the money to tax cuts and credits to individuals and business. It was not a direct government jobs program modeled on the 1930’s era Works Progress Administration. The stimulus package stopped a massive plunge into a worse depression, but the unemployment rate continued to increase for numerous years until later on in his term. President Barack Obama continued to advance the Bush team’s bailout of Wall Street banks. He reappointed Bush’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates to run the Pentagon. Using only executive action, Obama could have unwound the Bush administration bailouts for the bankers and pressured bankruptcy judges to reduce or wipe out mortgage holders' debt. At the very least, he could have refused to allow executives from the bankrupt insurance giant AIG to collect their multimillion-dollar bonuses from the taxpayers' dime. Obama stated that he should not be judged by his first hundred days: "The first hundred days is going to be important, but it’s probably going to be the first thousand days that makes the difference." I do agree with President Barack Obama signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is great legislation. It relaxed the statute of limitations for equal pay lawsuits and fights against gender discrimination. President Barack Obama signed into law the expanded State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP). It gives benefits to millions of working families. He signed new ethics guidelines designed to curtail the influence of lobbyists on the executive branch. He ordered the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. By the end of the first 100 days of his Presidency, 65% of American approved of how Obama was doing and only 29% disapproved. According to Gallup's First quarter survey in April, President Obama received a 63% approval rating. Media coverage was extensive of his Presidency. During this time, he also appointed his administration cabinet members. Many members of his early cabinet were Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, etc. On February 198, 2009, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan will be increased by 17,000 new troops by the summer. This comes after a recommendation from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, which shows an anti-progressive policy. On March 10, 2009, he called himself a New Democrat and a pro-growth Democrat supporting free and fair trade (which is about neoliberalism). President Barack Obama promoted the goal of a nuclear free world on April 5, 2009.

By Timothy

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