Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The racism of Roseanne and other Issues.

As for the Roseanne situation, we know the truth. What Roseanne did was wrong, evil, and without justification. Valerie Jarrett and her family deserve tons of respect. Roseanne issuing that Tweet shows that racism is a serious problem in our world. Her token "apology" was made because of her trying to maintain financial power not because of any sincerity. This is not new for her. She has said disrespectful, slanderous comments for years. For her to support Trump is antithetical to progressive, enlightened thinking. No one should be surprised by this since tons of Trump supporters embrace racism, bigotry, and xenophobia. ABC cancelled her show today because of her repugnant remarks. Roseanne is just one out of many Trump supporters who believe in myths instead of facts and who embrace hyperbole plus falsehoods instead of truth. This story makes us further aware that we reject not only racism. We reject colorism too for black African phenotypes are glorious and beautiful. We should solely judge a person based on his or her content of their character never on the color of one's skin. Trump being silent speaks volumes. This proves that Trump is coward, especially on racial issues. He has been sued for housing discrimination, he called for the death penalty of the Central Park Five (when they were innocent), and he gave offensive comments about the Charlottesville tragedy. Many cowards hide behind the phrase of "political correctness" as an excuse for them to promote the evils of racism and bigotry. We will fight to defeat bigotry period. Being honorable means to stand up for what is right and to defend the human dignity of black people. Therefore, we will continue to speak truth to power and defend human rights.

Recently was the Birthday of the late, great Sister Betty Shabbaz. Warrior, inspirational person, and lover of justice all describe her beautiful qualities accurately. She was her own woman and married one of the greatest black leaders in human history, who was Malcolm X. She was raised in Detroit, Michigan. She experienced racism like her parents. Also, she was resilient and fought for her human rights too. While she was in New York City, she worked as a nurse. So, she greatly understood the complexities and the physiological parameters of the human body. After Malcolm X gave a speech, she had dinner with Malcolm X being impressed by his leadership. Then, they became married in 1958. Yes, Black Love is always Beautiful. Both Malcolm X and Betty Shabbaz would be members of the Nation of Islam for a time. They had six daughters. To this very day, her daughters are in the struggle for justice. By 1964, both Betty Shabbaz and Malcolm X would leave the NOI and be Sunni Muslims. After Malcolm X's tragic, evil assassination in 1965, Betty Shabbaz was very heartbroken. She experienced nightmares. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee helped Betty Shabbaz and her family too. That is why I give great honor to Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee since they were heroic social activists throughout their lives. Subsequently, Betty Shabbaz worked with Black Panthers and other groups for social change. She became a friend to Coretta Scott King and Myrlie Evers-Williams. All three women experienced the lost of their husbands via assassinations by evil people. She worked in education diligently and taught students in a college. She volunteered constantly. Her legacy does revolve around volunteering and advancing the same pristine goal of justice for everyone. She was just as much a warrior as Malcolm X was. We honor her life by doing the work of helping others, standing up for our freedom, and living our lives in the righteous way (in opposing injustice). She was our hero and our total inspiration.
Rest in Power Sister Betty Shabbaz.

The Prague Spring lasted from January 5, 1968 to August 21, 1968. Today, we witness 50 years after that incident. It was one of the most important events of 1968. It revolved around the people of Czechoslovakia seeking independence and true freedom from the Stalinist Warsaw Pact. During that time, there was the viciousness of capitalist imperialism and the viciousness of Stalinism. After World War II, the victorious U.S. and U.S.S.R. divided Europe in that the Eastern Bloc was controlled by the Soviets while Western Europe was controlled heavily by other Western powers. The reformist Alexander Dubček was elected as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) on January 5, 1968. He replaced the hardliner Antonin Novotny. Dubček declared the party's mission was "to build an advanced socialist society on sound economic foundations ... a socialism that corresponds to the historical democratic traditions of Czechoslovakia, in accordance with the experience of other communist parties ..." During the Prague Spring, Dubček established numerous reforms in giving more rights to the people of Czechoslovakia. They included: the partial decentralization of the economy, democratization, ending restrictions on the media, promoting more free speech, and ending travel restrictions. On March 4, 1968, Dubcek abolished censorship. He split the nation into 2 republics being the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Other activists used nonviolent resistance to promote democratic freedoms too. Workplace democracy among workers grew. Dubcek made the mistake of denouncing workers’ strikes. The Soviets hated the reforms and fought back. On the night of August 20-21, 1968, Eastern Bloc armies from four Warsaw Pact countries – the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary—invaded the ČSSR (or Czechoslovakia). That night, 200,000 troops and 2,000 tanks entered the country. They invaded Czechoslovakia in trying to promote the status quo. The people resisted by painting street signs to confuse the Stalinist invaders. Many of them defied curfews. Some like Jan Palach used self-immolation suicides (i.e. burning oneself to death). After the invasion, the Soviets didn’t crush the aspirations of the people completely. People throughout the Warsaw Pact fought for their freedom continuously. Gustáv Husák ended the reforms of Dubeck. Also, it is important to note that the criminal acts of Stalinism are not representative of all socialists. There were revolutionary socialists who opposed the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin. Ultimately, the Prague Spring inspired the future revolutions of the 1980’s that ultimately ended Stalinism in Eastern Europe, East Germany, and the Soviet Union itself.

Today, it is 50 years after one major Poor People's Campaign march in Washington, D.C. The people at the location were black people, Latinx people, Native Americans, white people, etc. The Poor People's Campaign was the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who wanted the poor to have economic justice firmly. Many of these human beings on May 29, 1968 marched on the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., to protest a high court ruling that affirmed limits on Native American fishing rights in several rivers of Washington state. One leader of this movement was Ralph David Abernathy, the principal leader of the Poor People’s Campaign following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.. Another leader of the movement was Reies Tijerina, a leader of the Chicano movement in the state of New Mexico. Many protesters were at the doors of the U.S. Supreme Court building seeking justice. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., before he died, was moving to be more left wing and more revolutionary. He saw that civil and voting rights are great, but you have to address an economic system that harms people of all colors if you desire true liberation. You have to have a massive redistribution of economic and political power in order to cause real change in our society. Dr. King wanted the Poor People's Campaign to be like the Bonus March back in the 1930's when WWI veterans wanted higher wages (while setting up tents in Washington D.C.). Douglas MacArthur used his troops to end the Bonus March brutally. One of the greatest mistakes of Douglas MacArthur was his excessive response to the Bonus March.

Also, it is important to note that Sister Mary Wright Edelman inspired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to go forward with the Poor People's Campaign. Since Dr. King was gone physically by April 4, 1968, Ralph Abernathy took over the SCLC and the Poor Peoples Campaign. Dr. King wanted the Poor People's Campaign to give the poor a living wage, adequate incomes, true land, allow to give the poor to experience true political and economic power, and the establishment of other policies. This was part of the Economic Bill of Rights. The Poor People's Campaign asked for the federal government to prioritize helping the poor with a $30 billion anti-poverty package that included, among other demands, a commitment to full employment, a guaranteed annual income measure, and more low-income housing. Even during that time (with the peak of the American post-World War II economic boom in the midst of the lowest economic inequality in American history, possibly in world history), the capitalist powers that be refused to follow the Economic Bill of Rights of the Poor People's Campaign (when these proposals from Dr. King and others were reasonable and legitimate). Dr. King once said that if the government can spend billions of dollars to send a man on the moon then it can spend billions of dollars to help the poor right here on Earth. He's right. Today, we have a new Poor People's Campaign desiring economic justice as well. Rev. Barber is one leader of this 2018 movement using rallies, civil disobedience, and other programs to fight for the poor. It has been a sick past-time for not only some of the rich, but some of the bourgeoisie middle class (many of whom are one or two paychecks away from poverty) to mock and degrade the poor viciously, which is evil. Those days are over. The poor deserves respect and honor just like anyone else.

By Timothy

Monday, May 28, 2018

Remembering 1968 on this 2018 Memorial Day.

After the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the world changed. The Presidential campaigns of Nixon/Agnew and Humphrey/Muskie would continue. Hubert Humphrey had burdens of being seen as the war candidate despite having a progressive record on domestic issues. Nixon wanted to project a new image of himself, but he was still the same reactionary against the social activism of the progressives. By September 6, 1968, Swaziland becomes independent. Swaziland is in Africa. On September 7, 1968, about 150 women (members of the New York Radical Women organization) arrived in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They came to protest against the Miss America Pageant. They view it as exploitative against women. It was led by activist and author Robin Morgan. This was one of the first large demonstrations of Second Wave Feminism. First Wave Feminism was from the Susan B. Anthony days until the early 1960’s. Second Wave Feminism is from the early-1960’s (with NOW and Betty Friedan writing her historic book entitled, “The Feminine Mystique”) until the 1980’s. Third Wave Feminism is from the 1980’s to 2012. Fourth wave feminism is from 2012 to the present. The media covered the Second Wave Feminism and this protest. By September 7, 1968, the Banana Splits Adventure Hour begins airing on NBC. It would went on to 2 seasons, ending on December 13 a Year Later in the middle of season 2. Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware, World War II Medal of Honor recipient, was killed when his helicopter is shot down in Vietnam on September 13, 1968. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. On the same day, Albania officially withdraws from the Warsaw Pact upon the Soviet Union-led Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, having already ceased to participate actively in Pact activity since 1962. On September 20, 1968, Hawaii Five-O debuts on CBS, and eventually becomes the longest-running crime show in television history, until Law & Order overtakes it in 2003. The Tet Offensive ends on September 23, 1968. 60 Minutes debuted on CBS on September 24, 1968. Operation Sealords occurred on October 8, 1968 in dealing with the Vietnam War. The United States and South Vietnamese forces launch a new operation in the Mekong Delta. This operation caused a massive break up of North Vietnamese communication and supply systems. The Detroit Tigers won the 1968 World Series on October 11, 1968. They defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 3.

On October 2, 1968, there was the Tlatelolco massacre: A student demonstration ends in bloodbath at La Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, Mexico, 10 days before the inauguration of the 1968 Summer Olympics. 300-400 are estimated to have been killed. By October 5, 1968, Police baton civil rights demonstrators in Derry, Northern Ireland, marking the beginning of The Troubles (which took place in Northern Ireland and the fight to either make Northern Ireland to be in the UK or be part of the larger area of Ireland in independence. More than 3,500 people were killed in the conflict, of whom 52% were civilians, 32% were members of the British security forces, and 16% were members of paramilitary groups). On October 7, 1968,  at the height of protests against the Vietnam War, José Feliciano performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Tiger Stadium in Detroit during Game 5 pre-game ceremonies of the 1968 World Series between the Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals. His personalized, slow, Latin jazz performance was innovative. He opened the door for later interpretations of the national anthem. As part of the Apollo program, NASA launched Apollo 7 on October 11. It was the first manned Apollo mission (the astronauts involved were Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, and Walter Cunningham). Mission goals include the first live television broadcast from orbit and testing the lunar module docking maneuver. October 12 was the time when Equatorial Guinea received its independence from Spain. By October 14, 1968, the United States Department of Defense announced that the United States Army and United States Marines will send about 24,000 troops back to Vietnam for involuntary second tours. On October 16, 1968, something inspirational happened. It was when in Mexico City, track athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos (who are 2 black Americans competing in the Olympic 200-meter run) raised their arms in a black power salute after winning the race with respectively the gold and bronze medals for 1st and 3rd place. Ironically, the 2nd place was an Australian athlete named Peter Norman who agreed with the salute. Both Tommie Smith and John Carlos were praised by the black community and progressive communities worldwide. They were hated by the far right and suffered unjust punishments until recently for their heroic act of opposing racial oppression. Former U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis on the Greek island of Skorpios on October 20, 1968. The Gun Control Act of 1968 was enacted on October 22, 1968.

By October 25, The Jimi Hendrix Experience releases Electric Ladyland. Jimi Hendrix was a great guitar player who was ahead of his time in terms of his musical expression. Citing progress in the Paris peace talks, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces to the nation that he has ordered a complete cessation of "all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective November 1. Hubert Humphrey publicly calls for an ending of the bombing. His polls increase and he almost defeated Richard Nixon. Yet, on November 5, 1968, Republican challenger Richard M. Nixon defeated the Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey.  Also, American Independent Party candidate George C. Wallace lost the election too. On that day, Luis A. Ferre was elected Governor of Puerto Rico. On November 11, 1968, The Vietnam War had Operation Commando Hunt. It was initiated to interdict men and supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, through Laos into South Vietnam. By the end of the operation, 3 million tons of bombs are dropped on Laos, slowing but not seriously disrupting trail operations. Yale University first admitted women at November 14, 1968.

On November 17, 1968, there was the Heidi game. This was when NBC cuts off the final 1:05 minutes of an Oakland Raiders–New York Jets football game to broadcast the pre-scheduled Heidi. Fans are unable to see Oakland (which had been trailing 32–29) score 2 late touchdowns to win 43–32; as a result, thousands of outraged football fans flooded the NBC switchboards to protest. The Farmington Mine Disaster of Farmington, West Virginia killed 78 men on November 20, 1968. The Beatles release their self-titled album popularly known as the White Album on November 22, 1968. By November 24, 4 men hijack Pan Am Flight 281 from JFK International Airport, New York to Havana, Cuba. On November 26, 1968, United States Air Force First Lieutenant and Bell UH-1F helicopter pilot James P. Fleming rescues an Army Special Forces unit pinned down by Viet Cong fire, earning a Medal of Honor for his bravery. Elvis Presley returns to concert via the NBC special If I Can Dream on December 3, 1968. During an airing of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, NBC Renews the Banana Splits Adventure Hour for a second season on December 6. By December 9, 1968, Douglas Engelbart publicly demonstrates his pioneering hypertext system, NLS, in San Francisco. The film Oliver!, based on the hit London and Broadway musical, opens in the U.S. after being released first in England. It goes on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is also filmed on this date, but not released until 1996. This occurred on December 11. On December 20, 1968, the Zodiac Killer is believed to have shot Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday on Lake Herman Road, Benicia, San Francisco Bay, California.  David Eisenhower married Julie Nixon, the daughter of U.S. President-elect Richard Nixon on December 22. By December 24, 1968, something historic happens. U.S. spacecraft Apollo 8 enters orbit around the Moon. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William A. Anders become the first humans to see the far side of the Moon and planet Earth as a whole. The crew also reads from Genesis. The end of 1968 caused many monumental changes in human history as 1968 was one of the most revolutionary years in world history.
By Timothy

Friday, May 25, 2018


More Secrets of that Wedding.


Friday Information in late May of 2018

After World War I was over, new changes occurred in the world. Four empires ended. Their names were the German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian empires. Many nations maintained their independence. New nations were established. Many dynasties fell like the Romanovs, the Hohenzollerns, the Habsburgs, and the Ottomans. Socialist revolutionary spirit flourished in the world like the red flag of social revolution flying in Glasgow, Scotland. Worker councils existed in the cities of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Belgium and Serbia was damaged. About 1.4 French soldiers were killed alone. Germany and Russia suffered huge casualties too. The formal end of World War One came on the date of June 28, 1919 when both sides signed the Treaty of Versailles in Germany. The U.S. Senate didn’t ratify the treaty although there was public support for it. America formally ended its involvement in World War until July 2, 1921 via the Knox-Porter Resolution. It was signed by President Warren G. Harding. The British ended involved in the war via the Termination of the Present War Act of 1918.   After the Treaty of Versailles, treaties with Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire were signed. However, the negotiation of the latter treaty with the Ottoman Empire was followed by strife, and a final peace treaty between the Allied Powers and the country that would shortly become the Republic of Turkey was not signed until July 24, 1923, at Lausanne. Under the final Treaty of Lausanne, the Allied forces left Constantinople on August 23, 1923.

After World War One, the Paris Peace Conference existed from January 18, 1919 to 1920. It was controlled by America, England, France, Italy, and Japan. They consisted of Allied heads of state, diplomats, military personnel, and policy experts. These nations feared the growth of the communist movement in Russia. Many angry citizens also wanted revenge on the Central Powers. It organized peace treaties on the Central Powers officially ending the war. The conference was built upon Wilson’s 14 points agenda. President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points was a peace proposal that desire a truce which was based on open diplomacy, freedom, and the right of self-determination of peoples. The problem was that the leaders of the Paris Peace Conference refused to give true self-determination among Middle Eastern and African including Asian peoples globally. The Paris Peace Conference made the Peace of Paris. This policy made the Central Powers, especially Germany, to accept responsibility for the war. It forced Germany to pay huge reparations. Austria-Hungary was partitioned into nations like Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia.  Yugoslavia had ethnic divisions. Transylvania was shifted from Hungary to Greater Romania.  The details were contained in the Treaty of Saint-Germain and the Treaty of Trianon. As a result of the Treaty of Trianon, 3.3 million Hungarians came under foreign rule. Although the Hungarians made up 54% of the population of the pre-war Kingdom of Hungary, only 32% of its territory was left to Hungary. Between 1920 and 1924, 354,000 Hungarians fled former Hungarian territories attached to Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. The Peace of Paris also forced Germany to give up its colonies, decrease its army, stop manufacturing offensive weapons, and give a large amount of free coal each year to both Belgium and France. France recovered Alsace and Lorraine. Germany soon experienced a massive recession as a result of the economic burdens from the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles was one key part of the Peace of Paris.

The Russian Empire was over. So, after the war, new nations of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland were created. The Ottoman Empire ended. Turkey evolved into a Republic. The Treaty of Sevres of 1920 ended in failure. So, the Turkish nationalists used their war of independence to form the modern Turkish nation along with the event of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne taking place too. Poland was a new nation after WWI in more than a century. Serbians, Croats, and Slovenes lived in Yugoslavia. The British Empire experienced more people calling for independence. Nationalism spread. Australia and New Zealand had soldiers who fought in the Battle of Gallipoli. They expressed themselves as Australians and New Zealanders not as subjects to the Crown. Anzac Day, commemorating the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, celebrates this defining moment. The war increased a lot of Canadians promoting their sense of independence too. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa were individual signatories of the Treaty of Versailles. The Conclusion of World War I saw the beginnings of the roots of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the roots of the establishment of the modern state of Israel too. The Middle East had many power dynamics. The Ottoman Empire stabilized the region for a time.

The Ottoman Empire was soon gone and conflicting people debated nationhood. European powers and Arabic monarchs divided areas of the region heavily. Chaim Weizmann lobbied to support the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which promoted the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. A total of more than 1,172,000 Jewish soldiers served in the Allied and Central Power forces in World War I, including 275,000 in Austria-Hungary and 450,000 in Tsarist Russia. The Russian Revolution was bloody and Western forces wanted to end it and restore a puppet state in contrary to the Communist movement. So, a Russian Civil War started. More than 2,000 pogroms existed in Ukraine alone. Almost 200,000 Jewish civilians were murdered. Mustafa Kemal led Turkish nationalists. Greece fought against the Turkish nationalists after World War I. Thousands of Greek people died during this period as a product of the evil Greek genocide. The League of Nations was an organization created after WWI whose purpose was to maintain peace via negotiation or collective security. It was part of Wilson's vision to disarm, to solve problems, and to monitor labor conditions internationally. Germany and Russia were banned from joining the League of Nations because Germany was punished after WWI (and Russia embraced Soviet Communism). The Ottoman Empire and Germany relinquished their colonies in the forms of mandates. Mandates were precisely colonialism in a different form. Many peoples of color were angry at this and continued to fight for independence. Pan-African activists continued to fight against colonialism and racism as well. Chinese nationalists (like Sun Yatsen using his party of Guomindang to mobilize change. Later, he passed away in 1925 and Chicang Kai-Shek took over the nationalist movement. He led troops to take over cities, but his followers murdered Communists which was one cause of ultimately the Chinese civil war. As a result of that war, China would be Communist) and people of Ireland fought for independence. Ireland became a free state by 1921. Ireland would ultimately have independence by 1949 officially as the Republic of Ireland. Fights against the evils of colonialism existed in Africa (where Igbo women fought via a tax protest against Britain in 1929. These heroic black women fought for their human rights), India (where British forces shot into crowds of protesters at Amirstar in 1919), Indonesia (where political leaders were jailed by the Dutch), Vietnam, etc.

Many people suffered health problems as a result of the war too. Many people were injured and disabled. Famine, disease, and starvation would spread across Europe. Millions died in the Russian famine of 1921.  In 1914 alone, louse-borne epidemic typhus killed 200,000 human beings in Serbia. From 1918 to 1922, Russia had about 25 million infections and 3 million deaths from epidemic typhus. In 1923, 13 million Russians contracted malaria, a sharp increase from the pre-war years. In addition, a major influenza epidemic spread around the world. Overall, the 1918 flu pandemic killed at least 50 million people.

There are many news going on today. The NFL made a disgusting, disrespectful policy that is not only a violation of the freedom of speech, but promotes historical revisionism and lies. The national anthem was created by the racist Francis Scott Key. Its original lyrics condoned slavery and Key was a slave owner as well. The essence of patriotism is dissent. Dissent, therefore, is not unpatriotic. The NFL leadership wants to fine teams whose players kneel on the field when the national anthem is played. It won't require players to come out into the field, but if a player is in the field, the NFL wants to force them to stand when the national anthem is displayed. Colin Kaepernick knelled to fight against racial injustice and police brutality. These peaceful knells are not anti-American people and it isn't anti-patriotism. These forms of peaceful protests want to address real issues and advance social justice. Trump has slandered and used profane language against football players who have knelled too. This unjust policy from the NFL ought to be change. We reject tyranny and we believe in full free speech rights. There a racial issue too as the motivation for some to hate the kneel is racism. Many of the same ones who hate Kaepernick love a person who is Cliven Bundy (who made explicit words that demonize people of color).

There is always the lie that when black people protest, then we're disloyal. Instead, we are loyal to truth and we are loyal to black liberation. Some worship a flag than adhere to human free expression and human protest. Trump and his cowardly epigone Mike Pence should be ashamed of themselves for their hypocrisy, their anti-free speech agenda, and their reactionary rhetoric. Muhammad Ali, Dr. King, Rosa Parks, and other Brothers and Sisters protested for their rights for years. Today, we advocate the same activism in favor of our human rights too. Recently, Trump said that NFL Players who refuse to stand up when the anthem is being played maybe should leave America. This is an advocacy of fascism and Trump is an American fascist. From him hurting people with his Trump University to his other scandals, he is a person with reprehensible character. He is not only a racist, but a fascist as peaceful protest doesn't merit someone being forcibly removed from America. With events of police misconduct, xenophobia, wars, and other problems, we can't be naive. Racism is beyond ignorance. It is a system dedicated to oppress human beings based upon one's skin color. Xenophobia is based on being the antithesis of the Golden Rule. Fighting evil and advancing good is what our life's work is all about.

By Timothy

On Trump, Gaza and White Supremacy in South Africa

The Defeat of US Imperialism is a Strategic Necessity, not a Single Issue

The Left Needs More Critical Debate and Real Discussion, Less Twitter/Facebook Name Calling and Mic Drops

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sparks of a teacher rebellion in North Carolina

1968: A revolt blooms behind the “Iron Curtain”

New History and Other Information.

Today, history is being made all of the time. One of the greatest political news of our history is how Stacey Abrams is now the Democratic candidate for the governor of Georgia. She won the primary with about 70 percent of the vote going for her. She is the first black woman to be the official major candidate for the governor of Georgia. She is a lawyer, a businesswoman, and an author. In 1995, Abrams earned her B.A. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Political Science, Economics and Sociology) from Spelman College, magna cum laude. She was in the Georgia General Assembly from 2007 to 2017. She promotes economic fairness and children's issues. Black women desire more representation in politics as they are entitled to it completely. Black women were the key difference in ending Roy Moore's campaign and allowing political progressives to win many races for years and decades. Stacey Abrams has certainly talked about issues that black people, other people of color, the young, and other voters care about. In Kentucky, another woman named Amy McGrath (who is a Marine veteran) won a primary. Barbara Underwood is the new first woman Attorney General of the state of New York. A military veteran, former Air Force intelligence officer Gina Ortiz Jones, won a runoff in Texas' 23rd District. With these news, we see the power of women in full view. Georgia is emerging as a swing state. In my lifetime, Georgia could be in play for the Presidential election by 2020 which is amazing. I always knew that the South (with its progressives living in it) would redeem this nation and these recent events as found in Virginia, Alabama, and Georgia prove me right.

Naomi Campbell is a fashion legend. It was her birthday yesterday and she is 48 years old. She was born in London, England. For years and decades, she has fought not only for her right to do fashion comprehensively. Also, she has fought for more black representation in fashion covers internationally. The reason is obvious. Back in the day and today, racism is heavily found in the mainstream fashion industry. People have always known of her honesty and strength. Today, she has utilized her strength to contribute heavily in the spheres of music, fashion, and other aspects of human living. She is a supermodel. From the late 1980's, she has been on magazine covers, acted in movies, and shown music in R&B pop. Giving back is part of her repertoire. She has organized charities to fund children, to help the victims of Katrina, to help victims of the Mumbai terrorist attack, to help to fight poverty in Brazil, and I can go on and on. In 2013, Campbell joined fellow black models Iman and Bethann Hardison in an advocacy group called "Diversity Coalition." This group wants to promote more people of color representation in the fashion industry. She is a black woman who walks her talk. Therefore, I wish Sister Naomi Campbell more Blessings.

Days ago was the Birthday of one of the most famous people in the world. He has been involved in movies and charities for years and decades. His name is Mr. T. or Laurence Tureaud. He is now 66 years old and he was born in the great city of Chicago. Always in awe of his mother, his mother taught him about the great values of kindness, humane treatment, strength, courage, perseverance, and humility. He worked hard prodigiously throughout his life. He called himself Mr. T as a means for others to respect him as a black man (as many of his relatives were victims of racism, disrespect, and discrimination). At Dunbar Vocational High school, he played football, studied martial arts, and wrestled. He came into the Army, so he is a military veteran. Mr. T also was a bouncer and a famous bodyguard for many celebrities from Muhammad Ali to Diana Ross. He was paid $3,000 a day. The A-Team was a show that he displayed acting skills on prominently. In that show, he played a member of a fictional cast of a group of people who helped people and exposed corruption. From video games to professional wrestling shows, he displayed a diversity of human expression. Always a compassionate man, he credits his faith for sustaining his life. He believes in God and there is nothing wrong with a man expressing his spirituality in public or in private. He continues to inspire others. I wish Brother Mr. T more Blessings.

As we approach the 100th year anniversary of the end of World War One, we witness new information and great insights of that very violent conflict. World War I or the Great impacted the world society in a myriad of ways. Advanced technologies like tanks and complex airplanes plus machine guns were utilized in a huge fashion. It first involved the European continent since European powers desired to gather as much power of the world as possible via imperialism including colonialism. This came after the Boxer Rebellion where Boxers from China were defeated by Western Powers by 1901. Also, WWI existed in the midst of nationalist movements including the Communist Russian Revolution of 1917 too. 70 million military personnel were mobilized. The war started in many situations. First, England and France wanted to contain the expansion of Germany (with the growth of its army and navy). Also, the Ottoman Empire was weakening. The Serbian nationalist Princip assassinated Archduke Ferdinand in a means to gain Serbian independence. Princip was allied with the Secret society called the Black Hand. Alliances among France and England plus the alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary were in full display. So, war existed as a result of competing alliances fighting for control of geopolitical power. World War One transpired globally too with battles in Asia, Africa, and in other locations. Supporters and opponents of the war were abundant during that time period.

The Armenian genocide, the Greek genocide, and the Assyrian genocide all occurred during World War I. Chemical warfare was committed by both sides during the war (which was a war crime) too. The majority of the war existed in a stalemate among the Allies and the Central Powers in part because of trench warfare (which caused both sides to fight and being slaughtered from across the battlefield especially in places like Verdun). American involvement, the weakening of the Ottoman Empire, and various military tactics contributed to the Allied victory. The war ended in 1918, but issues of autonomy and nationhood wouldn’t be resolved so readily. The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 (headed by Britain, France, the United States, and Italy or the Big Four) involved the Allied forces to place sanctions on Germany. It refused to give people of color (especially black people and Asian people) true national independence. Ho Chi Minh back then wanted Vietnam to have independence from France, but the Paris Peace Conference refused to do so. The subsequent League of Nations couldn’t enforce treaties, it lacked great strength, and it was rejected by the U.S. Congress. Soon, economic depression, international tensions, anger, and the growth of fascism contributed to the beginning of World War II. World War One was an international war that saw the modernization of how we live in the Earth. It was a war that saw monarchies fall and new national realities develop. It was an epoch of world history indeed.

By Timothy

Monday, May 21, 2018


Early World War I History.

The beginning of the World War I started with miscommunication. The Central Powers had to communicate with its ally Germany. Germany promised to support Austria-Hungary’s invasion of Serbia. The problem was that the interpretations of what that meant differed. There were previously tested deployment plans. They were replaced in early 1914. They have never been tested in exercises. Austro-Hungarian leaders believed Germany would cover its northern flank against Russia. Germany wanted Austria-Hungary to direct most of its troops against Russia, while Germany dealt with France. The confusion forced the Austro-Hungarian Army to divide its forces between the Russian and Serbian fronts.  On August 12, 1914, Austria invaded and fought the Serbian army at the Battle of Cer and Battle of Kolubara. Over the next 2 weeks, Austrian attacks were thrown back because of heavy losses. This was the first major Allied victories of World War One. It dashed Austro-Hungarian hopes of a swift victory. After this, Austria had to keep sizable forces on the Serbian font, which weakening its efforts against Russia. Serbia’s defeat of the Austro-Hungarian invasion of 1914 has been one of the major upsets victories of the twentieth century. German forces started to come into Belgium and France. During the start of World War I, 80% of the German army was deployed as seven field armies in the west. This was according to the plan called Aufmarsch II West. Yet, they were then assigned to execute the retired deployment plan of Aufmarsch I West. This was also known as the Schlieffen Plan. This plan would be about marching German armies through northern Belgium and into France. The Germans wanted to encircle the French army and then breach the second defensive area of the fortresses of Verdun and Paris including at the Marne River. Aufmarsch I West was one of the four deployment plans available to the General Staff in 1914. Each plan favored certain operations, but they didn’t specify exactly how those operations were to be carried out (at their initiative and with minimal oversight). 

Aufmarsch I West was created for a one front war with France. Both Russia and Britain were expected to help France. Italian or Austro-Hungarian troops weren’t available for operations against France. The plan was offensive. Accordingly, the Aufmarsch II West deployment was changed for the offensive of 1914, despite its unrealistic goals and the insufficient forces Germany had available for decisive success. Moltke took Schlieffen's plan and modified the deployment of forces on the western front by reducing the right wing, the one to advance through Belgium, from 85% to 70%. In the end, the Schlieffen plan was so radically modified by Moltke, that it could be more properly called the Moltke Plan. This plan wanted to go to the right flank of the German advance to bypass the French armies which were found on the Franco-German border. They wanted to defeat the French forces closer to Luxembourg and Belgium, so they could move south to Paris. The Germans were successful at first, especially at the Battle of the Frontiers (from August 12-24, 1914). By September 12, 1914, the French (with assistance from the BEF or the British Expeditionary Force) halted the German advance east of Paris. This was found at the First Battle of the Marne which occurred from September 5-12, 1914. They pushed the German forces back some 31 miles. The French offensive into southern Alsace was launched on August 20 in the Battle of Mulhouse. It had limited success. Russia invaded with 2 armies in the east. The Germans responded. They used their 8th Field Army from its previous role as reserve for the invasion of France. They used that army to go into East Prussia by rail across the German Empire. This German army was led by Paul von Hindenburg. They defeated Russia in many battles known as the First Battle of Tannenburg from August 2 to September 2, 1914. The Russian invasion failed. It caused a diversion of German troops to the east. The Allied victory came about in the First Battle of the Marne. This meant Germany failed to achieve its objective of avoiding a long, two-front war. However, the German army had fought its way into a good defensive position inside France and effectively halved France's supply of coal. It had also killed or permanently crippled 230,000 more French and British troops than it itself had lost. Despite this, communications problems and questionable command decisions cost Germany the chance of a more decisive outcome.

Conflict existed in Asia too. New Zealand occupied German Samoa (or later Western Samoa) on August 30, 1914. By September 11, 1914, the Australian Naval and military Expeditionary force landed on the island of Neu Pommern (later New Britain), which was part of German New Guinea. On October 28, the German cruiser SMS Emden sank the Russian cruiser Zhemchug in the Battle of Penang.  Japan seized Germany's Micronesian colonies and, after the Siege of Tsingtao, the German coaling port of Qingdao on the Chinese Shandong peninsula. As Vienna refused to withdraw the Austro-Hungarian cruiser SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth from Tsingtao, Japan declared war not only on Germany, but also on Austria-Hungary; the ship participated in the defense of Tsingtao where it was sunk in November 1914. Within a few months, the Allied forces had seized all the German territories in the Pacific; only isolated commerce raiders and a few holdouts in New Guinea remained. Some of the first clashes of WWI involved British, French, and German colonial forces in Africa. From August 6-7, 1914, French and British troops invaded the German protectorate of Togoland and Kamerun. On August 10, German forces in South-West Africa attacked South Africa. Plus, sporadic and fierce fighting continued for the rest of the war. The German colonial forces in German East Africa, led by Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, fought a guerrilla warfare campaign during World War I and only surrendered two weeks after the armistice took effect in Europe. Germany attempted to use Indian nationalism and pan-Islamism to its advantage, instigating uprisings in India, and sending a mission that urged Afghanistan to join the war on the side of Central powers. However, contrary to British fears of a revolt in India, the outbreak of the war saw an unprecedented outpouring of loyalty and goodwill towards Britain. Indian political leaders from the Indian National Congress and other groups were eager to support the British war effort, since they believed that strong support for the war effort would further the cause of Indian Home Rule. The Indian Army in fact outnumbered the British Army at the beginning of the war; about 1.3 million Indian soldiers and laborers served in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, while the central government and the princely states sent large supplies of food, money, and ammunition. In all, 140,000 men served on the Western Front and nearly 700,000 in the Middle East. Casualties of Indian soldiers totaled 47,746 killed and 65,126 wounded during World War I. The suffering engendered by the war, as well as the failure of the British government to grant self-government to India after the end of hostilities, bred disillusionment and fueled the campaign for full independence that would be led by Mohandas K. Gandhi and others. World War I was truly a global war. 

The Western Front was a famous part of the war. There were military tactics developed before WWI that failed to keep pace with advances in technology and had become obsolete. These new advances made the strong defensive systems to be better than old school military tactics. There was barbed wire. This was a significance hindrance to stop many infantry advances. New artillery was more lethal than weapons used in the 1870’s. There were machine guns making crossing open ground extremely difficult. Commanders on both sides failed to develop tactics for breaching entrenched positions without heavy casualties. Later, other technology had gas warfare and the tank. Just after the First Battle of the Marne (like September 5-12, 1914), the Entente and German forces attempting maneuvering to the north. They wanted to outflank each other. These actions were called, “Race to the Sea.” These outflanking efforts failed. The opposing forces found themselves found themselves at a line of entrenched positions from Lorraine to Belgium’s coast. Britain and France wanted to take the offensive. Germany wanted to defend the occupied territories. German trenches were much better constructed than those of their enemy. Anglo-French trenches were created only to be temporary before the Allied forces broke through the German defenses. Both sides wanted to break the war stalemate with new scientific and technological advances. The Germans violated the Hague Convention and used chlorine gas for the first time on the Western Front (during the April 22, 1915 Second Battle of Ypres). Both sides used gas and it wasn’t a battle winning weapon. Poison gas was heavily dangerous and destructive. Tanks were created by the British and French. They were first used in combat by the British during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette or part of the Battle of the Somme on September 15, 1916. There was only partial success in that battle. Yet, the tank was very effective as the war progressed. The Allied created large tanks. The German armies only employed a few of them. From 1915 to 1917, the war was a stalemate without a decisive blow. There was the continuation of trench warfare. Throughout 1915–17, the British Empire and France suffered more casualties than Germany, because of both the strategic and tactical stances chosen by the sides. Strategically, while the Germans only mounted one major offensive, the Allies made several attempts to break through the German lines.

On February of 1916, the Germans attacked the French defensive positions at Verdun. It lasted until December of 1916. The battle had initial German gains before the French counter-attacks returned matters to near their starting point. France had more casualties. Many Germans died as well from 700,000 to 975,000 people. Verdun was a symbol of French determination and self-sacrifice. The Battle of Somme was an Anglo-French offensive from July to November of 1916. The start of the offensive on July 1, 1916 saw the British Army suffer the bloodiest day in its history. They suffered 57,470 casualties including 19,240 dead on the first day alone. The whole Somme offensive cost the British Army some 420,000 casualties. The French suffered another estimated 200,000 casualties and the Germans an estimated 500,000. Gun fire wasn’t the only way that soldiers died. There were diseases that killed people on both sides of the war. Many had infections. Illnesses like trench foot, shell shock, blindness, burns (from mustard gas), trench fever, body lice, and the flu harmed people. There was protracted action at Verdun all over 1916. There was massive bloodshed at the Somme. Many French soldiers were near collapse. There were the futile attempts using front assault at the high price for the British and the French. Many French Army Mutinies existed. This came after the failure of the costly Nivelle Offensive of April to May 1917. The concurrent British Battle of Arras was more limited in scope and more successful. It was less of a strategic value though. One smaller part of the Arras offensive involved the capture of Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Corps. This was very important to Canada as the idea that Canada's national identity was born out of the battle is an opinion widely held in military and general histories of Canada. The last large-scale offensive of this period was a British attack (with French support) at Passchendaele (July–November 1917). This offensive opened with great promise for the Allies, before bogging down in the October mud. Casualties, though disputed, were roughly equal, at some 200,000–400,000 per side. These years of trench warfare in the West saw no major exchanges of territory and, as a result, are often thought of as static and unchanging. However, throughout this period, British, French, and German tactics constantly evolved to meet new battlefield challenges.

By Timothy

Friday, May 18, 2018

Economic Information (from 1945-2018)

From 1945 to 2018 would include some of the most important economic developments in human history. After World War II, there was the start the post-World War II economic boon. It lasted from 1945 to the early 1970’s. There was the $200 billion in war bond maturing. The G.I. Bill funded a well-educated work force. Immediately after WWII, the middle class grew, GDP increased along with productivity. Across many economic classes, the growth was distributed fairly. There was the strength of labor unions during this period as labor union membership peaked historically in America by the 1950’s. Many people in towns and the cities experienced better paying jobs by 1960. Still, society wasn’t a Utopia back then either because of the obvious reasons. Back then, black people and people of color were denied basic human rights from voting rights to educational opportunities. Women back then in many cases couldn’t even enjoy full rights and Jim Crow plus lynching back then were in epidemic levels (Lynchings continue to this very day in the 21st century as exposed by many incidents in America alone). The Congress created the Council of Economic Advisors to promote high employment, high profits, and low inflation. Keynesianism was even embraced to some extent by the Eisenhower administration (1953-1961). Many people embraced public works programs, easing credit, and reducing taxes. Keynesian economic policies have been embraced by John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon back in 1969. The nation still experienced recessions of 1945, 1949, 1953, and 1960 with a decline in GDP. The Baby Boom saw a rapid increase in American births from 1942 to 1957. It was caused by delayed marriages and childbearing during the depression, more economic prosperity, the growth of suburbia. This economic growth was influenced by technological developments. Fertilizer and farm machinery was modernized. The Green Revolution of the 1940’s and beyond increased yields of corn, soybean, and wheat. New Deal policies continued from then to this very day. The New Deal assisted framed in their policies like farm loans, commodity subsidies, and price supports. The farm population declined and food stamp programs were used to help urban communities. World War II saw air transport heavily utilized. After WWII, America had the leading producer of combat aircraft and commercial aircraft. The airplane manufacturing and maintenance personnel expanded with radar. 

The aircraft industry had the highest productivity growth of any major industry, growing by 8.9% per year from 1929-1966. Automobiles, highways, and inexpensive housing expanded suburbia. There were problems during that era of time too. Many poor families lived in overcrowded apartments. Economic inequality was a serious issue. Richer families saw their family savings grow to be used for down payments on many items. Whereas an average of 316,000 new housing non-farm units had been constructed from the 1930's through 1945, there were 1,450,000 units built annually from 1946 through 1955. The G.I. Bill helped many veterans with low down payments and low interest rates. In 1956, the interstate highway system started to develop. Computer technology with transistors and other items helped to do accounting, billing, and payroll actions. Federal taxes on incomes, profits and payrolls had risen to high levels during World War II and had been cut back only slowly; the highest rates for individuals reached the 90% level. Congress cut tax rates in 1964. President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963–69) dreamed of creating a "Great Society", and began many new social programs to that end, such as Medicaid and Medicare. The Great Society and other programs cut poverty in half from 1960 to 1970. The Great Society's Head Start, disability benefits, job training programs, have helped millions of Americans of every color for years and decades.

As for the Great Society programs, they were beginning to work until  budgets were cut and the economy began to shift from manufacturing. The data is clear: in the years between 1965 and 1973, poverty rates plummeted, and especially in urban areas, by about 38 percent. Even the Model Cities programs helped people, but they were ended in a less than a decade after its initial implementation. By the mid-1970's, many of the programs of the Great Society had been cut or eliminated, leaving only cash assistance (which began to decline relative to inflation and was never sufficient to pull folks from poverty), food stamps and limited housing support.

Eisenhower expanded nuclear technology. John F. Kennedy supported expansion into space travel and other investment. The South also had a transition from manufacturing to high technology. There was the Atomic Energy Commission's Savannah River Site in South Carolina; the Redstone Arsenal at Huntsville in Alabama; nuclear research facilities at Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and space facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida, at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, and at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The Defense Department financed some of the private industry’s research and development in the decades like ARPANET, which would become the Internet. By the late 1960’s, manufacturing employment and nominal value added shares of the economy have decline since WWII.

Japan and West Germany grew its economy after World War II. They were rebuilt by the Marshall Plan and actions from U.S. investments to both of those nations. With the Vietnam War, there was massive inflation. The reason was that there was massive spending overseas for the war while by the late 1960's, the Great Society programs were beginning to be cut. The manufacturing jobs started to decline in America especially by the 1960's because of jobs moving outside of cities and automation. Also, there was the rise of the service sector economy in replacing the private sector economy by the late 20th century. Technological innovations of the final third of the 20th century were significant, but were not as powerful as those of the first two-thirds of the century. Manufacturing productivity growth continued at a somewhat slower rate than in earlier decades, but overall productivity was dragged down by the relative increase in size of the government and service sectors. The Bretton Woods system in 1971 ended. That was when America made the dollar a fiat currency from ending the convertibility of the U.S. dollar to gold. By the early 1970’s, imported manufacturing goods came about like automobiles and electronics. The 1973 oil crisis was about nations like Saudi Arabia banning oil from importing into America. They did this in retaliation of American support of Israel (especially during the time of the Yom Kippur war). There was the stock market crash of 1973-1974. New economic theorists attacked the New Deal. They are monetarist economists from the Chicago School of Economics promoted the free market along with low taxes, less regulations and free trade. One leader of this movement was Milton Friedman. These people promoted deregulation from New Deal style regulation. Milton Freedman's deregulation policies has harmed the economy for years and decades into the future. America became dependent on OPEC. Stagflation (which is an economy situation with a combination of high inflation with a stagnant economy) harmed America. President Gerald Ford introduced the slogan, "Whip Inflation Now" (WIN). In 1974, productivity shrunk by 1.5%, though this soon recovered. In 1976, Carter won the Presidency. Carter would later take much of the blame for the even more turbulent economic times to come, though some say circumstances were outside his control. Inflation continued to climb skyward. Productivity growth was small, when not negative. Interest rates remained high, with the prime reaching 20% in January 1981.

Unemployment dropped mostly steadily from 1975 to 1979, although it then began to rise sharply. This period also saw the increased rise of the environmental and consumer movements, and the government established new regulations and regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and others. As early as 1976, the deregulation movement took ground in America. Carter promoted deregulation in the Airline Deregulation Act, was cleared by Congress. Transportation deregulation accelerated in 1980, with the deregulation of railroads and trucking. Deregulation of interstate buses followed in 1982. In addition to transportation deregulation, savings and loan associations and banks were partially deregulated with the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act in 1980 and the Garn–St. Germain Depository Institutions Act in 1982. Incoming President Jimmy Carter instituted a large fiscal stimulus package in 1977 in order to boost the economy. However, inflation began a steep rise beginning in late 1978, and rose by double digits following the 1979 energy crisis. In order to combat inflation, Carter appointed Paul Volcker to the Federal Reserve, who raised interest rates and caused a sharp recession in the first six months of 1980.  In March 1980, Carter introduced his own policies for reducing inflation, and the Federal Reserve brought down interest rates to cooperate with the initiatives. During the 1980 recession, manufacturing shed 1.1 million jobs, while service industries remained intact. Employment in automotive manufacturing in particular suffered, experiencing a 33% reduction by the end of the recession.  Collectively these factors contributed to the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

The Federal Reserve caused another recession when it raised interest rates in 1981. By December of 1982, unemployment was about 10.8%. Reagan promoted Reaganomics. This was about promoting tax cuts to the wealthy, cutting the marginal federal income tax rates by 25%.  Inflation dropped dramatically from 13.5% annually in 1980 to just 3% annually in 1983 due to a short recession and the Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker's tighter control of the money supply and interest rates. Real GDP began to grow after contracting in 1980 and 1982. The unemployment rate continued to rise to a peak of 10.8% by late 1982, but dropped well under 6% unemployment at the end of Reagan's presidency in January 1989. The economy grew by the end of Reagan’s 2nd term, but homelessness grew and much of the economic growth existed on the super wealthy. There was the War on Drugs and the crack epidemic harming urban and poor communities nationwide during the Reagan years. Large trade deficits existed. From 1982 to 1987 the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained over 1900 points from 776 in 1982 to 2722 in 1987 – about a 350% increase. An economic boom took place from 1983 until a recession began in 1990. Between 1983 and 1989, the number of people below the poverty line decreased by 3.8 million. Computers, cell phones, music players, and video games saw more popularity. Much of the economic growth on the 2nd term of Reagan was a product of low interest rates and more government spending not because of trickled down economics. The early Bush Presidency's economic policies were sometimes seen as a continuation of Reagan's policies, but in the early 1990s, Bush went back on a promise and increased taxes in a compromise with Congressional Democrats. He ended his presidency on a moderate note, signing regulatory bills such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, and negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. In 1992, Bush and third-party candidate Ross Perot lost to Democrat Bill Clinton. Deindustrialization since the late 1960’s grew income inequality. In 1968, the U.S. Gini coefficient was 0.386. The Gini coefficient measures economic inequality. In 2005, the American Gini coefficient had reached 0.469. Globalization was upon by the world in a large level by the 1990’s.

During the 1990s, government debt increased by 75%, GDP rose by 69%, and the stock market as measured by the S&P 500 grew more than threefold. From 1994 to 2000 real output increased, inflation was manageable and unemployment dropped to below 5%, resulting in a soaring stock market known as the dot-com boom. The second half of the 1990's was characterized by well-publicized initial public offerings of high-tech and "dot-com" companies. Bill Clinton in the 1990's signed a law that increased taxes on top earners (i.e. those who made $250K + income annually). He increased the tax rate from the top earners from 31% to 39.6% on top earners. Later, there was 23 million jobs created under Clinton's time. There was a budget surplus from a budget deficit. Economic growth was found from 1992-2000. Many conservatives predicted that Clinton's tax increases would harm America massively in economic terms, but they were wrong. This proved that trickled down economics doesn't work.

By 2000, however, it was evident a bubble in stock valuations had occurred, such that beginning in March 2000, the market would give back some 50% to 75% of the growth of the 1990's. The economy worsened in 2001 with output increasing only 0.3% and unemployment and business failures rising substantially, and triggering a recession that is often blamed on the September 11 attacks. Corporate scandals existed too. The housing market caused a false sense of security from 2001 to 2007. George W. Bush signed a tax law that cut the top capital gains and dividends. He reduced the taxes rate from top earners 39.6% to 35%. The economy barely grew. The housing bubble was caused in large part by reckless policies from many banking interests. The Great Recession was global. The bursting of the worldwide bubble in housing harmed millions of American lives. Many banks and hedge funds borrowed hundreds of billions of dollars to buy securities which were toxic. Many U.S. and Europe banks went bankrupt like Lehman Brothers. Also, payday lenders exploited many poorer African Americans in charging them more interests than white Americans. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama passed bank bailout legislation. The Great Recession ended the Bush administration completely.  The government for the first time took major ownership positions in the largest banks.

The stock market plunged 40%, wiping out tens of trillions of dollars in wealth; housing prices fell 20% nationwide wiping out trillions more. By late 2008 distress was spreading beyond the financial and housing sectors, especially as the "Big Three" of the automobile industry (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) were on the verge of bankruptcy, and the retail sector showed major weaknesses. Critics of the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) expressed anger that much of the TARP money that has been distributed to banks is seemingly unaccounted for, with banks being secretive on the issue. President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in February 2009; the bill provides $787 billion in stimulus through a combination of spending and tax cuts. The plan is largely based on the Keynesian theory that government spending should offset the fall in private spending during an economic downturn. Obama’s policies had a mixed results. The policies prevented a return of the Great Recession. Also, much of the job growth came into the wealthy and upper middle class. In the U.S., jobs paying between $14 and $21 per hour made up about 60% those lost during the recession, but such mid-wage jobs have comprised only about 27% of jobs gained during the recovery through mid-2012. Barack Obama expanded taxes for the top earners to 39.6% along with more tax on capital gains and dividends. In contrast, lower-paying jobs constituted about 58% of the jobs regained. Under the Obama years, the unemployment rate continued to decline. By the Trump years, the economy has remained stable with challenges. One was Trump’s recent tax bill that benefited massive corporations and limit taxes on the super wealthy. Tax cuts for the rich won't work to help end poverty or radically grow the economy because of many reasons. Since the 1980's, the tax rate of the wealthy has already been cut from 80% to less than 40%. During that time, wages for workers have been stagnant.

Wages continue to not rise massively among Americans and the U.S. economy is not where it needs to be. Right now, the unemployment rate is about 3.9%. It is also true that some of the wealthy grown by private banks and private industries deprived from cruel evil of slavery. There is still a lot of poverty in the world. The progressive social movements brought us unions, the 40 hour work week, civil rights legislation, women's right legislation, environmental standards, and other blessings that some take for granted. During that time of these forms of legislation from the early to 20th century to the late 1970's, the economy has grown in unprecedented levels. After the late 1970's, neoliberalism has grown economic inequality. The wealthiest 1 percent take home about 20% of the national income. That is why investing directly to the American people is necessity in growing the economy comprehensively. We need more educated, skilled workers which are productive to any economy. More workers having a living wage will buy items which built industries and those industries in term hire more people. Also, we need to help the poor and the working class as well. Funds in healthcare, education, and job training are key. Yet, the American people are very resilient and we shall overcome the extremism from the Trump regime.

*We live in a time where people want economic solutions and people are entitled to them. Trickle down economics doesn't work because of many reasons. One reason is that large corporations will not typically send billions of dollars to address economic inequality. Large multinational corporations with tax cuts will spend the money globally in favor of their interests irrespective of altruistic motivations. Also, the wealthy pay less of their income as a percentage than the poor or the middle class. Therefore, if you want more demand for goods and services, you have to send more income to the middle class and the poor, which makes up the majority of the American people. Many workers are consumers and consumers make up the majority of economy activity in the U.S. Most Americans aren't rich. Most Americans are either poor or middle class. Building the economy for the poor and the working class including the middle class is from the ground up. That is why any economic policy ultimately must address our healthcare, education, and infrastructure. A strong education with job training skills will in term help to grow the economy more comprehensively in America. This revolves around public investments since studies already document that public investments grow the economy. For example, the New Deal and Great Society programs cut poverty in half from 1960 to 1970. Also, these programs increased the amount of Americans in college.

We must strengthen our social safety net like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Before these three programs existed, millions of Americans suffered poverty, starvation, and some Americans unfortunately died because of a lax of resources. When Social Security was created in 1935, half of America's seniors were in poverty. By 1966, that poverty rate declined to 28.6%. Medicare existed when LBJ was President. JFK gave speeches in support of it like in NYC, but he passed away before it was made into law. Medicare guarantees health care for older Americans (which was opposed by Ronald Reagan back then too). In 1966, half of seniors had health care and today about 98.9 percent of seniors have health care. Medicaid was used to help the elderly and the poor in very compassionate ways. We as workers pay money into Social Security and Medicare everyday we work. This is our money and these social programs must be strengthened. These programs must be expanded and improved upon without cuts.

Universal pre-K is always beneficial. Investing in infrastructure is common sense. An economy can't function without an infrastructure. Without a ROAD you cannot TRANSPORT goods, WITHOUT POWER you cannot have a FACTORY. Therefore, resources to build structures, to create jobs, and to establish wealth are necessary in any civilization. Progressives and even some conservatives believes in investments in infrastructure like our roads, highways, public transportation, our hospitals, our schools, our bridges, etc. From 1945 to 1975, America made huge investments in infrastructure, education, and health care. Also, there was collective bargaining, union growth, and the growth of the civil rights movement which legitimately expanded rights for black people plus other minorities. That resulted in the lowest drop in economic inequality in American history, possibly world history. During that era of time, median income increased, but since the late 1970's, median income has stagnated because of neoliberal policies (like massive tax cuts for the wealthy, austerity, etc.). Heroes constantly are fighting for a higher minimum wage, a higher EITC (or an earned income tax credit), stronger unions, and lower taxes on the working class to be financed by higher taxes on the super wealthy). We, the people should run our own government not Wall Street-backed large corporations. That is why revolutionary economic policies must be fought for.

By Timothy

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Mid May 2018 News

We can escape supporting the 2 extremes of Trump's crude nationalism and the imperialist's neoliberal globalization. Crude nationalism scapegoat races of people unfairly, violates human rights, and advances overt bigotry. The other extreme of imperialist neoliberalism promotes brutal wars, dominates resources unfairly, and creates a climate of exploitation. One person who promoted imperialism is George W. Bush. When he was President, he executed the unjust Iraq War, used DHS to racially profiling many and religiously profile Muslims, used a lax response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and established other bad policies. It is the Western imperialism overseas in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, etc. that has contributed to the growth of chaos, dictatorship, oppression and inequality. For example, the CIA has been involved in numerous coups against democratically elected nations for decades. The other extreme of Trump's nationalism forgets that humanity is not just national. We are international in scope. Trump is wrong to promote the policies of reaction, and advancing oligarchy instead of democratic freedom. The solution is to promote international solidarity with people worldwide in addressing these issues while promoting policies that uplift the people not corporate exploitation.

One of the most important stories about what is happening wright now is the relase of Brother Rakem Balogun. The U.S. government has issued surveillance of him and falsely assumed that he is some "terrorist" when he is not. He is a family man who promotes black liberation on the Internet and outside of the Internet too. Recently, the government promoted the slur of BIE or Black Identity Extremist. That term seeks to slander any black activist who desires unconditionally black liberation against racism and oppression in general. Before he was arrested, armed men with highly powered weapons came into his house. He found out that he was investigated by the FBI for years for posting words on Facebook that criticized the police. For the record, the police who act crooked by definition are terrorists. This story proves that FBI monitoring of activists didn't end during the 1960's (with programs like COINTELPRO). They continue today. The events that happened to Balogun is not only tyranny, but a violation to real democratic freedom. Yet, we are not surprised since America has a long track record of violating the freedoms of its inhabitants starting with Native Americans and others (including black people). Prosecutors couldn't prosecute him. Balogun has helped the poor, promoted self defense classes, and supported black gun owners in the midst of large white racist terrorist activity worldwide not just in America. In addition to an overall decline in police deaths, most individuals who shoot and kill officers are white men, and white supremacists have been responsible for nearly 75% of deadly extremist attacks since 2001. Therefore, we have to fight tyranny regardless of its manifestations.

Yesterday was the Birthday of Brother Emmett Smith. He is now 49 years old. He is one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. He was born in Pensacola, Florida. He the second-leading rusher in American high school football history while playing for Escambia High School. Smith then attended the University of Florida, where he set numerous school rushing records over a three-year college career with the Florida Gators. He was an All-American in 1989. Later, he came into the Dallas Cowboys to win 3 Super Bowls. He has other accomplishments too. He came into the Pro Bowl 9 times. He was the AP MVP of the NFL in 1993. He has the most career rushing yards in NFL history. He has a wife and children too. Today, he is in the real estate business. To this very day, he has motivated a lot of people to pursuit their own aspirations. Brother Raphael Saadiq had experienced his Birthday recently too. He is now 52 years old. He is a world famous singer, producer, and songwriter. He was famous for his solo career and for being part of the group Tony! Toni! Toné! Since the late 1980's, that group promoted old school R&B music with much new school flavor. They made many multi-platinum hits. He produced songs for TLC, D'Angelo, En Vogue, Kelis, Mary J. Blige, Ledisi, Whitney Houston, Solange Knowles and John Legend. Saadiq's critically acclaimed album, The Way I See It, released on September 16, 2008. For the 1990's, he was one of the greatest artists of that decade and he is one of the greatest musicians of our generation period. He was born in the great city of Oakland, California. He continues to produce to this very day. He continues to perform worldwide. He has amazing talent.

Today, Trump and Netanyahu (who are allies and men filled with scandals) made Jerusalem the location of the new U.S. embassy. It was once in Tel Aviv. This was historic and controversial since no major negotiations caused this to occur among the Palestinians. Trump doesn't give a care about the plight of the Palestinians. While there is no justification for terrorists to kill Israelis. There is also no justification for Palestinians to be murdered by Israeli military terrorists either. Many journalists in Gaza have been shot by military Israeli forces recently. The Palestinians have a long history of experiencing unjust occupation, discrimination, and racism. There is racism in Israel too where black African migrants are forcibly removed and black Israeli residents experience racism on a daily basis. This is real. I'm not just typing this words. I have researched this information for over 10 years. One Israeli Sephradi rabbi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef made racists comments against African Americans too. He believes that non-Jewish people in Israel must follow the Noahide laws which is ludicrous. He made a sexist remark about secular women as well. He is a deception. From the Six Day War to the infitadas, the history of the Israeli/Palestine conflict has been filled with occupation, bloodshed, and other problems. Regardless of the Trump lies, the protesters in Gaza are not collectively Hamas agents. Many of them have sincerity in desiring Palestinian liberation. Israel is basically an ethnocentric state. Israel came about after one of the worst crimes in human history which is the Holocaust. Many early Israeli leaders were descendants of refugees from Poland and Eastern Europe (back then Stalin's pogroms caused many Jewish people to came into Israel. Stalinism isn't socialism, but totalitarianism). Massive economic inequality exist in both Israel and Palestine. Also, Israelis include Yemeni, Iraqi, Sephardi, and Mizarahi Jewish people. 70 years since 1948 (which is called the Nabka or the catastrophe by Palestinians) or the year when Israel was formed has been filled with controversy indeed. There is no solution to this crisis unless an international plan exists where both Jewish and Arabic people work together to build working class liberation and liberation in general for those who live in the region excluding occupation & oppression.

There are continued stories where the lives of black people have been harassed either by white racists or by overzealous, crooked cops. One black graduate student in Yale named Lolade Siyonbola was just sleeping in her dorm room. Later, a white woman called the police on her for no reason. The police came and interrogated Lolade like she was a criminal when she wasn't. She verified her identity and her right to sleep in the dorm. Later, the cops left. People are legitimately outraged at the mistreatment of Lolade too. This is not new since for years, innocent black people have had the police called on them for no reason whatsoever. On May 8, 2018, 3 innocent black women who were checking out of their Airbnb rental were called the police on by a white woman. The black women showed proof of being guests. In April, two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks after a white employee called the cops. They were just sitting at a table and waiting for their friend. You have a disgusting cop stripping the clothes off of a black woman in a Waffle House in Alabama. Another young black man was thrown to the grown and choked by a North Carolina police officer near a Waffle House. Then, you have a convicted felon (with his convictions later overturned) Oliver North being the head of the NRA. North made the racist statement that pro-gun control children activists are akin to racist anti-civil rights extremists of the 1960's. Also, North compared young activists in Florida to terrorists. Oliver North was a person involved in the Iran Contra scandal of the 1980's (which was about North and his allies aiding far right Contras in Nicaragua). More and more people are speaking the truth that an inanimate object like a gun is not divine and you can never allow any person (especially criminals) to own any gun they want without restraint. Human life is always superior in value to a gun. There is no question that we have an epidemic of police brutality, harassment of black lives, and other forms of bigoted extremism. This is a fight for the right of black lives to be safe. It is about a fight for black liberation and the realization that my presence on this Earth as a black human being is a blessing.
Black Lives Matter.

By Timothy

Monday, May 14, 2018

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Baseball Culture

In baseball, teams will differ among leagues and organized play. The Major League Baseball teams have 25 player active rosters. In such a system, there are eight position players with the catcher, four infielders, and three outfielders who all play on a regular basis. There are five starting pitchers who make up the team’s pitching rotation or starting rotation.  There are six relief pitchers including one specialist closer (who make up the teams’ bullpen. It is named for the off field area where pitchers warm up). There are one backup or substitute catcher, 2 backup infielders, 2 backup outfielders, and one specialist pinch hitter (or a second backup catcher, or a seventh reliever). Most baseball leagues worldwide have the DH rule including MLB's American League, Japan's Pacific League, and Caribbean professional leagues, along with major American amateur organizations.  The Central League in Japan and the National League do not have the rule, and high-level minor league clubs connected to National League teams are not required to field a DH. In the American League and others with the DH rule, there will usually be nine offensive regulars (including the DH), five starting pitchers, seven or eight relievers, a backup catcher and two or three other reserves; the need for late-inning pinch-hitters is reduced by the DH. The manager is the head coach of a team. He or she oversees the team’s major strategic decisions. He or she can establish the starting rotation, set up the lineup, establish the batting order before each game, and make substitutions in the game. He or she can bring in relief pitchers.   Managers are typically assisted by two or more coaches. They may have specialized responsibilities, such as working with players on hitting, fielding, pitching, or strength and conditioning. At most levels of organized play, two coaches are stationed on the field when the team is at bat: the first base coach and third base coach, occupying designated coaches' boxes just outside the foul lines, assist in the direction of baserunners when the ball is in play, and relay tactical signals from the manager to batters and runners during pauses in play. In contrast to many other team sports, baseball managers and coaches generally wear their team's uniforms. Coaches must be in uniform in order to be allowed on the field to confer with players during a game. Umpires exist in baseball to make a ruling on an outcome of each play. Some can stand behind the catcher to see the strike zone. He or she can call balls and strikes. They can exist on other bases too to judge force outs and tag outs. In Major League Baseball, four umpires are used for each game, one near each base. In the playoffs, six umpires are used: one at each base and two in the outfield along the foul lines.

The game of baseball is played between 2 teams. Each team has nine players. They take turns playing offense and defense. The goal is the team with the most scores or runs wins. The offense uses batting and base running and defense uses pitching and fielding. At each inning, each team takes turns at batting and fielding. The pair of turns is called an inning. Nine innings exist in each baseball game. 7 innings exist in the high school and in doubleheaders (which means a set of 2 baseball games played between the same two team on the same day in front of the same crowd. In addition, the term is often used unofficially to refer to a pair of games played by a team in a single day, but in front of different crowds and not in immediate succession) in college plus minor leagues. Six Innings are found at the Little League level. One team—customarily the visiting team—bats in the top, or first half, of every inning. The other team—customarily the home team—bats in the bottom, or second half, of every inning. The goal of the game is to score more points (runs) than the other team. The players on the team at bat attempt to score runs by circling or completing a tour of the four bases set at the corners of the square-shaped baseball diamond. A player bats at home plate and must proceed counterclockwise to first base, second base, third base, and back home to score a run. The team in the field attempts to prevent runs from scoring and record outs, which remove opposing players from offensive action until their turn in their team's batting order comes up again. When three outs are recorded, the teams switch roles for the next half-inning. If the score of the game is tied after nine innings, extra innings are played to resolve the contest. Many amateur games, particularly unorganized ones, involve different numbers of players and innings. The game is played on a field whose primary boundaries, the foul lines, extend forward from home plate at 45-degree angles. The 90-degree area within the foul lines is referred to as fair territory; the 270-degree area outside them is foul territory. The part of the field enclosed by the bases and several yards beyond them is the infield; the area farther beyond the infield is the outfield. In the middle of the infield is a raised pitcher's mound, with a rectangular rubber plate (the rubber) at its center. The outer boundary of the outfield is typically demarcated by a raised fence, which may be of any material and height. The fair territory between home plate and the outfield boundary is baseball's field of play, though significant events can take place in foul territory, as well. The ball, the bat, and the glove or the mitt are used as tools in baseball. One baseball is about the size of an adult’s fist being around 9 inches in circumference.  It has a rubber or cork center, wound in yarn and covered in white cowhide, with red stitching. The bat is a hitting tool, traditionally made of a single, solid piece of wood. Other materials are now commonly used for nonprofessional games. It is a hard round stick, about 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) in diameter at the hitting end, tapering to a narrower handle and culminating in a knob. Bats used by adults are typically around 34 inches (86 centimeters) long, and not longer than 42 inches (106 centimeters). The glove is made up of leather being webbed between the fingers. Batters used protective helmets all of the time. The pitcher plays and each inning ends when the offensive team has 3 outs. The shortstop is between the second and third base. The left, center, and right fielders exist to prevent fly balls from leaving the field. A player who reaches first base safely on a hit is credited with a single. If a player makes it to second base safely as a direct result of a hit, it is a double; third base, a triple. If the ball is hit in the air within the foul lines over the entire outfield (and outfield fence, if there is one), or otherwise safely circles all the bases, it is a home run: the batter and any runners on base may all freely circle the bases, each scoring a run. This is the most desirable result for the batter. A player who reaches base due to a fielding mistake is not credited with a hit—instead, the responsible fielder is charged with an error. Three strikes make a strike out. Four balls is a walk. If the designated hitter (DH) rule is in effect, each team has a tenth player whose sole responsibility is to bat (and run). The DH takes the place of another player—almost invariably the pitcher—in the batting order, but does not field. Thus, even with the DH, each team still has a batting order of nine players and a fielding arrangement of nine players.

One major baseball strategy is to allow team to deal with hitters. Usually, right handed batters are usually more successful against left hand pitchers. Left handed batters usually are more successful against right handed pitchers. So, managers will use left handed batters and right handed batters to match up a pitcher based on how he or she pitches the ball. Matchups exist all of the time. With a team that has the lead in the late innings, a manager may remove a starting position player—especially one whose turn at bat is not likely to come up again—for a more skillful fielder. A pitcher during the game can use the fastball, the changeup, the curve ball and the slider to handle a batter constantly. Pitchers and catchers use hand signs in order for them to know what to throw and how to throw the ball. Pickoff attempts, however, are subject to rules that severely restrict the pitcher's movements before and during the pickoff attempt. Violation of any one of these rules could result in the umpire calling a balk against the pitcher, which permits any runners on base to advance one base with impunity. If an attempted stolen base is anticipated, the catcher may call for a pitchout, a ball thrown deliberately off the plate, allowing the catcher to catch it while standing and throw quickly to a base. Facing a batter with a strong tendency to hit to one side of the field, the fielding team may employ a shift, with most or all of the fielders moving to the left or right of their usual positions. With a runner on third base, the infielders may play in, moving closer to home plate to improve the odds of throwing out the runner on a ground ball, though a sharply hit grounder is more likely to carry through a drawn-in infield. Some players attempt to run bases defending on the hitter and other aspects of the game.

Hall of Fame Baseball Legends are very numerous. One was Babe Ruth who lived from 1895 to 1948. He was one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. He was a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees and then played as a left handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He played first for the Boston Red Sox, then for the NY Yankees from 1920-1934, and ended with the Boston Braves in 1935. He was one of the first five people to be part of the Baseball Hall of Fame just one year after he retired on 1936. He was a 2 time All-Star. He won the World Series seven times (in 1915, 1916, 1918, 1923, 1927, 1928, and 1932). He was an AL batting champion in 1924. He was a 12 time home run leader and he was part of the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. He had 714 home runs, 2,873 hits, and a batting average of .342 which was excellent especially back then. He supported American efforts to defeat the Nazis during World War II and he passed away of esophageal cancer. Babe Ruth was an early American superstar athlete. Hank Aaron won more home runs than any player in American history. Hank Aaron played for years in the MLB and in the Negro League. He was born in Mobile, Alabama. He played as a right fielder. He played for the Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers. He was a 25 time All-Star. He was a MLB World Series champion in 1957. He was a 2 time NL batting champion and he was a 4 time NL RBI leader. He had 755 home runs and runs batted in by the number of 2,297. Aaron received death threats before he broke Babe Ruth’s previous records, but Hank Aaron broke it courageously. Recently, Hank Aaron has expressed support for Kaepernick's cause of fighting racial injustice and the evil of police brutality. 

Willie Mays was one of the greatest players in baseball history. Today, he is 87 year old. He was born in Westfield, Alabama. When he was in high school, he played football and basketball as well. Willie Mays played in the Negro League before he came into the MLB. He played for both the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets too in his later career. By 1954, he won the World Series. Mays is known as a man who traveled the world, is a people person, and has a blessed life. He continues to motivate others and inspire present and future generations. He is a Hall of Famer and a man whose accomplishments always make the point that baseball is a game with monumental reach. Roberto Clemente was one of the most influential baseball Hall of Famers in history. He was born in Puerto Rico and was an inspiration to baseball fans. He was an American Afro-Latino who was in the Marines too. He was a famous right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, becoming the first Latin American and Caribbean player to be enshrined. Clemente was an All-Star for twelve seasons, playing in fifteen All-Star Games. He was the NL Most Valuable Player in 1966, the NL batting leader in 1961, 1964, 1965, and 1967, and a Gold Glove Award winner for twelve consecutive seasons from 1961 through 1972. His batting average was over .300 for thirteen seasons and he had 3,000 hits during his major league career. He also played in two World Series championships. Clemente is the first Latin American and Caribbean player to help win a World Series as a starter (1960), to receive an NL MVP Award (1966), and to receive a World Series MVP Award (1971). Clemente was married in 1964. Later, he and his wife had three children. He was involved in charity work in Latin American and Caribbean countries during the off-seasons, often delivering baseball equipment and food to those in need. He experienced racism and he always stood up heroically for humanity. On December 31, 1972, he died in a plane crash while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. He was 38 years old. Roberto Clemente was not only a baseball player. He was an activist too. He will always be remembered.

The cultural impact of baseball in America and worldwide is huge. Baseball has grown large in America. Parks, playgrounds, and other stadiums harbor strong representations of baseball activities. Cuba, Japan, and the Dominican Republic have a powerful baseball culture too. The city of San Pedro de Macoris has been the major leagues’ large source of talent from the Dominican Republic from the 1980's. In 2017, 83 of the 868 players on MLB Opening Day rosters (and disabled lists) were from the country of the Dominican Republic. Among other Caribbean countries and territories, a combined 97 MLB players were born in Venezuela, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Hall-of-Famer Roberto Clemente remains one of the greatest national heroes in Puerto Rico's history. While baseball has long been the island's primary athletic pastime, its once well-attended professional winter league has declined in popularity since 1990, when young Puerto Rican players began to be included in the major leagues' annual first-year player draft. In Asia, baseball is among the most popular sports in Japan and South Korea. Today, many blue collar Americans love baseball. Attendance of baseball games is very high.  In 2008, Major League Baseball set a revenue record of $6.5 billion, matching the NFL's revenue for the first time in decades. A new MLB revenue record of more than $10 billion was set in 2017. Baseball cards existed since the late 19th century and they continue today. When I was child during the 1990’s, I had baseball cards. Fantasy baseball has been played by adults in America and worldwide too. Movies, plays, and commercial readily feature baseball players or the culture of baseball in general.

By Timothy