Whatabout that 70 Million?

Here are ten vignettes exploring the issues:

Vignette #1:
by JuanPa@jpbrammer

“So I’m a Mexican American from a poor, rural (mostly white) town in Oklahoma. Missing from this debate? How poor whites see themselves. If you’re wondering how poor, exploited white people could vote for a dude with a golden elevator who will fuck them over, here’s how. They don’t see themselves as poor. They don’t base their identity on it. They see themselves as “temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

The stigma against poverty is incredibly strong. It is shameful to be poor, to not have the comforts of the middle class. So they pretend they aren’t poor. They are willing to lie to make it seem like they aren’t poor. They purchase things to make it seem like they’re not. Continue reading Whatabout that 70 Million?

On Jan 6th, 2021

by Heather Cox Richardson – Jan. 8th, 2021

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More information continues to emerge about the events of Wednesday. They point to a broader conspiracy than it first appeared. Calls for Trump’s removal from office are growing. The Republican Party is tearing apart. Power in the nation is shifting almost by the minute.

[Please note that information from the January 6 riot is changing almost hourly, and it is virtually certain that something I have written will be incorrect. I have tried to stay exactly on what we know to be facts, but those could change.]

More footage from inside the attack on the Capitol is coming out and it is horrific. Blood on statues and feces spread through the building are vile; mob attacks on police officers are bone-chilling.

Reuters photographer Jim Bourg, who was inside the building, told reporters he overheard three rioters in “Make America Great Again” caps plotting to find Vice President Mike Pence and hang him as a “traitor”; other insurrectionists were shouting the same. Pictures have emerged of one of the rioters in military gear carrying flex cuffs—handcuffs made of zip ties—suggesting he was planning to take prisoners. Two lawmakers have suggested the rioters knew how to find obscure offices.

New scrutiny of Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally before the attack shows Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL), Don Jr., and Trump himself urging the crowd to go to the Capitol and fight. Trump warned that Pence was not doing what he needed to. Trump promised to lead them to the Capitol himself.

There are also questions about law enforcement. While exactly what happened remains unclear, it has emerged that the Pentagon limited the Washington D.C. National Guard to managing traffic. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requested support before Trump’s rally, but the Department of Defense said that the National Guard could not have ammunition or riot gear, interact with protesters except in self-defense, or otherwise function in a protective capacity without the explicit permission of acting Secretary Christopher Miller, whom Trump put into office shortly after the election after firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

When Capitol Police requested aid early Wednesday afternoon, the request was denied. Defense officials held back the National Guard for about three hours before sending it to support the Capitol Police. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, tried repeatedly to send his state’s National Guard, but the Pentagon would not authorize it. Virginia’s National Guard was mobilized when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the governor, Ralph Northam, herself. Continue reading On Jan 6th, 2021

Trump v Raffensberger: Jan 2021

by Heather Cox Richardson – January 3, 2021 (Sunday)

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Today’s news starts yesterday, when Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to demand he overturn the results of the presidential election in Georgia and deliver the state to Trump. Raffensperger apparently recorded the call, keeping it handy in case Trump misrepresented it publicly. This morning, Trump did exactly that, tweeting: “I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling, or unable, to answer questions such as the ‘ballots under table’ scam, ballot destruction, out of state ‘voters’, dead voters, and more. He has no clue!” Raffensperger retweeted the president’s accusation with the comment: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out[.]” Continue reading Trump v Raffensberger: Jan 2021

Three cheers for socialism

by David Bentley Hart
December 29, 2020 in Commonweal Magazine

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Persons of a reflective bent all too often underestimate the enormous strength that truly abysmal ignorance can bring. Knowledge is power, of course, but—measured by a purely Darwinian calculus—too much knowledge can be a dangerous weakness. At the level of the social phenotype (so to speak), the qualities often most conducive to survival are prejudice, simplemindedness, blind loyalty, and a militant want of curiosity. These are the virtues that fortify us against doubt or fatal hesitation in moments of crisis. Subtlety and imagination, by contrast, often enfeeble the will; ambiguities dull the instincts. So while it is true that American political thought in the main encompasses a ludicrously minuscule range of live options and consists principally in slogans rather than ideas, this is not necessarily a defect. In a nation’s struggle to endure and thrive, unthinking obduracy can be a precious advantage. Continue reading Three cheers for socialism

Fighting COVID at home

(note: this information has not been confirmed yet by medical personnel, so use at your own risk) – ed

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HOW TO FIGHT COVID AT HOME

No one ever talks about how to fight Covid at home. I came down with Covid in November. I went to the hospital, running a fever of 103, a rapid heart beat, and other common symptoms that come with Covid. While I was there they treated me for the high fever, dehydration and pneumonia.

The doctor sent me home to fight Covid with two prescriptions – Azithromycin 250mg & Dexamethasone 6mg. When the nurse came in to discharge me, I asked her, “What can I do to help fight this at home?” She said, “Sleep on your stomach at all times with Covid. If you can’t sleep on your stomach because of health issues sleep on your side. Do not lay on your back no matter what because it smashes your lungs and that will allow fluid to set in.

Set your clock every two hours while sleeping on your stomach, then get out of bed and walk for 15-30 min, no matter how tired or weak that you are. Also move your arms around frequently, it helps to open your lungs. Breathe in thru your nose, and out thru your mouth. This will help build up your lungs, plus help get rid of the Pneumonia or other fluid you may have.

When sitting in a recliner, sit up straight – do not lay back in the recliner, again this will smash your lungs. While watching TV – get up and walk during every commercial.

Eat at least 1 – 2 eggs a day, plus bananas, avocado and asparagus.These are good for Potassium. Drink Pedialyte, Gatorade Zero, Powerade Zero & Water with Electrolytes to prevent you from becoming dehydrated. Do not drink anything cold – have it at room temperature or warm it up. Water with lemon, and little honey, peppermint tea, apple cider are good suggestions for getting in fluids. No milk products, or pork. Vitamin’s D3, C, B, Zinc, Probiotic One-Day are good ideas. Tylenol for fever. Mucinex, or Mucinex DM for drainage, plus helps the cough. Pepcid helps for cramps in your legs. One baby aspirin everyday can help prevent getting a blood clot, which can occur from low activity. ”

Drink a smoothie of blueberries, strawberries, bananas, honey, tea and a spoon or two of peanut butter.

We always hear of how Covid takes lives, but there isn’t a lot of information out there regarding how to fight Covid. I hope this helps you or someone you know, just as it has helped me.

Wounded Knee revisited

December 28, 2020 (Monday)

*******by Heather Cox Richardson*****************

On the clear, cold morning of December 29, 1890, on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, three U.S. soldiers tried to wrench a valuable Winchester away from a young Lakota man. He refused to give up his hunting weapon; it was the only thing standing between his family and starvation. As the men struggled, the gun fired into the sky.

Before the echoes died, troops fired a volley that brought down half of the Lakota men and boys the soldiers had captured the night before, as well as a number of soldiers surrounding the Lakotas. The uninjured Lakota men attacked the soldiers with knives, guns they snatched from wounded soldiers, and their fists.

As the men fought hand-to-hand, the Lakota women who had been hitching their horses to wagons for the day’s travel tried to flee along the nearby road or up a dry ravine behind the camp. The soldiers on a slight rise above the camp turned rapid-fire mountain guns on them. Then, over the next two hours, troops on horseback hunted down and slaughtered all the Lakotas they could find: about 250 men, women, and children.

But it is not December 29 that haunts me. It is the night of December 28, the night before the killing. Continue reading Wounded Knee revisited

Historical Snapshot

by Heather Cox Richardson -December 16, 2020 (Wednesday)

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The reality that Joe Biden is about to become president and Kamala Harris is about to become vice president is sinking in across Washington, and today gave us some indications of what that’s going to mean.

Stories about what exactly happened in the Trump administration are coming out, and they are not pretty. Politics trumped everything for members of the administration, even our lives.
Today Representative James Clyburn (D-SC), who chairs the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, revealed documents from senior appointees in the Trump administration overriding the work of the career officials in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those documents show that the political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services called for dealing with the coronavirus crisis by pursuing a strategy of “herd immunity,” deliberately spreading the coronavirus to try to infect as many people as possible, with the theory that this approach would minimize the dangers of the pandemic. While doing so, they downplayed what they were doing, tried to hide the dangers of the virus, and blamed the career scientists who objected to this strategy for the rising death rates. Continue reading Historical Snapshot

Business vs Government

by Richard @ Flexible Reality – Dec. 16th, 2020

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When done correctly business, government, and religion can be powerful forces for human development and planetary viability. However, each can easily be perverted, misdirected, or become oppressive when used unwisely.

Government is the only one of these which is specifically empowered to regulate the others. Thus, it is in everyone’s best interests to assure the Government does its best for all current and future citizens.

One of the reasons why businesses must be regulated by Government is because private enterprise has no conscience, requires a profit, and is susceptible to quacks and con artists. Consider for example: Hydroxychloroquine, ‎Remdesivir. or snake oil.

My point of reference is how business requisitions knowledge, resources, funding, and support from Government for their concerns, profits from that engagement, and then complain when those assets go elsewhere.

Without Government investments California, Florida, and Texas would not have become high tech centers, they would have remained agricultural, recreational, and extractive industry centers.

State Governments grant huge tax breaks for corporations to build a plant in their State, which benefits all participants…but not equally, or some would say equitably.

You must remember this: SCOTUS vs PAXTON et al

(Note: The filing to the Supreme Court from AG Paxton in Texas was rejected by the Court in a unanimous ruling Dec. 11th, 2020)

Historical parallels with today’s Republican Party

by Heather Cox Richardson – Dec 11th, 2020

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“Americans unhappy with the results of a presidential election have done precisely this before. It was called “secession,” and it occurred in 1860 when elite southern Democrats tried to destroy the United States of America rather than accept the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln to the White House.

In 1860, as today, there were two competing visions of America. In the South, members of a small wealthy class had come to believe that they should lead society, and that “democracy” meant only that voters got to choose which set of leaders ruled them. Society, they said, worked best when it was run by natural leaders, the wealthy, educated, well-connected men who made up the region’s planter class.

As South Carolina Senator James Henry Hammond explained in 1858, society was naturally made up of a great mass of workers, rather dull people, but happy and loyal, whom he called “mudsills” after the timbers driven into the ground to support elegant homes above. These mudsills needed the guidance of their betters to produce goods that would create capital. That capital would be wasted if it stayed among the mudsills; it needed to move upward, where better men would use it to move society forward.

Ordinary men should, Hammond explained, have no say over policies, because they would demand a greater share of the wealth they produced. No matter what regular folks might want from the government—roads, schools, and so on—the government could not deliver it because it could do nothing that was not specifically listed in the Constitution. And what the Constitution called for primarily, he said, was to protect and spread the system of human enslavement that made men like him rich.

In 1859, Illinois lawyer Abraham Lincoln rejected Hammond’s vision of America. In a speech at the Milwaukee Agricultural Fair, Lincoln denied that there was any such thing as a “mudsill” in America. No one, he said, should be locked into working poverty for life. Society did not work best when a few rich men ran it, he said; it worked best when government made sure that everyone was equal before the law and that ordinary men had access to resources.

Under the system of “free labor,” hardworking farmers applied their muscles and brains to natural resources. They produced more than they could consume, and their accumulated capital employed shopkeepers and shoemakers and so on. Those small merchants, in turn, provided capital to employ industrialists and financiers, who then hired men just starting out. The economic cycle drove itself, and the “harmony of interest” meant that everyone could prosper in America so long as the government didn’t favor one sector over another.
Lincoln’s vision became the driving ideology of the Republican Party.

In 1860, when Democratic leaders demanded that the government protect the spread of slavery to the West, Republicans objected. They argued that the slave system, in which a few rich men dominated government and monopolized resources, would choke out free labor.

Southern Democratic leaders responded by telling voters the Republicans wanted a race war. To win the election, they silenced opponents and kept them from the polls. And when the Democrats nonetheless lost, southern leaders railroaded their states out of the Union and made war on the U.S. government. They threw away the idea of American democracy and tried to build a new nation they would control.

That moment looks much like the attempt of today’s Republicans to overturn a legitimate election and install their own leadership over the country.

But there the parallels stop. When southern Democratic leaders took their states out of the Union in 1861, they rushed them out before constituents could weigh in. Modern media means that voters have seen the ham-fisted legal challenges that have repeatedly lost in court, and have heard voices condemning this effort to overturn our democracy.”

A litany of “why liberals think Trump supporters are stupid”

A litany of “why liberals think Trump supporters are stupid”
Responses to an anguished question from a Trump supporter: ‘Why do liberals think Trump supporters are stupid?’
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THE SERIOUS ANSWER: Here’s what the majority of anti-Trump voters honestly feel about Trump supporters en masse:

That when you saw a man who had owned a fraudulent University, intent on scamming poor people, you thought “Fine.” (https://www.usatoday.com/…/trump-university…/502387002/)

That when you saw a man who had made it his business practice to stiff his creditors, you said, “Okay.” (https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-hotel-paid-millions…)

That when you heard him proudly brag about his own history of sexual abuse, you said, “No problem.” (https://abcnews.go.com/…/list-trumps-accusers…/story…)

That when he made up stories about seeing Muslim-Americans in the thousands cheering the destruction of the World Trade Center, you said, “Not an issue.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/donald-trumps…/)

That when you saw him brag that he could shoot a man on Fifth Avenue and you wouldn’t care, you exclaimed, “He sure knows me.” (https://www.usatoday.com/…/president-donald…/4073405002/)

That when you heard him relating a story of an elderly guest of his country club, an 80-year old man, who fell off a stage and hit his head, to Trump replied: “‘Oh my God, that’s disgusting,’ and I turned away. I couldn’t—you know, he was right in front of me, and I turned away. I didn’t want to touch him. He was bleeding all over the place. And I felt terrible, because it was a beautiful white marble floor, and now it had changed color. Became very red.” You said, “That’s cool!” (https://www.gq.com/story/donald-trump-howard-stern-story)

That when you saw him mock the disabled, you thought it was the funniest thing you ever saw. (https://www.nbcnews.com/…/donald-trump-criticized-after…)

That when you heard him brag that he doesn’t read books, you said, “Well, who has time?” (https://www.theatlantic.com/…/americas-first…/549794/)

That when the Central Park Five were compensated as innocent men convicted of a crime they didn’t commit, and he angrily said that they should still be in prison, you said, “That makes sense.” (https://www.usatoday.com/…/what-trump-has…/1501321001/)

That when you heard him tell his supporters to beat up protesters and that he would hire attorneys, you thought, “Yes!” (https://www.latimes.com/…/la-na-trump-campaign-protests…)

That when you heard him tell one rally to confiscate a man’s coat before throwing him out into the freezing cold, you said, “What a great guy!” (https://www.independent.co.uk/…/donald-trump-orders…)

That you have watched the parade of neo-Nazis and white supremacists with whom he curries favor, while refusing to condemn outright Nazis, and you have said, “Thumbs up!” (https://www.theatlantic.com/…/why-cant-trump…/567320/)

That you hear him unable to talk to foreign dignitaries without insulting their countries and demanding that they praise his electoral win, you said, “That’s the way I want my President to be.” (https://www.huffpost.com/…/trump-insult-foreign…)

That you have watched him remove expertise from all layers of government in favor of people who make money off of eliminating protections in the industries they’re supposed to be regulating and you have said, “What a genius!” (https://www.politico.com/…/138-trump-policy-changes…)

That you have heard him continue to profit from his businesses, in part by leveraging his position as President, to the point of overcharging the Secret Service for space in the properties he owns, and you have said, “That’s smart!” (https://www.usnews.com/…/how-is-donald-trump-profiting…)

That you have heard him say that it was difficult to help Puerto Rico because it was in the middle of water and you have said, “That makes sense.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/the-very-big-ocean…/)

That you have seen him start fights with every country from Canada to New Zealand while praising Russia and quote, “falling in love” with the dictator of North Korea, and you have said, “That’s statesmanship!” (https://www.cnn.com/…/donald-trump-dictators…/index.html)

That Trump separated children from their families and put them in cages, managed to lose track of 1500 kids, has opened a tent city incarceration camp in the desert in Texas – he explains that they’re just “animals” – and you say, “Well, OK then.” (https://www.nbcnews.com/…/more-5-400-children-split…)

That Trump continues to claim the 2020 Election was fraudulent, and he should be declared the winner, in spite of the Election results stating Biden is the President-Elect being certified by all States, and the Electoral College. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/12/08/safe-harbor-deadline-arrives-hurting-trumps-bid-overturn-election/6478954002/)

That you have witnessed all the thousand and one other manifestations of corruption and low moral character and outright animalistic rudeness and contempt for you, the working American voter, and you still show up grinning and wearing your MAGA hats and threatening to beat up anybody who says otherwise. (https://www.americanprogress.org/…/confronting-cost…/)

What you don’t get, Trump supporters, is that our succumbing to frustration and shaking our heads, thinking of you as stupid, may very well be wrong and unhelpful, but it’s also…hear me…charitable.

Because if you’re NOT stupid, we must turn to other explanations, and most of them are less flattering.

Perched on a bubble

What’s holding up the COVID Relief Bill?

As explained by Rep. Katie Porter (D) CA – Dec. 9th, 2020
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“When I came to Congress, I knew I had a responsibility to pull back the curtain for the American people and expose corruption in real-time. So, I’m filling you in on Senator McConnell’s attempts over the last 8 days to tank a *bipartisan* COVID relief bill.

You may have heard that Democrats and Republicans have agreed upon spending $900 billion to fund another round of small business loans, support hospitals and essential workers, and help the 10 million people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Everyone at the negotiating table—including Senate Rs—has agreed to a compromise. Except one. Mitch McConnell is refusing to bring it to the floor unless it wipes away all COVID-related lawsuits filed that “allege injury or death” due to corporate negligence.

These lawsuits represent the worst of the worst examples of disregard for human life—cases filed on behalf of nursing home patients and grocery store workers who died because the company in charge of keeping them safe prioritized cutting costs over protecting them.

The same McConnell who said that President Trump is “100% within his rights” to pursue baseless lawsuits alleging election fraud is now refusing to pass urgently-needed relief unless it strips those same rights from the most vulnerable among us. This must be exposed.”

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770-634-9691

Why the Homestead Act of 1862 is important today

In 1860, a homestead bill providing Federal land grants to western settlers was passed by Congress only to be vetoed by President Buchanan. The Civil War removed the slavery issue because the Southern states had seceded from the Union. So finally, in 1862, the Homestead Act was passed and signed into law.

Southerners opposed the act on the grounds that it would result in antislavery people settling the territories

The Act had both positive and negative results.

Positive

“The government had never before offered the people free land, especially not in such large quantities either. This encouraged people to travel west, which allowed the nation and economy to grow. Farmers increased their knowledge and skill in agriculture, which eventually led to types of crops that otherwise would not have existed.

As a result of so much land being discovered and utilized, new resources became popular such as gold, silver, timber, and oil. People began building towns and starting businesses, allowing the economy to grow and thrive. As the towns grew, more jobs were created, which attracted more people to move out west.

The railroad industry grew immensely due to the expansion to the West. It reached all the way to the coast of California, which provided people with a fast and efficient form of transportation. Factories on the East coast were able to transport products quickly over to the West, and the West was able to send goods over to the East. Because of the new high demand for products, new technology was invented in order to support this demand. The entire nation was improving, all because the government decided to give out free land. Continue reading Why the Homestead Act of 1862 is important today

On the issue of healing the political divide

Monster Makers

Unless Biden fights big money, he could pave the way for someone even worse than Trump.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 11th November 2020

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It brought a tear to the eye and a hand to the heart. Joe Biden, in his acceptance speech, called for unity and healing. He would work “to win the confidence of the whole people”. I just hope he doesn’t mean it. If he does, it means that nothing has been learned since Barack Obama made roughly the same speech in 2008.

The United States of America is fundamentally divided. It is divided between exploiter and exploited, oppressor and oppressed. There is no unity to be found with kleptocrats and oligarchs. Any attempt to pretend there is will lead to political failure. It will lead not to healing but to a deflected polarisation. If Americans are not polarised against plutocrats, they will be polarised against each other.

I understand that, in a sentimental nation, bromides like Biden’s might be considered necessary. But I fear he believes what he says. When he spoke to wealthy donors at the Carlyle hotel in Manhattan last year, he told them not only that “no one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change”, but also that “you have to be able to reach consensus under our system”. In this context, consensus looks like appeasement.

Obama’s attempt to reconcile irreconcilable forces, to paper over the chasms, arguably gave Donald Trump his opening. Rather than confronting the banks whose reckless greed had caused the financial crisis, he allowed his Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, to “foam the runway” for them by allowing 10 million families to lose their homes. His justice department and the attorney general blocked efforts to pursue apparent wrongdoing by the financiers. He pressed for trade agreements that would erode workers’ rights and environmental standards, and presided over the widening of inequality and the concentration of wealth, casualisation of labour and record mergers and acquisitions. In other words, he failed to break the consensus that had grown around the dominant ideology of our times: neoliberalism. Continue reading On the issue of healing the political divide

The short history of the Confederacy

by Heather Cox Richardson – Nov. 14th, 2020

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“In the 1850s, the Republican Party rose to stand against a small group of wealthy southern white slaveholders who had taken over the government. Those slaveholders made up only about 1% of the American South. They ran the Democratic Party, but they knew their system of human enslavement was unpopular and that they were in a political minority even in the Democratic Party. It was only a question of time until the majority began to hem in their ownership of other human beings.

So when folks started to urge the government to promote infrastructure in the growing nation, building roads or dredging harbors, for example, these southern leaders worried that if the government began to intervene in the economy, the regulation of slavery would be just around the corner. They pushed back by insisting that the government could do nothing that was not expressly written in the Constitution. Even if the vast majority of the people in the country wanted the government to do something, it could not.

As pressure grew for government to promote economic growth for ordinary Americans, the southern slaveholders worked to cement their power. They courted poor white voters, telling them that any attempt to regulate slavery was an effort to lift Black people over them. From their stronghold in the Senate, southern leaders stopped legislation to develop the country and instead pushed laws that spread slavery into the West. When northerners objected, southern leaders packed the Supreme Court and got it to agree that Congress could not stop the spread of southern slavery even across the entire nation. But while they insisted the federal government could not promote the economy for ordinary Americans, they demanded a sweeping federal slave code to protect slavery in the West.

Their system was best for the nation, they explained. Society was made up of a mass of workers, drudges who weren’t terribly smart, but were strong and loyal. They were the “mudsills” of society, akin to the wood hammered into the ground that supported the grand plantation homes above. Directed by their betters, these mudsills produced capital, which accumulated in the hands of the wealthy. There, it did far more good than if it were distributed among those who had produced it, because society’s leaders used their wealth to innovate and build the economy, doing what was best for the workers, who could not understand their own interests. The nation thrived.

To secure this system, though, it was imperative that the mudsills could not vote. If they could, workers would demand more of the wealth they produced. White southerners had enslaved their laborers, South Carolina Senator James Henry Hammond told his northern colleagues in 1858, but northerners had not, and they foolishly allowed them to vote. “If they knew the tremendous secret, that the ballot-box is stronger than “an army with banners,” and could combine, where would you be?” Hammond demanded. “Your society would be reconstructed, your government was overthrown, your property divided… by the quiet process of the ballot-box.”

Men like Abraham Lincoln organized to overturn the idea that they were mindless workers, doomed to menial labor for life. In 1859, Lincoln articulated a new vision for the nation, putting ordinary men, rather than elite slaveholders, at the heart of national development.

Lincoln’s “Free Labor” theory held that the nation worked best when the government supported ordinary men rather than a wealthy elite. Ordinary men worked more intelligently and innovated more freely than an elite, and when the government used its power to free up resources for them, they built the economy far more efficiently than the enslaved workers who were hampered by the commands of an out-of-touch plantation owner. Rather than shunning economic development, the government should embrace it, they said, spreading free labor, rather than slavery, across the West.

When Lincoln won the 1860 election, southern leaders refused to accept the results of the election. They left the Union to launch a new nation that rejected the idea of human equality and was instead based on human enslavement.

Left in charge of the government, the new Republican Party rebuilt it according to Lincoln’s vision. To pay the enormous cost of the Civil War, they invented our first national system of taxation, including the income tax. Then, to enable people to pay those taxes, they spread opportunity to ordinary men, giving them western land (that we now recognize belonged to indigenous people), establishing our state universities, and building a railroad to take people across the country. Ultimately, they included Black men in their vision, abolishing slavery, establishing Black citizenship, and guaranteeing Black men the right to vote so they could protect their own interests.

Under the leadership of the Republican Party, Americans were, Lincoln reminded them, resolving “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
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Note: HCR is a history professor at Boston College, and the author of: “How the South won the Civil War”, subtitled: Oligarch, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America

Electoral maps: Now & Then

Electoral Map for General Election 2020 – Nov. 7th, 2020

Lessons Unlearnt

Privatization, outsourcing, packed classrooms and a total government failure to make them safe expose schools to deadly levels of infection in the UK.

by George Monbiot in The Guardian – Posted: 10 Nov 2020 06:12 AM PST

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Does anyone in power care? Shocking revelations about the government’s handling of the pandemic are either ignored or dismissed. The vast human cost of its failure to protect us seems to leave its ministers unfazed. However badly the model of privatized, outsourced provision falls over, the program persists.

After last week’s article revealing that unqualified teenage call handlers working, through Serco, on the government’s test and trace system had been suddenly “upskilled” – obliged to take on the role of experienced health workers and to make crucial clinical decisions – I’ve been inundated with messages from two groups of people. One consists of call–center workers telling the same grim story: breaking down in tears as they have to handle situations for which they have no preparation and no skills. The other consists of retired or furloughed clinicians who say they have been repeatedly rebuffed when they have offered their services to the government. It seems that experienced and qualified health workers are being turned away in favor of 18-year-olds on the minimum wage.

But I’ve also been told a separate story, about a parallel disaster unfolding along similar lines. While the Department of Health has flushed £12bn down the toilet, in the form of its failed test and trace system, the Department for Education (DfE) seems to be making a horrible mess of its own pandemic response. Here too roles once occupied by experienced clinicians have been handed to call-center workers employed by Serco. To judge by what I’ve learned so far, the result is likely to be another public health catastrophe. Continue reading Lessons Unlearnt

A reminder…

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863