The Principle of Tolerance: Curing Ourselves of the Itch for Absolute Knowledge & Power

The Principle of Tolerance: Curing Ourselves of the Itch for Absolute Knowledge & Power

I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken.’ We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.

Oliver Cromwell

It’s difficult to think in terms of tolerance in the age in which America elected a president who doesn’t give one hint of being tolerant.  What he does do is encourage violence, not only in his campaign rallies, but now after being elected he’s back on the road holding the same rallies, and encouraging hate, bigotry and racism.  And now, with access to the most powerful military the world has ever seen, launching 59 Tomahawk missiles, unleashes violence with the push of a button.  Even Wilbur Ross, Trump’s Commerce secretary said at the Milken Institute Global Conference, the Syria missile strike was “after-dinner entertainment.”  The “guests” found his comment humorous, and burst into laughter.

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With Billionaires in the White House We Need to Keep an Eye on the Money

With Billionaires in the White House We Need to Keep an Eye on the Money

It’s been reported that the Authoritarian wants to increase the Pentagon’s share of the Federal budget by 10% which translates to about $59 billion more dollars.  A report has circulated that the EPA will be cut by at least 20%, including staff and dollars.

The Federal Budget is divided into three parts as shown below.

  • Mandatory Spending (like Social Security)–$2.5 Trillion
  • Discretionary Spending (like Education, Defense)–$1.1 Trillion
  • Interest on the Debt–$229 Billion

If the President submits a budget that includes a $59 billion increase in spending, the money for this is part of the Discretionary Spending which is about a third of the total Federal budget.  Mandatory spending is spending on certain programs such as Medicare and Social Security, and are controlled by existing law. Mandatory spending has increased over the years, and is expected increase from $2.2 trillion in 2016 to $3.6 trillion in 2023.

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How Could We?

How Could We?

Like many of you I’ve spent the day after mourning for our country and the people who have been abused and threatened by the man who was elected over one of the bravest women that we could have had for our President.

How could we?

How could we elect the bully?

How could we enable  the press to rarely call him out and hold him accountable for stiffing the American people about his taxes, fraud, sexual assault charges, racist beliefs and actions, and his outrageous attitude toward women, and his endless lies?

How could we allow the far right into the White House through possible cabinet appointees?  It will be a rogues gallery of has-been politicians and corporate raiders.

How could we turn our backs on children and families?

How could we elect a person who thinks climate change is a hoax and will seek to remove the environmental protections that have been put in place since “Silent Spring?”

How could we enable the privatizers of public education to have a voice at 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue?

How could we not overcome the racism and bigotry that drove his campaign and turned his rallies into assemblies without hoods?

How could we open the door to the White House to a man who has assaulted countless scores of women, insulted and threatened people who have religious beliefs different from many of us, insulted Mexicans who seek a better life, and riled up the worst in Americans by threatening to build a wall along the Mexican/American border?

How could we?

 

 

 

Georgia’s Misfortunate School District

Georgia’s Misfortunate School District

I’ve been away pursuing other projects, but now is the time for all of us to open our eyes about a plan to turn struggling schools into a pet project of the Georgia Governor.

In November when we vote to pick a new president (topic for a future post), citizens in Georgia will vote on a ballot amendment to the state constitution.  If passed, this amendment (Senate Bill 133) will create a school district (Opportunity School District) that would authorize the Governor’s office to supervise, manage, and run a new school district made up of schools from across the state that have been determined to be failing, based on scores on standardized tests.  Is your school on the list?

The Governor calls it the Opportunity School District.

I call it the Misfortunate School District (MSD)

The MSD is a dangerous path for Georgia schools and it was created primarily by Nathan Deal (the Governor) and Erin Hames (Former Governor’s Office Staff Member, now employed by the Atlanta Public Schools (APS).

Over the next four months we need to work together to help citizens of Georgia “open their eyes” to the misdeeds that will follow if the centralized school district is approved.  It is based on failed systems in Louisiana, and Tennessee.

There are outside groups that pouring money into Deal’s plan to further corrupt and privatize public education.

I look forward to exploring what can be done to defeat this amendment.

 

The A Bomb

The first day I went to school was September 5, 1945.  On that day, I walked about a mile to the East Natick Elementary School in Massachusetts.  Three days earlier, on September 2, Japan surrendered and World II came to an end.  But on July 16, the first atomic bomb was detonated in New Mexico, and 70 years ago yesterday, the “Little Boy” atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima killing more than 70,000 people.  On August 9, another atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki killing more than 40,000 people.  At that time, the U.S. military had no more than six atom bombs.

I remember reading the headlines in the Boston Globe, the newspaper to which my father subscribed .  In the boldest font you could image it read: A-Bomb.

Being only 5, I had no idea what was the meaning of A-Bomb.  I don’t think my parents knew, but like many other Americans, they hoped that the end of the war would come.  It didn’t until another A-Bomb was dropped, and then in September it was over.

Little did they and most people know that the war was over, and was only a matter of working out details with the Japanese.  So we ask:

Did we need to kill nearly 150,000 Japanese citizens with atomic bombs to end the war?

Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, for his part, stated in his memoirs that when notified by Secretary of War Henry Stimson of the decision to use atomic weapons, he “voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives…” He later publicly declared “…it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”  (Alperovitz, Gar. “The War Was Won Before Hiroshima-And the Generals Who Dropped the Bomb Knew It.” The Nation. 6 Aug. 2015. Web. 7 Aug. 2015.)

Today, we have more than 6 nuclear bombs.

  • China: 250 warheads
  • France: 290 warheads
  • Russia: 1,582 strategic warheads, several thousand non deployed warheads, and 2,000 tactical warheads
  • United Kingdom: 120 strategic warheads, total stockpile about 225 weapons
  • United States: 1, 597 strategic nuclear warheads, 2,800 non deployed strategic warheads. In total about 4,800 nuclear warheads.

And these bombs are thousands of times more powerful than Little Boy, the first bomb dropped on a populated city.

Tonight there is a so-called Republican Presidential Debate (Shout Out).  I wonder what their positions are on these strategic nuclear weapons?