Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Woodrow Wilson, racist

We’ve only had one president who was a political science professor, and, I’m sorry to say, he’s always been somewhat of an embarrassment to me.  His opposition to female suffrage was uncalled for; I find his moral righteousness irritating; and his inflexibility doomed one of his better ideas–the League of Nations.  

Now some Princeton students would like his name removed from various university facilities.  Fine by me.  Admittedly, Wilson was a Democrat at a time when Democrats were the party of the “Solid South,” but that does not explain why he had to lead the effort to segregate the Federal workforce and relegate blacks in government service to menial positions.

I recognize that in many areas Wilson was a real progressive.  I can applaud that.  On the other hand, I don’t think we should gloss over his shortcomings which were harmful to millions of African Americans.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Pennsylvania Legislature

Let me try to understand this.  Pennsylvania legislators, who have nothing to do with immigration, are debating restrictions on refugees from Syria.  In the meantime, the state budget, which is their responsibility, has still not been passed and sent to the Governor.  

Agencies are running out of funding, but it is evidently more important to posture and pontificate on the threat of families from Syria.  Just ask Representative Heffley.  

By the way, the Morning Call listed a number of agencies that are helping to resettle refugees and could use some donations.  One is the Syrian Arab American Charity Association, 608 N. Second St., Allentown, PA 18102.  For more info, call 610-432-8001.

I feel like I should apologize to my readers--This must be the eighth or ninth posting on Syrian refugees.  You are probably getting tired of it, but I can’t stop.  My friend Lois, an Obama volunteer from New York who stayed with us in 2008 and 2012, believes the Syrian refugee issue is a moral crisis that we need to confront.  I think she is correct, and I think the response of Republican governors, Republican legislators, and much of the American public is un-American, un-Christian, and unworthy of who we are.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Trump and Muslims

I had planned to write about our trip to the Brandywine River Museum today, but I feel the need to comment on Trump’s latest remarks on Muslims.  

As most people who were around on September 11, 2001, I can tell you where I was when I heard about the World Trade Center attacks.  I know that the press reported on nothing else for days.  I also know that had thousands of people cheered the attack, that would have been front page news.  It wasn’t.  It didn’t happen.  I do remember that we got reports of Iranians being shocked and in sympathy with Americans.

Yet Trump, who claims to have an amazing memory, can recall thousands of New Jersey Muslims cheering the attacks.

Gov. Christie, Governor of New Jersey, issued a weasel statement that he can’t recall such cheering, but then added that he can’t remember everything.

Ben Carson, who had a chance to distinguish himself, instead says he remembers seeing a video of the cheering.  These is a video no one has been able to produce.

The only Republican Presidential candidate who has come out looking good on this is Marco Rubio, who stated it never happened.

I once thought Trump was sort of funny.  As I have learned about his cheating of thousands of students with his “Trump University,” his stiffing of creditors in his bankruptcy filings, his vicious attacks on Muslims, and his “birther” claims on the President, I am no longer amused.  He is an evil man, and he must be stopped.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Heffley's Town Hall

Rep. Doyle Heffley held a “town hall” in his Lehighton District Office this past Friday.  I printed out the announcement, and I actually thought about attending.  The announcement said he would discuss the overwhelming response from Carbon County residents regarding the state’s budget impasse, Syrian refugees, and property tax reform.

In the end, I stayed away.  I decided the whole thing would be an exercise in futility.  

As for property tax reform, if the Pennsylvania legislature, controlled by Republicans with Republican governor Corbett, couldn’t fix the property tax issue, Rep. Heffley’s town hall would be more of the bait and switch that Republican legislators have been using for years.

As for the budget impasse, the current Republican legislature, including Mr. Heffley, opposes any extraction tax, although every other state, including North Dakota and Texas, has imposed one.  The Pennsylvania Republican legislators are in the pocket of the drilling companies, and that won’t change.

As for Syrian refugees, the kind of fearful people who oppose any refugee resettlement, although they usually call themselves “Christian,” are probably the kind of people who would contract Heffley’s office and show up at a town hall.  I didn’t feel like getting into a shouting match with bigots and cowards.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Clinton's ISIS policy

Yesterday conservative columnist David Brooks wrote about Hillary Clinton’s speech on ISIS to the Council on Foreign Relations.  She delivered the speech on Thursday, November 19.  Brooks pointed out that this was not some blustery and vague call for getting tough on terrorists, but a detailed analysis with real policy recommendations.

I will quote one paragraph of Brooks’s column:  Dealing with both Assad and ISIS simultaneously throws you into the bitter and complex jockeying between Sunni and Shiite, between Iran and Saudi Arabia.  It puts pressure on your Ukraine policy (Vladimir Putin will want concessions as a price for backing off his aggression in the Middle East).  Everything is connected.  Which is why the presidency is for grownups, not rank outsiders.

Hillary Clinton is a grownup.  Her opponents on the Republican could not put together a coherent speech on the Middle East, don’t know the issues, don’t understand the dynamics.  What they are good at is slogans, threats, and bombast.  

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Surrender monkeys

Remember after the invasion of Iraq when France was vilified by many Americans, including members of Congress.  French fries were renamed “freedom fries,” and the French were derided as “surrender monkeys.”

Yesterday the French Premier announced that France would continue to accept Syrian refugees.  He pointed out that the plight of refugees has not changed because of the terrorist attacks.

In the meanwhile Republican presidential candidates, Republican governors, and much of the American public have decided to repeat the mistakes of this country prior to World War II, when the U.S. turned back Jewish children escaping from Nazi Germany.  I think it is pretty clear who are the “surrender monkeys.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Indiana saved from ISIS

Governor Mike Pence has denied a Syrian family of three, exiled from Homs since 2011, permission to enter Indiana.  After all, they could be terrorists.  In Syria the father ran a used clothing store.  The couple’s son is four years old.  But you never know.  Better safe than sorry.  Might be carrying a bomb.

No, they won’t have to return to Jordan where they were living.  The Connecticut governor, a Democrat, said they would be welcome.  They will be settled in New Haven.