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Trump Era and Nazism

In James Whitman's book, Hitler's American Model, he writes that the German Nazis regime in the 1930s learned much from American racism. In 1935, the Nazis sent 45 lawyers to America to study our race-based legal system. These lawyers had a reception with the NYC Bar Association. Whitman found document after document in the German archives about the lessons Nazis had learned from the United States. We knew before he was elected that Trump was a racist. He demonstrated that time and again in New York City. His most infamous action - asking for the death penalty for the "Central park Five" who, ten years after imprisonment, were found to have been innocent. Trump continued as president to be incredibly racist. After Charlottesville, Timothy Snyder in the New York Times writes that President Trump faced an easy test , and failed. When presented with an obvious opportunity to condemn the evil that was and is Nazism, he first waited, then equivocated, then read from a te
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Letter to the Editor, New York Times, December 21, 2021 A lead article in Monday’s paper reads, “Biden Tries to Salvage Domestic Policy Bill After Rift With Manchin.” Why doesn’t the article read, “Manchin’s Betrays Americans, Stays Loyal to Financial Interests.” I don’t understand why the New York Times is providing so much help to obstructionists whose chief aim is to stop Biden’s reform agenda. Many senators are quite corrupt and are paid off by the oil, pharmaceutical and/or financial interests. The media, including the Times, needs to step up and question why Manchin takes the positions that he does. Manchin doesn’t support taxing the highest incomes to pay for Biden’s ambitious and desperately needed policies for working families. Manchin’s position serves millionaires like himself. If the media doesn’t dig deeper, the media contributes to the miseducation of countless Americans. And that leads us back to 2016.

Federal Government and the Lack of Affordable Housing

The federal government hasn't built public housing since the 1960s. President Johnson pushed Congress to pass the 1968 Housing Act that became a major time of construction of public housing almost doubling such units across the country. In addition, Bobby Kennedy and Senator Jacob Javits pushed through a 1966 amendment to the Economic Development Act that provided private developers with incentives payments to invest in poverty areas.   Once the Reagan era began that was the end of public housing. Instead, Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which slowed building of low-income housing further. First, the act repealed accelerated depreciation and the use of depreciation deductions to offset other ordinary income, precipitating a sharp drop in multifamily housing production. Second, the law placed a cap, for the first time, on states’ authority to issue tax-exempt bonds for multifamily housing and imposed income limits on eligible households. Third, the act created the Low In

When are we going to stop blaming teachers

It has been proven time and again that American schools are divided by class. Those in well funded school districts score fine on tests; those in poorly funded districts do not do well on tests. The resources schools receive are based upon the local property tax and where there is wealth, there is a decent public school. I can understand people concluding that we should change the way we fund our schools. What I can't understand is how teachers can be blamed for the test results of their students who are in these poorly resourced schools. It is bizarre. These so-called reformers who blame teachers for students failing standardized tests have taken leaps of logic down the rabbit hole. If a school is the center of a poorly resourced community, those students will reflect that poverty. Poverty has enormous impact on children which has been proven time and time again. To believe that teachers can make up for that poverty and somehow change the trajectory of that child is simply th

Benton Harbor soon coming near you

The state action against Benton Harbor’s citizens has received little attention from the mainstream media. The Republican leadership of Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder, and legislative leaders passed Public Act 4, Fiscal Accountability Act, which literally takes over the administration of towns or other local government entities, such as school districts, if the state finds a financial emergency. This takeover involves the state hiring an emergency financial manager who literally runs the town without input from local elected officials. The emergency manager can nullify contracts, hire whomever he pleases, reallocate funds, fire any employee or board member and sign any contacts he deems appropriate. Local elected officials are left with no power; in effect, local government officials were suspended. As of August, “the number of local governments and school districts under the control of the Governor now stands at seven. That number is ten if you count the de facto state

Federal Abandonment of Public Housing

Public housing began during the Roosevelt years. In 1937 President Franklin Roosevelt signed the United States Housing Act, known as Wagner-Steagall, to support building low-rent public housing. In the wake of  President Truman‘s surprise reelection in 1948, Congress passed the bill now known as the Housing Act of 1949 and re-authorized the public housing program. The GI Bill after World War II supported veterans in securing low-interest loans to own their own homes. In the 1950s Congress passed a second Housing Act focused on conserving and rehabilitating low-income housing. All these laws favored white people. The 1950s were famous for "urban renewal" which meant that the federal government provided grants for slum clearance that often meant cities would choose the poorest section of town to abolish residences and build new construction.  In the 1960s, public housing became less discriminatory with Kennedy's Equal Opportunity in Housing Act. President Johnson eleva

Why I LIke Mike Bloomberg by Lynne Weikart

Bloomberg took office two months after 9/11. The results of 9/11 - the city lost over 100,000 private sector jobs in one year. The city was devastated. Corporations were fleeing the city as were residents. Bloomberg created an economic development machine that roared through all five boroughs and brought over 400,000 new jobs.    Just about the time the city recovered from 9/11, there was a national recession and Bloomberg guided the recovery. That recovery was cushioned by the fact that Bloomberg had raised taxes twice and the city had surpluses to help navigate the recession. Very early in his mayoralty, Bloomberg made it very clear that he would not tolerate discrimination against Muslims. In 2002 shortly after Bloomberg became mayor, he announced he was against a city council bill that would ban the Palestine Authority from their offices in the city. A few years later in the hysteria surrounding the proposed building of an Islamic Community Center a few blocks from the devastated