July 27, 2022

    Trump would ignore governors in drug cases; use National Guard to enforce

    Flight attendants ‘fear for their safety’ amid spike in disruptive passengers

    Merrick Garland sounds tough

    Neo-Nazis backing DeSantis

    The problems with online schooling

    Just wondering

     Sam Smith - Shouldn't the Supreme Court justices who voted to end abortion  be criminally or otherwise legally liable for the deaths or illness of mothers no longer able to get a medically recommended abortion?

    Cities with the Highest Increase in Homicide Rates

    Denmocrats' working class problem

      A critical factor was revealed in a recent New York Times-Siena College poll: Though they enjoy a huge 20-point advantage over Republicans among white college-educated voters, the Democrats have a working-class problem.

    The Democratic Party is losing support not just among White, but all non-college educated voters, trailing the GOP by 12 points. It is becoming the party of upscale urban and suburban voters, while Republicans are beginning to consolidate a multiracial coalition of working-class voters.
    Why is this happening? A chorus of armchair pundits and centrist think tanks believe they know who’s to blame. Not Biden, not Democratic centrists, not the gerontocracy that runs the party in the House and Senate, nor the party establishment.

    75% of Democratic voters want someone other than Biden in 2024

    July 26, 2022

    Russia Says It Will Quit the International Space Station After 2024

    The Best Way to Cool Our Cities Is to Plant More Trees

    Changes in heat waves

    May be an image of map and text


    Some useful definitions

    May be an image of text that says 'HELPFUL DEFINITIONS: Treason: the crime of betraying one's country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government. Sedition: conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch. Coup: a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government. the unlawful use of violence and Terrorism: intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Fascism: a system of government led by a dictator who typically rules by forcefully and often violently suppressing opposition and criticism, controlling all industry and commerce, and promoting nationalism and often racism.'
    Via Mike Dutt


    Tales from the past: Maine in World War II

    Sam Smith - Portland,Maine -  one of the east coast's great natural harbors - had a channel deeper than that of Boston, Philadelphia or New York. During World War II, the Navy formed transatlantic convoys and moored as many as 60 vessels off Portland, the closest deep water port to Europe. The islands provided a natural barrier to storms and enemy subs, with anti-submarine netting strung between them completing to complete the task.

    The Atlantic coast was far more dangerous than Americans realized. Years after the war it would be revealed that in the first months 46 merchant ships were sunk off the east coast. Another 126 would be sunk before the war was over. And Portland was among the first targets for U-boats after war was declared. At least three U-boats were sunk near Casco Bay - one five miles southeast of the Portland sea buoy, one off Small Point and the other seven miles off Halfway Rock after being spotted by shore gunners on Bailey's Island.

    On April 23, 1945 - as Stephen Puleo describes in Due to Enemy Action - the 200 foot USS Eagle was sunk less than five miles southeast of Cape Elizabeth by U-853. Thirteen of the crew survived only to be informed by Navy officials that the sinking had been caused by their ship's boiler having exploded and thus they were not entitled to the Purple Heart. It was not surprising the Navy wanted to cover up the cause; after all the war was almost over and no naval vessel had yet been lost off the New England coast.

    On May 5, the captains of U-boats received word from Berlin that they were to surrender. The commander of one wrote later, "Henceforth we would be able to live without fear that we had to die tomorrow. An unknown tranquility took possession of me as I realized that I had survived. My death in an iron coffin, a verdict of long standing, was finally suspended."

    The commander of U-853, however, either did not get the word or chose to ignore it. That afternoon he sank a freighter off Point Judith, RI commencing a chase that ended with the sub on the ocean floor with all crew members dead. It would take over a half century of dogged effort, however, for the survivors of the USS Eagle sinking to finally receive their Purple Hearts

    A day later, the war was formally over.

    The U-boat story even came closer to home than that. Emily Rhoades lived part of the war on Bowman's Island off the end of Wolfe’s Neck  in Casco Bay. One night, around midnight, she went out to get some water at the well. Standing by the well was a man all dressed black including a black mask. He put his finger to his mouth and pointed her back to the house. There was little doubt about how he had gotten there.

    Among the Navy ships using Casco Bay was the battleship Missouri which moored right off Clapboard Island. Years after she had departed, the mammoth buoy of the vessel on whose deck the Japanese surrendered remained as a memento as it lazily filled with water and finally sank.



    Ex-Pence aide: There would've been a "massacre" if Capitol riot "mob" had gotten closer to VP

    Rewriting history to justify greed


    Sam Smith - Encomiums to the wonders of market forces fill speeches and media reports. One National Public Radio reporter even went so far as to describe a form of government called market democracy, apparently a blend of the Bill of Rights and the Wall Street Journal editorial page.

    In fact, most free workers in this country were self-employed well into the 19th century. They were thus economic as well as political citizens.

    Further, until the last decades of the 19th century, Americans believed in a degree of fair distribution of wealth that would shock many today. James L. Huston writes in the American Historical Review:

    Americans believed that if property were concentrated in the hands of a few in a republic, those few would use their wealth to control other citizens, seize political power, and warp the republic into an oligarchy. Thus to avoid descent into despotism or oligarchy, republics had to possess an equitable distribution of wealth.

    Such a distribution, in theory at least, came from enjoying the "fruits of one's labor" but no more. Businesses that sprung up didn't flourish on competition because there generally wasn't any and, besides, cooperation worked better. You didn't need two banks or two drug stores in the average town. Prices and business ethics were not regulated by the marketplace but by a complicated cultural code and the fact that the banker went to church with his depositors. Although the practice was centuries old, the term capitalism -- and thus the religion -- didn't even exist until the middle of the 19th century.

    Americans were intensely commercial, but this spirit was propelled not by Reaganesque fantasies about competition but by the freedom that engaging in business provided from the hierarchical social and economic system of the monarchy. Business, including the exchange as well as the making of goods, was seen as a natural state allowing a community and individuals to get ahead and to prosper without the blessing of nobility.

    In the beginning, if you wanted to form a corporation you needed a state charter and had to prove it was in the public interest, convenience and necessity. During the entire colonial period only about a half-dozen business corporations were chartered; between the end of the Revolution and 1795 this rose to about a 150. Jefferson to the end opposed liberal grants of corporate charters and argued that states should be allowed to intervene in corporate matters or take back a charter if necessary.

    With the pressure for more commerce and indications that corporate grants were becoming a form of patronage, states began passing free incorporation laws and before long Massachusetts had thirty times as many corporations as there were in all of Europe.

    Still it wasn't until after the Civil War that economic conditions turned sharply in favor of the large corporation. These corporations, says Huston:

    killed the republican theory of the distribution of wealth and probably ended whatever was left of the political theory of republicanism as well. . . .[The] corporation brought about a new form of dependency. Instead of industry, frugality, and initiatives producing fruits, underlings in the corporate hierarchy had to be aware of style, manners, office politics, and choice of patrons -- very reminiscent of the Old Whig corruption in England at the time of the revolution -- what is today called "corporate culture."

    Concludes Huston:

    The rise of Big Business generated the most important transformation of American life that North America has ever experienced.

    By the end of the last century the Supreme Court had declared corporations to be persons under the 14th Amendment, entitled to the same protections as human beings. As Morton Mintz pointed out in the National Law Journal, this 1888 case ignored the fact that "the only 'person' Congress had in mind when it adopted the 14th Amendment in 1866 was the newly freed slave." Justice Black observed in the 1930s that in the first fifty years following the adoption of the 14th Amendment, "less than one-half of 1 percent [of Supreme Court cases] invoked it in protection of the Negro race, and more than 50 percent asked that its benefits be extended to corporations." During this period the courts moved to limit democratic power in other ways as well. For example, the Supreme Court restricted the common law right of juries to nullify a wrongful law; other courts erected barriers against third parties such as banning fusion slates.

    It was during this same time that the myth of competitive virtue sprouted, helping to justify one of the great rapacious periods of American business. It was a time when J.P. Morgan would come to own half the railroad mileage in the country -- the same J. P. Morgan who got his start during the Civil War by buying defective rifles for $3.50 each from an army arsenal and then selling them to a general in the field for $22 apiece. The founding principles of what we now proudly call the "American free market system" flowered in an era of enormous bribes, massive legislative corruption, and the creation of great anti-competitive cartels. It was a time when the government, in a precursor to industrial policy, gave two railroad companies 21 million acres of free land.

    And it was also the time that American workers, who had once used commerce to free themselves from the economic and social straitjacket of the monarchy, found themselves servants of a new rigid hierarchy, that of the modern corporation.

    Biden’s Drug Czar Is Leading the Charge for a ‘Harm Reduction’ Approach

    Unprecedented Heat And Stressed Grids Make Dangerous Power Outages Increasingly Likely

    Greenland ice melt kicks into high gear

    July 25, 2022

    2 in 3 in US Favor Term Limits for Justices

    1 in 4 homeowners admit they use security cameras to spy on neighbors

    Best and worst school systems

    2022’s Most & Least Educated Cities in America



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    The two best kept secrets about school integrationWhere bad education really comes from
    Standardized test for your school
    Back to school: tales of a parents association president
    Let 'em play



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