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Reformism: The Clean Air Act of 1970

"Clean air is a basic right. The responsibility to ensure that falls to Congress and the president." - Thomas Carper

"Commercial institutions, proud of their achievements, do not see that healthy living systems - clean air and water, healthy soil, stable climates - are integral to a functioning economy. As our living systems deteriorate, traditional forecasting and business economics become the equivalent of house rules on a sinking cruise ship." - Paul Hawken

"Clean air is essential to the survival of all life on Earth. If that does not make it a natural right, I do not know what does." - Kent Allen Halliburton


The Clean Air Act of 1970 is a United States federal law designed to control air pollution on a national level. It is one of the United States' first and most influential modern environmental laws, and one of the most comprehensive air quality laws in the world. As with many other major U.S. federal environmental statutes, it is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in coordination with state, local, and tribal governments. Its implementing regulations are codified at 40 C.F.R. Subchapter C, Parts 50-97.

The law has its roots in the 1955 Air Pollution Control Act, which was the first U.S federal legislation that pertained to air pollution and that also provided funds for federal government research on air pollution. The next step was the Clean Air Act of 1963, which was the first federal legislation to actually pertain to "controlling" air pollution. The 1963 act accomplished this by establishing a federal program within the U.S. Public Health Service and authorizing research into techniques for monitoring and controlling air pollution.

This act was first amended in 1965, by the Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act, which authorized the federal government to set required standards for controlling the emission of pollutants from certain automobiles, beginning with the 1968 models. A second amendment, the Air Quality Act of 1967, enabled the federal government to increase its activities to investigate enforcing interstate air pollution transport, and, for the first time, to perform far-reaching ambient monitoring studies and stationary source inspections. The 1967 act also authorized expanded studies of air pollutant emission inventories, ambient monitoring techniques, and control techniques.

It was the Clean Air Act of 1970; however, that was to set the bar for the future of air quality in the United Sates. Amendments to previous laws approved in 1970 greatly expanded the federal mandate, requiring comprehensive federal and state regulations for both stationary industrial pollution sources, as well as, mobile sources. It also significantly expanded federal enforcement. This also created the Environmental Protection Agency, which began formal operations on December 2, 1970 for the purpose of consolidating pertinent federal research, monitoring, standard-setting, and enforcement activities into one agency that would ensure environmental protection.

How Does This Relate to Reformism?

Let's continue with the American Smelting and Refining Company. After the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sued ASARCO for damages to natural resources in 1983, the EPA placed the ASARCO Globe Plant on its National Priorities List of Superfund sites, with ASARCO to pay for the site's cleanup.

In 1972, ASARCO's downtown Omaha plant in Nebraska was found to be releasing high amounts of lead into the air and ground surrounding the plant. In 1995, ASARCO submitted a demolition and site cleanup plan to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality for their impact on the local residential area. Fined $3.6 million in 1996 for discharging lead and other pollutants into the Missouri River, ASARCO closed its Omaha plant in July of 1997. After extensive site cleanup, the land was turned over to the City of Omaha as a 23-acre (93,000 m2) park. All of East Omaha, comprising more than 8,000 acres (32 km²), was declared a Superfund site. As of 2003, 290 acres (1.2 km²) had been cleaned.

After emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008, ASARCO made a settlement with the government in the amount of $1.79 billion for contamination at various sites; the funds were allotted to the EPA for cleanup at 26 sites around the country. This does not include the case in El Paso, Texas. What this all basically means is that a company that has been found to have been damaging the environment for over a century can get get past all of the criminal sanctions of the EPA laws by simply paying their way out of trouble. No one is going to jail, no one has to pay bail, no one is losing their job, and no one has to worry about a pay check. Oh wait, unless that is, of course, they are the people who's lives were dependent upon the smelter for a living wage and who's health is now at risk with no money to pay for it to get better. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other.

How Else Might This Relate to Reformism?

If you have been following Refuse to Cooperate for any lengthy period of you time, you will know that we support Renewable Energy, and there is a very good reason that we do this. Wind turbines on the continental USA could generate 37 PWh a year, according to a new study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. That output is three times the level of previous studies, says the American Wind Energy Association. The study is the first state-by-state update of the potential for wind energy since 1993, and examines the potential for electricity from wind if turbines were perched 80 m above the ground, higher than previous studies.

Further, solar power is more affordable, accessible, and prevalent in the United States than ever before. Since 2008, U.S. installations have grown seventeen-fold from 1.2 gigawatts to an estimated 30 GW today. This is enough capacity to power the equivalent of 5.7 million average American homes. Since 2010, the average cost of solar PV panels has dropped more than sixty percent and the cost of a solar electric system has dropped by about fifty percent.

Markets for solar energy are maturing rapidly around the country, and solar electricity is now economically-competitive with conventional energy sources in several states, including California, Hawaii, Texas, and Minnesota. Moreover, the solar industry is a proven incubator for job growth throughout the nation. Solar jobs have increased about one-hundred and twenty-three percent since November of 2010, with nearly 209,000 solar workers in the United States.

According to research done by GigaOm analyst Adam Lesser, buried deep in a 2011 report from the International Energy Agency, fossil fuels currently receive subsidies via at least 250 mechanisms. In June of 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said $557 billion was spent to subsidize fossil fuels globally in 2008, compared to $43 billion in support of renewable energy. In a July 2011 EIA report on federal fossil fuel subsidies, coal was estimated to have tax expenditures, provisions in the federal tax code that reduce the tax liability of firms, with an estimated value of $3.3 billion in FY 2007. Other numbers are coming out that show that subsidies to fossil fuel companies are starting to drop, but they still get way much more money than they are worth. In the mean time, the pollutants that they release into the atmosphere are putting all life on Earth at risk of extinction, while rich businessmen rake in enough money to buy off an entire country and more. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other.

#refusetocooperate, #getyourhouseinorder, #wearewatching, #deathbeforedishonor, #cleanairact, #pollution, #ASARCO, #EPA, #corruption, #taxpenalties, #omaha, #elpaso, #nebraska, #texas, #carbondioxide, #healthcode, #unitedstates, #earth, #extinction, #renewableenergy

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Reformism: The Fair Housing Act of 1968

“We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization, black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love.....What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.” - Robert F. Kennedy


The Fair Housing Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 3601-3631) is also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Congress passed the act in an effort to impose a comprehensive solution to the problem of unlawful discrimination in housing based on race, color, sex, national origin, and religion. The Fair Housing Act has become a central feature of modern Civil Rights enforcement, enabling persons in the protected classes to rent or own residential property in areas that were previously segregated. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is charged with enforcement of the act. It issues regulations and institutes investigations into discriminatory housing practices.

The law was signed by President Johnson during the national riots that were breaking out after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The passage of the Fair Housing Act came after the failure of two earlier federal initiatives. A 1962 Executive Order, signed by President John F. Kennedy, directed all departments of the Executive Branch to take appropriate actions to prevent discrimination in all federally administered housing programs. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 contained language in Title VI that prohibited housing discrimination in any program receiving federal financial assistance. Although Title VI provided that a recipient of funding who was found in violation could be prevented from continuing receipt of governmental assistance, this sanction was rarely used.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discriminatory conduct by a variety of legal entities. The act defines "person" to include one or more individuals, corporations, partnerships, associations, labor organizations, legal representatives, mutual companies, joint-stock companies, trusts, unincorporated organizations, trustees, receivers, and fiduciaries. In addition, municipalities, local government units, cities, and federal agencies are subject to the law.

The act explicitly defines a list of prohibited practices involving housing, including sales, rentals, advertising, and financing. Its primary prohibition makes it unlawful to refuse to sell, rent to, or negotiate with any person because of that person's race, color, religion, sex, familial status, handicap, or national origin. The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 added extensive provisions that apply to discrimination against disabled persons and families with children 18 years of age and under.

It is illegal under the Fair Housing Act to discriminate in the sale or rental of a dwelling because of the disability of the buyer or renter, a person who will reside in the dwelling after it is sold or rented, or any person associated with the buyer or renter. It is not illegal, however, to refuse to rent or sell housing to an individual, with or without a disabling condition, whose tenancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose tenancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others. Newly constructed multi-family dwellings must be designed so that the public and common-use portions are accessible to people with disabilities.

The Fair Housing Act also prohibits discriminatory advertising practices in the sale or rental of housing. Advertising may not disclose a "preference, limitation or discrimination" based on any of the protected categories of persons. The media company that runs an offensive advertisement or other statement may be held liable, as may the advertiser. Subtle advertising strategies, such as the selective use of minority-identified media for the marketing of segregated and over-priced housing to minorities, and the use of code words, such as "exclusive" neighborhood, in the text of the realty classified advertisements, violate the act. The law reaches unpublished statements including discriminatory expressions and conduct, such as a landlord's instructions to his rental agent, superintendent, or other employees that they should either not rent to blacks or that they should give a preference to whites or certain other ethnic groups.

The law makes it illegal for an owner or his agent to represent to any member of any statutorily protected class that a dwelling is unavailable for inspection, rental, or sale, when, in fact, it actually is available. The act has been found to have been violated by a realty firm that posted "sold" signs on the lawns of a white neighborhood in an attempt to discourage minorities from purchasing houses in the neighborhood.

The Fair Housing Act also sought to end a practice called "blockbusting," the practice by realtors of frightening homeowners by telling them that people who are members of a particular race, religion, or other protected class are moving into their neighborhood and that they should expect a decline in the value of their property. The purpose of this scheme is to get homeowners to sell out at a deflated price. In alleged blockbusting cases, the courts have focused on what was heard, rather than what was said. Even in the absence of wrongful intent by the real estate salesman, or explicit reference to a protected class, liability will attach if the reasonable homeowner believes that the salesman is trading on his assumed fear of minorities to stimulate that homeowner to list his house for sale.

How Does This Relate to Reformism?

A Variable-Rate Mortgage, Adjustable-Rate Mortgage, or Tracker Mortgage is a mortgage loan with the interest rate on the note periodically adjusted based on an index which reflects the cost to the lender of borrowing on the credit markets. The loan may be offered at the lender's standard variable base rate. There may be a direct and legally defined link to the underlying index, but where the lender offers no specific link to the underlying market or index the rate can be changed at the lender's discretion. The term "variable-rate mortgage" is most common outside the United States, whilst in the United States, "adjustable-rate mortgage" is most common, and implies a mortgage regulated by the Federal government, with caps on charges. In many countries, adjustable rate mortgages are the norm, and in such places, may simply be referred to as mortgages.

What all of this jargon basically means is that the government allows lenders to make predatory loans to people knowing that interest rates are going be to going up over time, knowing full well that it is very possible that the borrower may not be able to compensate for the increase, and also knowing full well that their practices are likely in direct violation of the financing regulations of the Fair Housing Act.

Another thing that is not commonly announced is that these predatory loans are most usually commonly approved for African Americans and other minorities, the very people that are supposed to be protected by the Fair Housing Act. In addition to this, there are a laundry list of federal assistance programs that are available to people who are in jeapordy of losing their homes because the rate on their loan rose to an unmanageable level, and their lenders are technically required, per the Fair Housing Act, to inform them about these options. However, many lenders take advantage of their borrowers ignorance of the law and never inform their borrower of these options, and this includes federal lending agencies. They do so, of course, because they want to turn the property over as quickly as possible so as to sustain their profit margin. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other.

#refusetocooperate, #wearewatching, #getyourhouseinorder, #deathbeforedishonor, #discrimination, #HUD, #africanamerican, #fairhousingact, #predatoryloans, #investing, #mortgage, #interestrates, #reformism, #corruption, #raceriots, #borrower, #lender, #property, #renter, #federalgovernment 

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Jesus Christ: Socialist?

Credit: Christopher Williams, RTC Deputy Secretary

"Who is the covetous man? One for whom plenty is not enough. Who is the defrauder? One who takes away what belongs to everyone. And are not you covetous, are you not a defrauder, when you keep for private use what you were given for distribution? When some one strips a man of his clothes we call him a thief. And one who might clothe the naked and does not—should not he be given the same name? The bread in your hoard belongs to the hungry; the cloak in your wardrobe belongs to the naked; the shoes you let rot belong to the barefoot; the money in your vaults belongs to the destitute. All you might help and do not—to all these you are doing wrong." - St. Basil of Caesarea

To start: I am a Marxist-Leninist, not a Christian. With that being said, I can't help but love the figure of Jesus Christ in the Bible. In Christ, I see a fellow revolutionary, a radical community worker helping the oppressed at every point and pointing people to a new and better world. Now, I am not going to make the absurd claim that Jesus was a Marxist, as Marxism is socialism rooted in science and materialism; whereas, Christ's politics are rooted in religion and idealism. I will, however, argue that Christ's teachings are compatible with a religious based socialism utterly opposed to capitalism at every point, and thus, his followers must be also to be true Christians. Further, I will do it in Christian terms. All of the biblical quotes will be taken from the New American Standard edition of the Christian Bible for the shear literal nature of its translation.

"And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way." - Luke 6:20-26

Now, the Beatitudes are generally considered the very core of Christ's ethical teachings. Right out of the gates, we have Christ both recognizing that economic classes exist and immediately showing with which class he stands in solidarity and which class receives his disdain. This disdain for the wealthy classes is reiterated in the Parable of the Rich Fool:

"And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” - Luke 12:16-21

And again:

"No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” - Luke 16:13

Capitalism is, of course, rooted at every point on the accumulation of worldly profits, and yet, Christ makes the exact opposite central to his doctrine of salvation:

"A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” - Luke 18:18-25

“But the poor person does not exist as an inescapable fact of destiny. His or her existence is not politically neutral, and it is not ethically innocent. The poor are a by-product of the system in which we live and for which we are responsible. They are marginalized by our social and cultural world. They are the oppressed, exploited proletariat, robbed of the fruit of their labor and despoiled of their humanity. Hence, the poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.” - Gustavo Gutiérrez

#refusetocooperate, #getyourhouseinorder. #wearewatching, #deathbeforedishonor, #jesuschrist, #socialist, #justice, #corruption, #poor, #rich, #salvation, #condemnation, #damnation, #capitalism, #individualism, #innocent, #guilty, #heaven, #hell, #destiny

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Reformism: The Voting Rights Act of 1965

"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

"When Huey P. Long told his supporters in Louisiana that 'If you don't vote, you don't matter;' as it relates to his African American supporters, he must have forgotten about the KKK." - Kent Allen Halliburton

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the Civil Rights Movement on August 6, 1965, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand its protections. Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act secured voting rights for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever enacted in the country.

The Act contains numerous provisions that regulate election administration. The Act's "general provisions" provide nationwide protections for voting rights. Section 2 is a general provision that prohibits every state and local government from imposing any voting law that results in discrimination against racial or language minorities. Other general provisions specifically outlaw literacy tests and similar devices that were historically used to disenfranchise racial minorities.

The Act also contains "special provisions" that apply to only certain jurisdictions. A special provision is the Section 5 preclearance requirement, which prohibits certain jurisdictions from implementing any change affecting voting without receiving preapproval from the U.S. Attorney General or the U.S. District Court for D.C. that the change does not discriminate against protected minorities. Another special provision requires jurisdictions containing significant language minority populations to provide bilingual ballots and other election materials.

Section 5 and most other special provisions apply to jurisdictions encompassed by the "coverage formula" prescribed in Section 4(b). The coverage formula was originally designed to encompass jurisdictions that engaged in egregious voting discrimination in 1965, and Congress updated the formula in 1970 and again in 1975. In Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. 2 (2013), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula as unconstitutional, reasoning that it was no longer responsive to current conditions, as the formula was then nearly forty years old. The Court did not strike down Section 5, but without a coverage formula, Section 5 is unenforceable. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other.

The initial blow back came from local citizens and small governments who did not wish to see their African American and other populations enter the polls. Sheriffs shut down polling stations completely; and if they did not do that, they brutalized any African American or any other person they did not approve of that attempted to enter a polling station. Video recordings and photographs from across the South were caught on national news and shown to the whole world. In other cases, the police set attack dogs on people, and these images also made their way around the world, however, other much more gruesome methods were used by Southern whites in their efforts to keep African Africans from exercising their rights under the new law. Founded in their original form in 1865, the KKK has historically served as one of the premier domestic terrorism organizations in the United States, and their primary target has always been African Americans.

In the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries. The resulting district is known as a gerrymander, recently changed from the original; however, that word can also refer to the process. The term gerrymandering has negative connotations. Two principal tactics are used in gerrymandering: "cracking," i.e. diluting the voting power of the opposing party's supporters across many districts and "packing," concentrating the opposing party's voting power in one district to reduce their voting power in other districts. There are also now Voter ID Laws. Proponents of these laws argue that they reduce electoral fraud while placing only a small burden on voters. Research has shown that the type of voter fraud that would be prevented by voter IDs is extremely rare; research is mixed as to whether voter ID laws reduce overall turnout or minority turnout; and research has shown that Republican legislators in swing states and districts with sizable black or Hispanic populations push the hardest for voter ID laws.

#refusetocooperate, #getyourhouseinorder, #wearewatching, #deathbeforedishonor, #peaceful, #protest, #KKK, #voterid, #gerrymandering, #republican, #minorities, #africanamerican, #FBI, #news, #FDR

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Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory - A Review

"Slavery is by far the most sickening stain on our County's history; and yet, to this very day, especially in Southern schools, slavery is considered to be but a minor academic issue in American history and is given only a slight mention is general daily studies." - Kent Allen Halliburton

Horton, James Oliver and Lois E. Horton, Eds. Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2006.

Slavery is a very difficult subject to talk about in public. It is one of those topics that almost always draws out the deepest of emotions in people. It is able to do this because its very nature is in direct violation of the tenants of such famous documents as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that are supposed to dictate the freedom and liberty for all those persons who seek it. How have public institutions addressed the issue of slavery in the past? What changes are being made in the present? What is the hope for the future? In Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory, edited by James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Horton, eleven essays, two of which are authored by the editors themselves, do a very good job of answering these questions and more. They offer perspectives on the issue of slavery in public history that are both encouraging and thought provoking.

What are all of the authors in this book showing? They are showing that in the past, and that past is not all that long ago, as late as the early 1990s, slavery was addressed very little or not at all at public historical sites; but since then, this has begun to change. Examples of these changes are the work that John Michael Vloch did with the D.C. Public Library, the Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia and its inclusion of the ‘President’s House’ exhibit, and the museum at Monticello, home to Thomas Jefferson and his many slaves. They also show, however that there is much work yet to be done to overcome the recalcitrant attitudes that are the legacy of four hundred years of slavery and one hundred and fifty years of extended poor race relations. Looking at the issue, Slavery, ‘directly in the eyes,’ through proper education and public discourse, at every level, is the only way that Americans will be able to reconcile their differences and move on as one united people.

#refusetocooperate, #getyourhouseinorder, #wearewatching, #deathbeforedishonor, #slavery, #libertybell, #publichistory, #presidentshouse, #americanmemory, #education

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Reformism: The Civil Rights Act of 1964

"The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was vigorously and vociferously opposed by the Southern states. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into law nonetheless." - Henry Rollins

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the nation's premier civil rights legislation. The Act outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, required equal access to public places and employment, and enforced desegregation of schools and the right to vote. It did not end discrimination; however, but it did open the door to further progress. Although the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments outlawed slavery, provided for equal protection under the law, guaranteed citizenship, and protected the right to vote for African Americans, individual states continued to allow unfair treatment of minorities and passed Jim Crow laws allowing segregation of public facilities. These were upheld by the Supreme Court in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 US 537 (1896), which found state laws requiring racially segregated facilities that were "separate but equal" to be constitutional. This finding helped continue legalized discrimination well into the 20th century.

The real reason that this is still a problem is that African Americans, once they realized that white people were only willing to take change so far, never organized a strong enough movement to resist this restraint placed on them by the white powers. There are several reasons why this is, a couple of which will be the topic of subsequent articles on reformism. One particular method is political isolation. The dominant political parities, north or south, create Gerrymandered voter districts so as to isolate the voting power of their African American populations. If that is not possible, they attempt to buy off their African American voters with all black voter districts, or districts where the population is so black that a black representative cannot fail to be elected. Voter ID laws are now another method that are being used to attack poor people's ability to participate in politics. These laws are almost always targeted at poor African Americans. They also created housing and welfare projects that were intentionally designed to target poor African American communities in America's poor inner cities. These programs were meant to keep African American populations localized and away from white population who were moving out to suburbs in what came to be know as the "White Flight Movement." The white powers intentionally recreated segregation.

There is, of course, also the influx of illegal narcotics into America's inner cities. By now, formal and legal historical documents have proven to be true what was once shouted off by the federal government as ludicrous lies and demented conspiracy theories. The CIA and other agencies of the federal government have colluded and now collude with foreign governments and criminal syndicates to secure, ship, and distribute some of the most addictive drugs on the planet onto American streets and into the hands of American citizens. Further, it does so purposely to keep the American people doing anything stupid like becoming socially aware and standing up for their rights. From the fifties to the mid-seventies, the drug of choice was Heroin, and it had a powerful hold on on people.

However, in the mid-seventies a more local and more addictive drug hit the scene, Cocaine; and in the early eighties, a new cheaper form of the drug hit the streets, Crack. The Crack epidemic was by far the worst drug epidemic in US History, and it was intentionally set off by the government to generate a cover for the United States' illicit operations with these foreign governments and criminal syndicates. It was to be known as the; "War on Drugs," and worse, it intentionally targeted the African American community, so as to ensure that they would never seriously challenge their position in the American social structure ever again. One of the ways that this was made so was by using these drugs to criminalize African Americans, which made it impossible for them register to vote, and thus, interact in the political power structure. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other.

So, finally, one last time, what does this say about the Civil Rights Act of 1964? It essentially means that it is not worth the paper that it is written on, and it means that the only way that African Americans are going to get the real justice that they deserve in this country is if they use more aggressive measures to get it. Now, this does not necessarily mean that they need to use violence to get the equal treatment that they deserve, but it does mean that they need to start to use more unconventional organizing methods that will catch their oppressors off guard. Further, when the hammer is dropped by the white man, they need to be able to withstand the blow, which means they need to be able to unite under one flag, and they need to be able to work without the help of other races. This really needs to be a modern Black Power movement of sorts. Finally, more legislation is not the answer to their problem, especially if it signed by the hand of the very same oppressor that continues to keep them down.

#refusetocooperate, #getyourhouseinorder, #wearewatching, #deathbeforedishonor, #civilrights, #LBJ, #blackpower, #JFK, #whiteflight, #suburbs, #voterid, #heroin, #cocaine, #crack, #blackpanthers, #CIA, #africanamericans, #warondrugs, #gerrymandering, #discrimination 

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Reformism: The Works Progress Administration

"The New Deal is plainly an attempt to achieve a working socialism and avert a social collapse in America; it is extraordinarily parallel to the successive 'policies' and 'Plans' of the Russian experiment. Americans shirk the word 'socialism', but what else can one call it?" - H.G. Wells

The Works Progress Administration was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of people, mostly unskilled men, to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. In a much smaller project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects. Almost every community in the United States had a new park, bridge or school constructed by the agency. The WPA's initial appropriation in 1935 was for $4.9 billion, about 6.7 percent of the 1935 GDP.

"The stated goal of public building programs was to end the depression or, at least, alleviate its worst effects;" sociologist Robert D. Leighninger asserted, "millions of people needed subsistence incomes, and work relief was preferred over public assistance because it maintained self-respect, reinforced the work ethic, and kept skills sharp." The WPA was a national program that operated its own projects in cooperation with state and local governments, which provided ten to thirty percent of the costs. Usually, the local sponsor provided land and often trucks and supplies, with the WPA taking responsibility for wages, as well as, for the salaries of supervisors, who were not on relief. The WPA sometimes took over state and local relief programs that had originated in the Reconstruction Finance Corporation or Federal Emergency Relief Administration programs. The WPA, like the CCC before it, was liquidated on June 30, 1943, as a result of low unemployment due to the worker shortage created by the onset of World War II. Many historians argue that in just eight short years, the WPA left a greater mark on the American landscape than any other government program in all of American history.

Civil rights leaders objected that African Americans were proportionally underrepresented. African American leaders made such a claim with respect to WPA hires in New Jersey, stating, "In spite of the fact that blacks indubitably constitute more than 20% of the State's unemployed, they composed 15.9% of those assigned to W.P.A. jobs during 1937." Nationwide in 1940, 9.8% of the population were African American. This pattern was the same in every state in the Unite States. Further, the WPA mostly operated segregated units, as did its youth affiliate, the National Youth Administration. Blacks were hired by the WPA as supervisors in the North; however of 10,000 WPA supervisors in the South, only eleven were black. The operation was simple. The federal government delegated operations to the states, who then delegated operations to local authorities, who then handed out job assignments based on need, and in the South, especially, those jobs were less likely to be assigned African Americans. Historian Anthony Badger argues, "New Deal programs in the South routinely discriminated against blacks and perpetuated segregation." So, basically, if you were black you had better take a step back. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other.

In rural Missouri, sixty percent of the WPA employed women were without husbands twelve percent were single; twenty-five percent widowed; and twenty-three percent divorced, separated, or deserted. Thus, only forty percent were married and living with their husbands, but fifty-nine percent of the husbands were permanently disabled, seventeen percent were temporarily disabled, thirteen percent were too old to work, and the remaining ten percent were either unemployed or handicapped. Most of the women worked with sewing projects, where they were taught to use sewing machines and made clothing and bedding, as well as supplies for hospitals, orphanages, and adoption centers. Basically, what this meant was that the only way that a woman could work was if her husband was completely disabled; and even then, she was limited to what was considered menial labor that paid poorly and provided very little for their family's survival. Her pay would certainly not have matched that of her husband's had he been able to get a WPA job in her place. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other.

#refusetocooperate, #getyourhouseinorder, #wearewatching, #WPA, #deathbeforedishonor, #reformism, #socialism, #africanamericans, #racism, #sexism, #greatdepression, #WWII, #communism, #workfare, #welfare

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The United States Would be Better Off with a Parliament

Credit: Lexa Moon, RTC Youth Coordinator

"From a professional standpoint, it is my opinion that Parliamentary Systems of government, historically speaking, have always had a much better record of responding to the needs of their people than have had Constitutional Republics." - Kent Allen Halliburton

A Parliamentary System is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive branch derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislative branch, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a different person from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, or Constitutional Republic, where the head of state often is also the head of government, and most importantly, the executive branch does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.

A Constitutional Republic is a state where the officials are elected as representatives of the people, and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government's power over citizens. A Constitutional Republic is the current form of government in the United States. A Republic, by definition, has two principle elements. First, it is controlled by Law; therefore, it does not control Law. Second, it recognizes the private independent sovereign nature of each person, man or woman, of competent age and capacity; therefore, a Republic must be representative in its nature.

Over the past year, we have witnessed, as a nation, the most controversial presidential election in decades, arguably giving Nixon’s reelection a run for its money. All three candidates came out to show their teeth and it got ugly. In the end, due to the Democrat’s being so damn corrupt, just as much as the Republicans; they failed to choose a nominee that actually represented their constituencies' beliefs. As a result, this country is now stuck with a spray tanned buffoon as President for the next four, possibly even eight years. However, the presidency wasn’t the only controversial election. Congress had its own issues. Again, in the end we ended up with a Republican majority in both houses. Now we must pray to our gods that the Republicans can’t get anything done, or at least do any major damage, but this sparked my interest. What if the United States didn’t have a Congress, and instead had a parliamentary system of democracy? My main idea is that average citizens should have more of a chance of being represented at the highest levels of government, and that politicians should be held more closely accountable.

The United States Constitutional Republic is failing and its time for a controversial change to the system. Parliamentary systems work far better for far many more reasons than are listed here. Due to the way parliamentary systems work; right now, Congress would have to call for a snap election that Donald Trump would likely lose to whoever his opponent is. We are living in a crucial time in history where the law is being ignored by most of our politicians, and because we live in a Constitutional Republic, we are forced to endure corruption and vice for much longer than is fair. We need to actively consider starting a movement in the United States that will press for the formation of a parliamentary system of government that will truly more accurately represent the needs and interests of the American people. When the people don't believe that they are being heard, they give up. A parliamentary system of government will give the people a better chance to feel included in the decision making process, and allow them to develop a closer more mature relationship with their government.

#refusetocooperate, #wearewatching, #getyourhouseinorder, #deathbeforedishonor, #corruption, #parliament, #congress, #senate, #house, #president, #primeminister, #government, #access, #civilrights, #liberty, #freedom

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