Human Rights & Bad Politics in America

It’s Right in Front of Our Faces

Before I get into the subject of this post I need to clearly state my political beliefs for transparency. In my 20’s and most of my 30’s my politics aligned with each party at different periods. In my late 30’s I became discouraged with either party’s politics and became an unaffiliated Independent. I exercised my vote for the issues or politicians I thought as the best of the available choices. In my mid 50’s I started changing my beliefs and began to shift my views to the left and now, at 60, I am at the far left. That means that Conservatives, Republicans, Moderates, Independents, Democrats, Liberals, and Progressives are all to the right of my stance. The Republican & Democratic parties are no different from each other. Call me a leftist, an extreme leftist, a Socialist, a Marxist, or a Communist if you need a label, but to me, I am simply a person who believes that the current political and social systems in America are not “for the people” and need to radically change to become a true democratic party of the people and that brings true equality and treatment for all people. With this now clear, I will speak to the subject of the post title.

It’s 2020, an election year and likely an election that will change little for the good of the people of America. When I say “the people of America” I mean citizens, legal residents, people with Visas, and all undocumented people in the country.

America has a long and dark history of systemic racism. From slavery to the 19th Century Chinese Exclusion Act to the immigration limitation placed on different European cultures to Jim Crow and right up to today’s exclusions initiated by Donald Trump of Hispanic people and Muslims. It’s a pattern that clearly states the America is for Whites only. All others are only tolerated and discriminated against. The two political parties have enforced these beliefs for the entire existence of each party. Republicans and Democrats have held, and still do hold, a lock on almost 100% of the political offices at all levels of government in America. They both control the political agendas, blocking outsider influences (which are typically in the interests of common people) on the laws and rules in the country.

Immigration:

America is a nation founded on immigration. The nation would be better off if all immigration restrictions were eliminated.

Donald Trump is, many would say, strong on immigration control. He began his first term, after campaigning on “illegal” immigrants in some of the most racist and bigoted terms and building more of the wall located on our southern border. He also campaigned using fearmongering to whites about “illegal” immigration destroying our country. Also, Trump sold America a bill of goods by saying the wall would all be paid for by Mexico (not at all true).

Further, Trump also instituted the forced separation of children from their parents/guardians when they were caught as “illegal” immigrants inside US borders. The children were then placed in “detention” camps, as the government calls them, and left to get by on their own. There, detainees experience overcrowding, as well as reports of inadequate food provisions & medical care, no hygiene items, lack of sleeping materials, lack of supplies to care for very young children, etc. Plus, with the pandemic, these children are suffering COVID-19 illness. The only thing worse that Donald Trump could do to these children would be to exterminate them in gas chambers and cremating the remains. Yes, the comparison with Nazis is intended.

ICE isn’t even able to account for the whereabouts of all the children. Some 1500 have gone “missing” and ICE doesn’t seem to know where they are! Imagine a child of yours being forcibly taken from you and then “lost” by the authorities. How would you react? This lack of humanity is troubling at the least.

But, it isn’t only children being abused by Trump’s ICE. In a detention facility in Florida, Muslim detainees have been served meals containing pork and pork products. Muslim beliefs require abstaining from eating pork and even touching pork, just like adherents of Judaism. This clearly violates the 14th Amendment, Section 1, that provides for equal treatment for all under the law. But, Trump doesn’t care. In his mind they shouldn’t have entered the US “illegally.”

Now, Democrats have been “outraged” over some of these issues, going so far as demanding that ICE be abolished. It may sound good, but it is being done while the fact is that Barack Obama’s administration held unaccompanied children in, as Joe Biden referred to them, cages. Yet, 2020 Candidate Biden falsely claimed otherwise. If the Democrats felt so strongly on the issue, why did they not abolish the immigration services when they held the White House and majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate? Instead, they are just as culpable as Republicans.

In fairness, the Obama Administration made changes to US immigration policies. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program being one. The program allowed for “some individuals with unlawful presence in the United States after being brought to the country as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the U.S.”

Likely Biden, if elected, would shift the focus off Trump’s current immigration policies. There should be no laws restricting immigration to the United States. No human being should be considered to be here “illegally.” However, there would be no action by the Democrats to end all immigration laws and actions against anyone entering America.

Donald Trump’s immigration “policies”, using ICE like Nazi Brown Shirts to terrorize non-resident undocumented minorities, is appalling. The fact that so many Americans stand with Trump policies brings shame to the rest of us and is just one thing that lowers the standing of America to the nations of the world.

America, tear down that wall and welcome all who come to America!

Capitalism:

Capitalism is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market”

Capitalism can be better defined as an economic system in which the great majority labor for minimal compensation, while the very few grow extremely rich off of that labor (John Broge, 2020). The laborer has little to no input on the generation of products and no input on the division of the profits. In short, slavery. Further, capitalism denies all people of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Capitalism prevents millions from life, where “life” is defined as the rights one is entitled to just for being alive. I’m not talking about the US Constitution Bill of Rights either. You, as a human being, have rights above any that are granted by the state. Without these rights, life can be extremely difficult. Without these rights there can be no liberty or the pursuit of happiness. I’ll cover these rights one at a time, in no particular order.

Food Security:

No human can live without food, but many face daily food insecurity. Food insecurity is defined as “a lack of available financial resources for food at the household level.” The result of this is hunger, which is “a personal, physical sensation of discomfort” (Feeding America).

In 2018 that meant that, “37 million Americans, including more than 11 million children,” were food insecure according to the Feed America article referenced above. In perspective, those 37 million people equate to almost the complete population of California, the most populated US State, in 2019! No one should ever have to be concerned that they have insufficient nutritious food to sustain their lives without hunger. There is absolutely no excuse for this in America, a nation considered one of the world’s breadbaskets. Yet, it is a sad fact.

I know the feelings of hunger from food insecurity as a child, my parents struggled at different times to put food on the table. I understood it as a young adult when I didn’t earn enough to feed my child, my wife, and myself. I skipped meals so that there was enough for the two of them. It strikes hard at your self-worth when you struggle like that. Maybe you’ve faced hunger and food insecurity in your life at some time. If so, I’m sorry you had to go through such a time.

Both parties supposedly want to see the end of food insecurity, but the government programs that have come from Republican or Democratic administrations are inadequate. If they were sufficient there wouldn’t be 37 million people facing food insecurity.

Plentiful food, healthy food, is a right of all human beings. It shouldn’t cost a person so much as a dime either. It’s time this wrong be righted in America and, ultimately, the world. Just don’t count on the two parties to make it happen. They both support capitalism and capitalism is indifferent to your suffering.

Housing:

Do you enjoy the home you live in? If so, that’s great for you, but in 2019 there were almost 600,000 people homeless in America. Many more Americans live in substandard housing or spend more than 30% of their income, the considered maximum percentage of income, on housing.

We have people living on the streets, many times harassed by the public and police. There are local governments across the country that have enacted municipal laws to keep the homeless off their streets and out of sight. It’s an “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome that people can use to choose to ignore homelessness in their cities. That is nothing more than harassment against a segment of society left out in the cold. There are shelters, but not enough and they restrict, for the most part, the use of the shelter on a first-come, first-served basis. Those using the shelters normally have to leave in the morning. They may be too late in the day when the shelters reopen to get a spot for the night.

Many millions of people live in substandard housing, not by choice, but by circumstance. They are in poverty in many, many cases and can’t afford better housing. They may live in metropolitan inner-city public housing projects that the local government claims they haven’t got the funding to keep the housing standards up, or so they claim. Many live in privately owned housing buildings, with slumlords who won’t spend any more money than they have to in order to keep the housing functioning. These slumlords don’t care about the poor conditions, they’re interested only in the money they make. Good capitalist business people, no? NO! Most of these public and private projects are in economically expensive cities, where the cost of housing traps people.

I could go on, but why? You should get the picture already. If you don’t, you are a cold, heartless person. Imagine if you had to live in a housing unit of some type that had constant plumbing, heating, or structural issues. Housing that may have unresolved rodent or insect infestations, or have crime rates that make the housing unsafe. Imagine if you had to raise children in one. There is no reason that any human being has to be without decent and well maintained housing.

In 2019 there were 1.5 million vacant homes and condominiums in the US. That is more than enough to house the homeless and some of the people in substandard housing. The government should be insuring that more decent housing is built for the rest of the people stuck in substandard housing. It is society’s responsibility to compel government to provide every person decent housing.

Both political parties have not brought widespread and sustained improvement to homelessness or substandard housing. How much of the billions in foreign and military aid from the US could be better spent providing proper housing to people in the United States? How much of the Defense Department spending on US forces overseas could be used? How much of the federal dollars that have been spent by both parties on immigration agencies, enforcement, and the border wall could have been better spent on decent housing for all people?

It is just another right of the people that is violated daily by government.

It will be no better in a Trump second term or a Biden first term.

Unemployment / Underemployment:

We can be a nation without unemployment and underemployment. It requires a different economic system, one where capitalism doesn’t exist.

We all understand the definition of unemployment, it simply means having no job. Underemployment is not having “a job that doesn’t put their education, experience or training to work, or they are working part-time when they’d rather have a full-time job”

In September of 2019 there were 5.8 million people unemployed in the US, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In April 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 28 million people were unemployed. From the same source chart, as of July 2020, the number of unemployed has fallen to under 17 million people.

Underemployment is always an issue. When a person is working at a job that does not utilize the person’s skills and experience, then that person is underemployed. They may be only working part-time jobs due to poor economic conditions, like a pandemic for instance. They may not make enough in wages to maintain health insurance or to maintain a safe and stable household for themselves and their family.

If every person was provided with universal basic income by the government people would be in a better position “to cover the basic cost of living and provide financial security.” You can read more about the pros and cons of Universal Basic Income (UBI) at the provided link. There are different options on how to fund UBI, whether it’s taxing society, or raising taxes on the very wealthy or corporations. Keep in mind UBI is a monthly payment over and above employment income.

I believe that UBI payments should not be taxed by the government. Further, workers should have seats at the company or corporate boardroom table to involve workers in the operational programs and plans. No company, corporation, or business can function without the labor of the workers. Owners and shareholders earn wealth off of that labor, so the workforce should share in the wealth rewards from their labor too. Hoarding the wealth rewards to the few, equals the class suppression of the workers. Capitalism drives the economic car to the detriment of the many and the enrichment of the few. Capitalism creates misery and death for the masses, while the wealthy elite live pampered lives.

Both political parties are involved in the suppression of the workers. The federal minimum wage is set by Congress. Currently the federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour, where it has been since May 2007. Do you think you can live on $7.25 per hour? That’s only $580 every two weeks, before taxes and any other deductions. “No way” you think, that’s not enough to live on. You’re right, it’s not. Now, a fair number of states have set the minimum wage for their state. It’s more, but is it enough? It might be, depending on the economic cost of where you live. I’d be skeptical though.

An employer must pay the higher of the two minimum wages, but there are exceptions to when employers have to pay minimum wage. The most common exemption is for bartenders and food servers. They can be paid a much lower rate, as low as a couple of dollars per hour, since the worker earns tips. The tips are considered to make up the difference in hourly earnings. Now, we all know, or should know, that tips earned varies a great deal. I was a bartender for a while when I was younger and the tips I made didn’t normally make up the difference. To my thinking, tips should not be considered in the wage earned. It’s a “bonus” for doing a great job in serving customers, which in turn likely increases the business of the employer.

There has been a lot of political hay made about increasing the federal minimum wage to $15.00 per hour (some States are already increasing minimum wages to the same level, over time). Well, sounds really good. That makes a minimum wage worker earnings of $1200.00 every two weeks, before taxes. But, depending on where you live, it may or may not be a living wage. Consider living in New York City versus St Louis. A one bedroom apartment costs from $2018.00 to $3313.00 in NYC, compared to $1076.00 in St Louis. So it comes down to the costs of living wherever you call home.

In the end, the political parties have the most guilt burden in this class separated employment and earning opportunities. By allowing the continuation of a unjust economic system at the expense of the people, the parties show their allegiance to the wealthiest segments of society.

Every person has the right to having living wages provided to them. To get this the current economic and political systems must be dismantled completely and new systems put in place.

Healthcare:

Every individual in the country has the right to not be denied proper healthcare!

In the US, people are dying from the lack of proper healthcare. For whatever reason, people can’t get healthcare. They may have no insurance or the health insurance company refuses to pay out for whatever treatment medical providers deem necessary to deal with your medical problem.

It’s capitalism and politicians who keep you from getting and staying healthy. You may not be able to afford the monthly payment the insurance company wants to charge for your coverage. Your employer may only offer very restricted healthcare insurance programs in order to keep their costs down or your employer may not even offer healthcare insurance at all. If Donald Trump has his way, insurance companies will be allowed to go back to the time in America that they could deny you coverage because of a preexisting condition or charge you higher rates to cover you because of that preexisting condition.

In 2018, over 27 million Americans had no health insurance, according to an article at policyadvice.net. I would expect that millions more have lost healthcare coverage as a result of the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We must also realize that undocumented immigrants are locked out of government healthcare options (Medicare, Medicaid, etc) because the are in the country “illegally.” Many of them work, being exploited by their employers, for low wages. They can’t afford private health insurance.

People who have no health insurance and become ill, end up under a pile of medical debt they can not pay. The more care they need, the greater the medical debt piles up. Eventually, you start hearing from, and being harassed by, debt collectors. They’ll threaten court action if you won’t pay them. If you do pay them, usually over time, you’ll have to short some other area of your monthly expenses to do so. It’s crushing to try and juggle financial debt. I know because my wife and have had to do just that. I’m still dealing with it.

“Wait a minute,” you say, “what about Obamacare?” Well, yes, President Obama was able to get the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed by Congress and he signed it into law. But, opening healthcare “exchanges” and requiring all Americans to have health insurance (and penalizing people for not having insurance) doesn’t mean people can afford insurance. Donald Trump, with the support of Congressional Republicans, is doing everything he can to destroy the ACA. He says Republicans will have a better plan to replace the ACA with, though no plan has been brought to the public as of yet. Even with the ACA, millions will continue to be uninsured.

The call has arisen, prominently from Senator Bernie Sanders during his run for the Presidency, that “Medicare for All” should and must be implemented to provide health insurance to every person in the United States. There has been loud dissent to this idea by the conservative right and resistance by Democrats too. They don’t want then end of private insurance, which “Medicare for All” would do. I admit, initially I was against the idea as well. My reason? After years of health insurance programs that don’t cover enough, our family finally has a plan we can afford and that covers almost all of the costs we are charged to deal with my chronic medical issues, as well as my wife and daughter’s medical problems.

I’ve come to realize my mistake in outright opposing “Medicare for All.” I have come to accept that it would be a good plan for America, but with one modification. Private health insurance should still be available to those who wish to utilize it. Everyone would still pay their share of the costs of “Medicare for All” still, so the program could be properly funded. Plus, if someone loses private coverage they could immediately use “Medicare for All” as any other American can. Make no mistake though, private medical insurance would be restricted on costs to the insured and medical providers.

Now, if we can either change the style of government, or in the meantime compel the political parties work together to improve healthcare coverage for all people, we should be able to see that no person ever again loses their right to quality healthcare.

Just one more reason Capitalism must be removed as our economic system in America.

Education:

Schools are instrumental to society. People know that the role of schools is to educate children so they have an education level giving them the ability to participate in life and improve their ability to function in society. Yet, our schools are not equal in being able to provide education.

According to an Economic Policy Institute study in 2017, “Extensive research has conclusively demonstrated that children’s social class is one of the most significant predictors—if not the single most significant predictor—of their educational success. Moreover, it is increasingly apparent that performance gaps by social class take root in the earliest years of children’s lives and fail to narrow in the years that follow. That is, children who start behind stay behind—they are rarely able to make up the lost ground.”

Just look at the difference in funding of school districts in America. You will see a range of funding to individual schools, which directly relates to the socioeconomic status of the school’s students. A 2020 Public School Review article states that, “approximately 48 percent of a school’s budget comes from state resources, including income taxes, sales tax, and fees. Another 44 percent is contributed locally, primarily through the property taxes of homeowners in the area. The last eight percent of the public education budget comes from federal sources, with an emphasis on grants for specific programs and services for students that need them.”

Schools located in affluent districts are able to provide better pay for teachers and staff, they can afford basic and luxury educational materials, they can afford the costs of technology (buying students laptops for example). Lower income districts don’t have the funding to compete with the affluent districts.

Again, from the Public School Review article, “Since schools must provide the basics, including heat, electricity and transportation, cuts that must be done are frequently taken from the classroom. This means fewer programs for students and larger class sizes that can create obstacles to student success.”

Our children are our most important resource and their education is a priority we cannot ignore. Every human being is entitled to an education without restrictions, from kindergarten through 12th grade and up to a four year college bachelors degree. It should all be free! The K-12 schools must be of equal quality, rich versus poor should not exist in the educational system. A four year college degree must be considered the teaching period to provide advanced skill opportunities. Students should not have to take out school loans to attend college, then be burdened with repaying these loans once they have graduated.

If we want successful generations, then we must properly educate them and provide the opportunity to carry-on and improve our society.

Neither Republicans or Democrats have fixed the education system and they’ve had more than enough chances to do so. Instead, Donald Trump and the Republicans insist on creating greater divide between the rich and poor students by pushing for public funding of private schools. Democrats want to throw more money at the system, without providing reform to ensure equality in education.

The human right tof a quality education is not being given to anyone. Equality of education has never existed. It is our responsibility to remove the roadblocks and create quality and equality in education for all. To do this, the political system must be completely changed and capitalism, overthrown.

These are your rights as a human. They are not, as I stated in the opening, any right the state has to grant you. They are yours by right of birth. All of the rights outlined in this post should be yours so that you may have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Until next time

pitchforksandtorches image

What’s Ailing America?

It’s not just one thing

What will history say about the America of 2020? I doubt it will show the country as a shining light on the path of leadership by the supposed most powerful nation in the world. To me, it is more likely that historians will say that America was a sad failure. That seems to be all that the current government and its leadership can accomplish – failure.

At a time when there is a world pandemic striking hard at countries worldwide, a pandemic here in America that has caused over 140,000 deaths, a pandemic that caused millions to become unemployed due to the necessary shutdowns in states in order to try to mitigate the spread of the virus, a pandemic that has not stopped national outrage and protests against police brutality and systemic racism, and a pandemic with no national leadership, who do Americans turn to for help?

Political Ailments

President Donald Trump is responsible for so many dying. He has consistently undermined the steps being taken by states to contain the virus. Worse, Donald Trump feels no guilt, like every sociopath, and takes no responsibility for anything even remotely considered a negative, like coronavirus testing.

Lets be clear, President Donald J. Trump has built his administration up as being the most ineffective and inept administration in the history of America. I’ll show you why I say this.

He is a science denier when talking about climate change or the coronavirus, insisting that he knows better. As results show, quite clearly, Donald Trump doesn’t know better. Plus, I doubt he even cares.

He has shown his disregard for children of immigrants, called illegal immigrants by Trump, and locked them up in “detention centers” under horrible overcrowding and health conditions. “Detention camps” are not the words I would use to describe these facilities. They are concentration camps, defined as “a camp in which people are detained or confined, usually under harsh conditions and without regard to legal norms of arrest and imprisonment that are acceptable in a constitutional democracy.” It seems this is no longer a newsworthy issue, its been overshadowed.

On May 25th of this year Minneapolis police arrested and murdered George Floyd, a Black American suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a store. Ex-officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, eventually killing Mr Floyd.

The murder of Mr Floyd evoked nationwide protests across America over his death and the systemic racism in America. The vandalism and rioting in some of the protests has resulted in further police brutality and excessive use of force. Trump has called the protestors “thugs.” The protests have been led by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) group, with White Americans supporting BLM, rather than leading, as it should be.

President Donald Trump, “attacked the Black Lives Matter movement, calling the rallying cry a ‘symbol of hate.'” Contrast this with the fact that while Trump has condemned the extreme right at times, he panders to his base by continuing his racist statements and beliefs (on the Confederate battle flag, Confederate statues, and Confederate names of military bases as examples).

Will Donald Trump be elected to a second term? Only time will tell. But, Donald Trump isn’t wasting any time in setting up his straw man should he lose to Joe Biden. He’s back to putting out, without any supporting evidence, his claim’s that voting by mail is ripe for fraud and will rig the election.

So, what is Donald Trump’s goal? Simply put, Trump is setting the stage to deny his loss to Joe Biden and illegally attempt to hold on to power. Now, if all the government officials live up to their oath to the US Constitution, Donald Trump will be forcibly removed from the White House. Joe Biden would be President and life will go on in America. Or will it?

We’ll back up just a touch to the ongoing protests in America. George Floyd’s murder was the straw that broke the camel’s back, resulting in the wide spread protests led by BLM. Black people (and other people of color) are tired of the lack of equality and are fighting for a new America. There is violence occurring at these protests not only from protestors, but from police as well.

The ongoing protests by the “thugs,” as they are labelled by Donald Trump, have brought Trump to the point where he announced that he would send in federal agencies to quell the ongoing rioting and protests. He kept his word, sending in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies to Portland, OR. The U.S. Marshal’s Special Operations Group and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol Tactical Unit in Portland are wearing military style camouflage uniforms that have no agency identifiers or name tags visible. All that can be seen are patches on their tactical vests of the word “Police.” These federal agents have been recorded driving up in unmarked minivans, jumping out and taking individuals into custody without stating the person is under arrest. The “suspect” is handcuffed and hustled over to the minivan and driven away from the scene of their kidnapping.

Some of those snatched off the streets, Gestapo style, have been charged with offenses and some have not. Those not charged were eventually released. This behavior by federal agents is as unconstitutional as you can get. So, one shouldn’t overlook these incidents. This is one reason why the founders of the US wrote the Second Amendment! Please don’t think this is an isolated series of incidents. Donald Trump has ordered 150 agents of DHS’ Homeland Security Investigations agents to Chicago in the near future.

Hopefully everyone knows what doing this is called? I can tell you it isn’t democracy in any form. It’s fascism. A person could surmise that this is Trump’s way of testing to see what he can get away with should he lose the election this November. Will America sit still, or will there be hell to pay.

These intrusions into American cities by federal agents won’t silence the protests. If anything, they will act as gasoline and ignite more violence and rioting. Donald Trump has made a tactical error it would seem. There is more that will open your eyes wider.

Those protestors are strong groups of primarily Millennials and Gen Zers. Their support for Black Lives Matter is clear. They will not bow down any longer to the repressive governments run by the Republicans or the Democrats. They know that the two parties of different sides of the same coin. Both have the same end goal, but have different paths to get there. These young people, of the extreme far left, see the Democrat Party as being centrist, at best, but generally right of center and not representing them and their goals. In fact, calling them socialist or communist would gain their immediate agreement. Is this truly a bad thing?

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with a Gen Z ardent activist of the extreme left political faction. This individual shall remain anonymous for their own protection. I’ll call this person “Activist Z.” Activist Z explained the ideals and goals of the movement itself.

When we observe the current political landscape of both the right and left, we see the same old battle going on. While the ideas of how to move America along may see incremental change to our way of life, it’s not good enough according to Activist Z. Bringing on those changes at a faster rate is also too slow.

Societal Ailments

When Activist Z and the others in the movement look at what America should be, they start with societal fairness, known as equality. To their belief system, whatever is needed to sustain a healthy life for all comes with certain basics. Those basics being housing for all, healthcare for all, equal education in the K-12 schooling system, food and water to comfortably sustain life, and no overblown government or capitalist organization.

Homelessness

Now, I’ll be taking these one issue at a time, starting with housing for all. In the richest nation on Earth (so we are told) there are over 560,000 people who experience homelessness every night. Over 200,000 of the homeless spend each night unsheltered (living outdoors in places not meant for human habitation). Now, don’t just see numbers, see them. These are people, human beings and they have no place to call home, like the rest of us do. Activist Z states that this would not be the case in their views. But, it’s not just the homeless. We must look to the to those living in substandard housing. Substandard housing is defined as “any condition which exists to an extent that it endangers the life, limb, property, safety or welfare of the occupants or general public.” There are about six million homes in America that are substandard. So think hard and visualize people living in those homes.

Still with me? Yes, okay. Now, according to 247wallst.com there are over 17 million vacant homes in America in 2018. Remember those 560,000 plus homeless? They could fill those homes over 30 times. Those six million substandard homes? They could be replaced 2.83 times from the vacant homes.

Activist Z shows that we have more than enough decent homes to house all of the population of America. No one should be living on the streets or in substandard housing. I have to say Activist Z has a point.

Healthcare

Now we know, without any argument, that every person in the country can be provided healthcare. No insurance necessary either. The only reason there is not healthcare for all is politics. There were 30.4 million people with no health insurance in 2018, with millions more with inadequate health insurance. If there was a national healthcare system (including dental and vision care), without any reduction of the level of services provided, then couldn’t we expect Americans to be healthier overall? We won’t know until we tried, though I don’t hesitate to say that with the current government (Democratic or Republican) it won’t get implemented equally for all Americans.

Food Security

Every member of any society should never have to suffer food insecurity, but it happens every day all around the world. With the coronavirus ravaging America there are more than 54 million people facing food insecurity, a total that includes 18 million children.

Consider that the world’s food production is sufficient to feed 10 billion people. Why then do we have so many people in America facing food insecurity? From the same article linked to in this paragraph, globally 30% to 40% of our food production is wasted every year. There should be no hunger in America, or the rest of the world for that matter.

But, when we review the topic we find that over 13.6 million children receive free breakfast and lunch meals at school. Now, no one wants to see any child go hungry, at least I hope they don’t. That’s helps children receive nutritious meals every day, however there are still children in schools that have yet to participate in the federally subsidized breakfast and lunch program. Plus, millions of children and adults don’t get three meals a day. Many parents (and other adults) don’t have enough of a paycheck to cover all their living needs, so they all go without.

Can you imagine sending your children to bed without supper because there’s no money left to buy enough food? I can’t and luckily never had to. When you wrap your head around the food insecurity issue, you can see why food security is a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman, and child should have enough nutritious food to feed themselves every single day.

Education

We all know that it is important to have children receive an education. In 2019, 58.6 million children attended elementary and secondary schools. But, do all these children receive equal education opportunity in America? Sadly, they do not. When looking at why this inequality is we see that resources is not the problem, it’s how the resources are distributed, that was reported in an article from American University in Washington D.C. in 2018. Okay, so we need to demand the inequality gap be closed, something our elected local, state, and federal leaders have failed to do in decade after decade.

If we don’t fairly educate our children in elementary and secondary school education, we then handicap them for their future, either in college or the workforce. The high school graduation rate in 2016 was 84.1%, leaving the rest as dropouts or late graduation for whatever reason.

For all the graduates of high school there are many paths they can decide to follow, such as college, vocational-technical training, and internships in many fields of endeavor. Those who enrolled in college for the Fall Semester of 2019 stood at about 18.2 million students for all 2 year and 4 year colleges and universities. Now, we have to work out a path choice for all the high school dropouts.

High school dropouts have difficulty obtaining high skilled employment. So, we find them flipping hamburgers at a fast food joint, or working in a field focused on manual labor, such as landscaping. It’s no hard to learn how to mow grass, edge lawns, and trim bushes. Most people can be taught these skills fairly fast, but the level of pay won’t come close to what college graduates make.

How do I know this? It’s because I dropped out of high school and worked menial jobs with poor pay. You look for a way out, but without a high school diploma you’re pretty much limited to a low wage “career.”

The education system needs to be set to offer an equal quality education, to include four years of college or university education. Plus, it should be free. Education beyond a four year degree can be paid for by the well educated student, using their learned skills to enter the workforce if necessary to pay for the advanced educational degree. The system must work with struggling students in high schools to get these children to not drop out of school.

What’s Left to Do

I tell you that is a great deal left to do. I’ve barely scratched the surface. There are all types of issues that will have to be worked out in the America envisioned by Activist Z and the other far left radicals (those socialist or communists that haunt our sleep). They are ready to tear down and rebuild a new America where equality will truly exist in their thinking. So much to do, but there is a part of Generation Z ready to change the nation.

Conclusion

The United States of America has stood for 244 years. Look at the mess we made. The system was rigged from the start and year after year generations of Americans have left it better off when the torch is passed to the next generation.

The political landscape in 2020 looks dismal. We have a President, along with his cabal, pretty much doing anything he wants. Laws, morals, and ethics mean nothing to Donald Trump. He’s just interested in pleasing his personal whims and having his ego stroked by his cult of followers.

There have been peaceful revolutions that changed the structure of a nation, take the old Soviet Union’s collapse as an example. Yet, history teaches us that violence and force are needed to change a nation, like the French Revolution and our own Revolution. A change in the national structure of American may end up breaking up America in to multiple nations. If the change can be done peacefully, or if it takes violent overthrow, the extreme left of Gen Z are willing to use either method. We already have 244 years of failure, so maybe Gen Z has ideas that we should accept and try.

There is no guarantee of a tomorrow in life, guarantee of a tomorrow in a nation that you knew yesterday.

I asked in the title, What’s Ailing America? I can tell you what’s ailing America, America is ailing America and her people.

Until next time

The 21st Century Civil Rights Movement, Part 2

Where Do We Go Now?

Please start with Part 1.

There are many areas in society that need reform, so where do we start? I believe we start with the most visible organizations, the nation’s local, county, and state police agencies. How these agencies operate, are supervised and controlled must be changed.

Police Reform:

Here is what is needed to begin the never-ending change:

Civilian oversight boards must be instituted for each agency, with the authority to access all necessary records to review police actions, with results reported publicly. This includes personnel and disciplinary records, incident reports, body and car cam footage, witness statements and recordings that are available.

Laws need to be enacted to outlaw any type of dangerous physical restraint, such as choke holds or knees to the neck. Only the minimum force necessary must ever be used and only after deescalation tactics have failed or are determined to be untenable.

Agency policies and procedures must be enacted and enforced in the steps an officer must take once a suspect is in handcuffs or under some form of physical restraint. These procedures must result in protecting EVERYONE‘S life as much as is humanly possible. Policies must be implemented that removes officers that have proven complaints against them. The removed officer should be retrained or terminated, as determined by department leadership.