Jackson State: The Other “Kent State”

Closing Thought–15May17

Today in History

1820–the US Congress designates the slave trade as a form of piracy…..

1970–year of student deaths…….

We were recently reminded about the deaths among the protesting students at Kent State…..but why is that news and a couple a weeks later students were killed at a prominently black university in Mississippi, Jackson State?

Yep, another history lesson is on the way…..

In the Spring of 1970, campus communities across this country were characterized by a chorus of protests and demonstrations. The issues were the escalation of the war in Vietnam and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia; the ecology; racism and repression; and the inclusion of the experiences of women and minorities in the educational system. No institution of higher education was left untouched by confrontations and continuous calls for change.

On May 14-15, 1970, Jackson State students were protesting these issues as well as the May 4, 1970 tragedy at Kent State University in Ohio. Four Kent State students — Alison Krause, Sandra Scheuer, Jeffrey Glenn Miller and William K. Schroeder — were killed by Ohio National Guardsmen.

According to reports, the riot began around 9:30 p.m., May 14, when rumors were spread that Fayette, Mississippi mayor Charles Evers (brother of slain Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers) and his wife had been shot and killed. Upon hearing this rumor, a small group of students rioted.

Source: The Jackson State shootings, 1970

Neither at the time, nor 45 years later did the Jackson State killings have the same effect on people that Kent state did. (Not that middle America was terribly worried about the Kent State killing either, since 58 percent of them decided the students were to blame.) Perhaps they simply were overpowered by the loudness of Kent state, and a similar incident with a smaller body count was doomed to appear as just aftershocks. Yet, it seems unjust to forget one and sing about the other.

Source: Jackson State and Forgotten History by — Antiwar.com

It is sad that this incident is basically forgotten in the annals of history……

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The Pentagon And The World Of Tomorrow

We have had many stories and many scandals in waiting and the one story that has taken a back seat is the budget and the Pentagon.

Trump has asked for a sharp rise in defense spending and how is the Pentagon taking this windfall of funds?

An interesting concatenation of parallel efforts to pull the U.S. military up by its proverbial bootstraps is beginning to show signs of purposeful strategic direction. There are calls from many quarters to increase the sizes of the Navy, Army, Air Force, , Marine Corps. Add to these the proposals to accelerate near-term Army land force modernization, ramp up the production rates of our most modern military systems such as Virginia-class submarines, the F-35 fighter, late model Army Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, and expand the Marine Corps’ amphibious warfare fleet.

We are beginning major new investments in a strategic bomber, an aerial tanker, a ballistic missile submarine, long-range cruise missiles and theater and strategic missile defenses. Then there are the efforts by organizations such as the Army’s brand-new Rapid Capabilities Office and the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) to jumpstart modernization by repurposing existing capabilities in order to close critical capability gaps in such areas as electronic warfare and long-range fires. Finally, there are a wide range of potentially revolutionary capabilities being explored under the umbrella of the Third Offset Strategy.

Source: The First Signs Of A National Mobilization For War Are Appearing | RealClearDefense

History has given us many examples of what this could mean.

Let’s not forget Europe at the turn of the 20th century…or if you do not like that one…….the Europe of the 1930’s…..and where did all that escalation lead?

Does anyone else see the danger that is approaching?

Why not?

Where Have All The Centrists Gone?

In the 11 years that I have been writing a blog I have done a series of post on….”Where Have All The _____Gone?”

The series covers many issues and topics…like antiwar protests and conservatives and so on….to illustrate my thinking there was one after the rise of the Tea Party that I wrote about conservatism…..

Source: Where Have All The Burkeans Gone? – In Saner Thought

Since the rise of the Tea Party the centrists of the past are just that…in the past….because there is no noticeable center in political thinking we have dysfunctional political system.

American politics is seeing the death of centrism — and it may be having disastrous effects.

Centrism.

It’s not a term you hear a lot in American politics today. Consider President Donald Trump. Though he’s refusing to work with Democrats, the #resist movement is demanding that Democrats don’t work with him either.

But a CNN/ORC poll from March found that 72 percent of Americans would prefer for Trump to forge bipartisan compromises on major legislation in order to bring about positive change, while 69 percent want to see Democrats work with the president. Yet statistics notwithstanding, centrism can be a death sentence for a politician

Source: Where have all the centrists gone? A look at why American politics is so dysfunctional – Salon.com

The dysfunction is because there are few centrists….people that can look at both sides of an issue and do what is right for the country….not the party.

This country needs its centrists back if we are to ever move this nation forward…..if not then we will be stuck in this endless cycle of dysfunction and sluggish opportunity.

Those Deep Cuts

There is no bones about it….I do not like or agree with the decisions our president is making concerning foreign policy……I do not think that Tillerson is the right person to lead the State Department and I definitely do not agree with the purposed cuts in foreign aid that is in the new budget.

In the past the US has spent about $40 billion in foreign aid….now compare that to the approximately $660 billion for the defense budget…..foreign aid is a small amount of money spent for the good it can do.

The deep cuts proposed by Trump could do more damage than he thinks…..yes we will save a bit of cash but the loss of American aid could open up Central and South Asia to more  and more Chinese influence…..

It looks like U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s plan to reduce the foreign aid budget will come at a cost to his administration’s other aims in South and Central Asia.

Some of the cuts come as no surprise as they target programs, like climate change, that the president came into office determined to roll back. But others will undermine stated administration priorities, such as regional counterterrorism and cooperation with India.

The proposed budget will end funding completely for four strategically located countries in this region, and shrink health funding by half region-wide. The proposed budget will also eliminate two categories of aid, one known as Development Assistance and one called Assistance for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia (AEECA), instead using the Economic Support Fund (ESF) category as a preferred vehicle for the countries in which U.S. aid will continue.

Source: Trump to Cut Foreign Aid Budgets, Opening South and Central Asia’s Door to Chinese Influence | World Affairs Journal

Frugality is a good thing….that is until it turns on us and bites us in the ass.

And who do you will profit from this frugality?

Hint:  Will NOT be the US!

Is America Dying?

Since the election we have had some dire predictions about the direction of our country.

Needless to say that there are a few folks who are not pleased with the direction the US is traveling…..there is much that is not right….but will it kill the nation of democracy?

Behind the vulgarity and racism of Trump’s America, a different vision of what it means to be an ‘American’ is rising.

This is a good essay that, if read, will make people ask questions about what the Hell is going on in our country.

In a characteristically timely and insightful essay for The New York Times, Pankaj Mishra has recently mapped out the tortuous passage of the United States from exceptionalism to what he now sees as a turn towards nihilism. He rightly identifies that “extravagant promises by ruling elites, and their unexamined assumptions, are at least partly to blame for this moral breakdown in the world’s most powerful country”.

Mishra shrewdly narrows in on the moment when the eminent American public intellectual “Walter Lippmann worried that the promise of private wealth creation was a weak moral basis for a national community. For many mid-century thinkers, nihilism, a catastrophic breakdown of faith in national ideology and institutions that had occurred in Europe, was also a possibility in America”.

Source: Is America dying or is it being born again? | Politics | Al Jazeera

What will happen in the end?

Thoughts?