Civil Rights In The Middle

It is black history month and the perfect time for a little history lesson on the now famous Civil Rights Act….

There was more going on with this act than we are taught in our primary schools.

On August 7, 1957, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson voted yea on the first civil rights bill passed by Congress in 82 years. He was joined by 71 of his Senate colleagues, including 43 Republicans and 28 Democrats, 4 of them liberals from the South like Johnson himself. One month later, on September 9, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 into law.

As majority leader, Johnson arguably did more than anyone else to ensure the passage of a civil rights act in 1957. He cajoled skittish progressives, most of them Northerners, into compromising with the Democratic Party’s powerful Southern voting bloc. Then, over bourbon and cigars, he convinced the Old Guard Democratic Southerners that they ought to give a bit on civil rights while one of their own was in charge, as legislative action on race relations could not be postponed indefinitely.

Limited in its scope and effectiveness, particularly when compared with legislation passed in the 1960s, the 1957 bill walked a treacherous tightrope that “was going to disappoint both the opponents of civil rights and the proponents of civil rights,” says Bruce Schulman, a historian at Boston University. The future president’s efforts were “totally based in the calculation of what was achievable” rather than ideal.

When defending his choice to support the bill on the Senate floor, Johnson admitted that it did “not pretend to solve all the problems of human relations.” Still, he said, “I cannot follow the logic of those who say that because we cannot solve all the problems, we should not try to solve any of them.” Instead, the majority leader stalwartly held the middle, resolute in his conviction that a symbolic victory, however weak, was superior to a total ideological defeat.

This political pragmatism defined Johnson’s lengthy career. As a sectional politician with national ambitions, he was a virtuoso of the art of the possible. Johnson considered the preservation of his political future the best opportunity to help the greatest number of people. By doing only what was feasible and, above all else, looking out for himself, he would make a better future for his “fellow Americans.”

I am not so sure that the middle was the best place to fight for real civil rights.


I believe that it made it too easy to lessen the impact over time….and so it has.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Chasing Shiny New Keys

The American people need something to put the sparkle in their eyes….kinda like a baby and the rattling of shiny keys.

All this began with that looming ‘Chinese’ balloon trans versing the US and the US shot it down for our protection.

Then the food gates were opened….

The Pentagon shot down an unknown “high-altitude” object flying in US airspace off the coast of Alaska on Friday, White House officials said. The object was flying at about 40,000 feet and posed a “reasonable threat” to the safety of civilian flights, said John Kirby, White House National Security Council spokesman. Kirby said President Biden ordered the military to down the object, which he described as roughly the size of a small car—much smaller than the infamous Chinese balloon, per the Washington Post. No other details about what it was were immediately provided.

The object fell onto frozen US waters. The development comes after the US shot down a suspected spy balloon from China on Saturday. Officials are still recovering debris from that object, shot down off the coast of South Carolina. A fighter jet assigned to the US Northern Command conducted Friday’s mission, per Axios. It was not immediately clear who owned the object, which did not appear to be able to maneuver as well as the balloon, said Kirby. The US expected to be able to retrieve the debris.

The New York Times reports the object was flying over the Arctic Ocean, near the northeast border of Alaska and Canada, when it was shot down. Pilots confirmed it was unmanned before firing, said Kirby. The object previously had been flying over land. A US official describes the development as “fast-moving” to the Times. The official added that it’s possible the object had no military purpose and was a wayward commercial or scientific object.

Then the game continued…..

A US F-22 shot down an unidentified object flying at a high altitude over the Yukon territory on Saturday at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s request. Trudeau tweeted that he’d discussed the matter with President Biden and that Canadian and US aircraft were scrambled after the object was spotted, the Washington Post reports. No one provided any details about the object, though NORAD released a statement earlier in the day saying it had been positively identified. The command guards skies over North America and includes US and Canadian officials.

Trudeau said Canadian personnel will lead the effort to recover and analyze the wreckage debris, per the CBC. Defense Minister Anita Anand tweeted that she had discussed the matter with her US counterpart, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and that they “reaffirmed that we’ll always defend our sovereignty together,” per CNN.

Apparently Canada does not have the capabilities of handling this situation for themselves.

And the hits just keep coming…..

For the fourth time in less than two weeks, the US has shot down an unidentified object flying over North American airspace. A Michigan congresswoman tweeted that it happened over Lake Huron on Sunday. “The object has been downed by pilots from the US Air Force and National Guard,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin posted, per the AP. Rep. Jack Bergman’s office reported that the craft was over US airspace at the time, per the Detroit News. American officials said that the craft went down in the lake and that it will be recovered. There was no sign that the shootdown caused any damage, they said, per NBC News. Airspace over the lake had been restricted earlier in the day by US and Canadian officials while planes were sent to identify the object.

Earlier Sunday, Sen. Chuck Schumer said that the objects shot down over Canada on Saturday and Alaska on Friday were—like the one the Air Force brought down earlier over the Atlantic near South Carolina—balloons. The majority leader told ABC’s This Week that he was briefed by White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan after the US shot down an object flying over Canada. A Pentagon spokesperson didn’t quite confirm that the targets were all balloons, per Politico, saying they “were objects and did not closely resemble” the balloon China sent over the US. More will be known when the debris is recovered, Sabrina Singh said.

Either way, Schumer said, “the bottom line is, until a few months ago, we didn’t know of these balloons.” per ABC News. Schumer praised the military and intelligence work against the balloons but asked, “why as far back as the Trump administration did no one know about this?” Officials said they believe the object shot down Sunday is the same one that was being tracked over Montana beginning on Saturday night.

I have called all this as ‘chasing shiny keys’…..but to summarize this……

Comparisons: The US is pretty sure the Chinese balloon was used for spying, though Beijing denies it, but much less is known about the objects shot down over Alaska and Canada. US officials are using a vehicle comparison: The latter two objects are about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, reports the Washington Post, while the Chinese balloon was the size of three buses, per NPR.

  • Few answers: The US says the objects shot down over Alaska and Canada were flying at about 40,000 feet and thus posed a risk to commercial air traffic, reports CNN. By contrast, the Chinese balloon flew well above such traffic. The hunt for debris continues on all three shootdowns, and those recovery missions could answer a lot of questions about what the devices were doing and where they came from.
  • False alarm? Hours after the US shot down the object over Canada (after coordinating with that government), the FAA temporarily closed some airspace over Montana after a “radar anomaly” was detected by NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command. A jet fighter investigated but found nothing, reports the AP. Amid the newly heightened concern, such “false positives” may become more common.
  • Pressure: The incidents already are having an effect on national policy. The Hill reports that Senate Republicans are now pushing to take any defense cuts off the table in negotiations over the debt ceiling. And GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, speaking after the shootdown in the skies above her state, told NBC News that “the first line of defense, again, is Alaska. … We need to send the message and we need to be clear and unequivocable that we don’t tolerate this, period.”
  • It’s classified: The New York Times reports that congressional lawmakers will receive an update on Monday of a classified report looking at more than 140 incidents of “aerial phenomena” between 2004 and 2021. Almost all remain officially unexplained, but they’re largely thought to be either foreign surveillance objects or weather balloons. Shootdowns are rare, but Pentagon spokesman Big. Gen. Patrick Ryder on Friday rejected the idea the administration was growing more aggressive because of political pressure.

Is there something happening or about to happen that the American people need to be fixated on something so it is not important for them?

I think I found the reason for all the faux interest…..

A growing number of Senate Republicans are saying that President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) should take defense spending cuts off the table in their negotiation over the debt ceiling.

The Republicans are digging in their heels after receiving a classified briefing on a Chinese spy balloon that floated over sensitive military installations.

“The entire civilized world should recognize that communist China is probably the greatest threat we’ve ever faced, more severe than Soviet Russia was because of its economic integration into the West,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) after receiving a briefing from senior administration officials on the spy balloon. “We should take every step we can to try to reduce our dependency on China [and] try to build stronger military deterrence against them. 

“I do not think that we should be talking about cutting the defense budget at all right now. If anything, substantial defense increases,” he said.  

Chinese spy balloon has GOP saying no cuts to defense

As usual the American media and public are chasing ‘shiny keys’….and more American cash will be thrown at non-existent problems….well done…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”