Old Howard Union

80 – Do Nuclear Weapons Serve A Purpose Today?

Nearly seven decades after the ‘bomb’ was dropped on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the specter of nuclear war remains, but the publics eye on the conversation has moved quite dramatically. In recent years, the talk of the dangers of nuclear war have come more boldly into the public discourse, but with the threat of the Cold War, perceivably over, the conversation rather than occurring in the proverbial town square occurs quietly in academic circles. As the West is embroiled in a quiet, lukewarm war do these weapons serve a purpose, and what is that?

Show Notes

  1. The World Can Still Be Destroyed in a Flash, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/06/opinion/hiroshima-anniversary-nuclear-weapons.html

Piece 66 – Brief Thoughts on Correcting Societal Inequities in America Making America Whole Again By. Raimondo Graziano

Brief Thoughts on Correcting Societal Inequities in America

Making America Whole Again

By. Raimondo Graziano

      The America that we know today is complex. Trying to bridge the deep fissures in the American mind, and reconcile the American failures in leadership both in reference to the state and in regards to a supposed American moral superiority is a large and equally complex task, just as the country itself is. How are we to write these wrongs, how are we to set forth a course of correcting the wrongs of society, our American society to ensure a working and just as well as socially, ethnically, and economically cohesive America that works to the benefit of all people? I will not pretend that it will be a simple answer. Truly it is a very complicated answer that will involve multiple voices from many different walks of life across the country.

     The difficulty surrounding the question itself lies in the very premise of the country itself. We are a nation of immigrants with a multitudinous, rich and diverse culture. This is both a profound strength; and as time has gone on in this country over three centuries has become a point of weakness exploited by opportunists whose aim is to keep us divided and quarantined off into different camps based on race, identity, creed, religion and political beliefs. The overarching aim of any movement for justice and equality amongst the people of this country should be building a shared uniquely American identity. In order to do this we must bring all walks of American life into unison around an American vision for progress, and inclusion that spans across the entire country; a vision that reaches back into the American soul and into the American mind and dissects both the vile ills and the mighty rights. We have to right the wrongs of our past through a broad reaching national conversation on what it means to be an American, what do we the people of the country see as our strengths and our weaknesses. We must combine these efforts with that of a policy agenda aimed at uplifting the American people, strengthening through reform our American institutions, and holding accountable the political and the business class of the country.

   This country is long overdue for a massive overhaul of our entire system of governance, how it is we deal with our history, and what the national interest ought to be moving forward. It is an understatement to say that the country has lost its way – this is no fault of the people. The blame lies at the feet of the incompetence of those in office and those who have served, it lays at the feet of those within the governments civil service whose mismanagement has caused an administrative state absolutely hemorrhaged and no amount of capital thrown at it will rectify it. It lays at the feet of those who have filled the campaign coffers of current and former elected officials and who in turn helped to stack the administrative state with stooges for a business and lobbyist class with one aim alone – profit over people.

Rockaway Peninsula

Piece 67 – Invest In Our Communities Local Infrastructure in City Council District 32 Needs Repair By. Raimondo Graziano

Invest In Our Communities

Local Infrastructure in City Council District 32 Needs Repair

By. Raimondo Graziano

The residents of City Council District 32 remember well the events that occurred almost ten years ago in New York City. The hurricane that struck the peninsula and the outlying areas brought great devastation and economic hardship to the district. Many people lost their homes, their jobs, and a sense of security in the places that they called home. In the time since, much work has been done to fortify the district and to give residents a greater sense of security. Much of this work can be credited to both State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblywomen Stacy Pheffer-Amatto. There is no doubt much of their work has been successful in strengthening and fortifying these at risk communities. That being said – more must be done; without a shadow of a doubt there is much more work that needs to be done to make our community more resilient to the ever growing threat of more disruptive and destructive storms.

We saw last week the effects that Isaias had on the tri-state area. Especially the profound effects it had on communities in Queens. Many thousands of people went without power, downed lines throughout the borough as well as trees, shrubbery and all manner of debris strewn about. Not to mention the tragic cases where some folks lost their lives. This storm was not a massive one, it was small compared to the larger ones that have passed through. Yet, we can see from the effects that it had our infrastructure is woefully underfunded and in need or urgent repairs, and going further, reconstruction. We know that it is only matter of time before a larger storm takes aim at the peninsula. We need to be proactive for the good of our community, not reactive – we have to work as hard as we can to preempt these events.

The burden falls on our elected officials to get the work done, to lobby for the needed funds to accomplish these ends. We need to start moving our lines underground, we need to start expanding resiliency efforts, and increasing response times to these issues as they arise. Going further we need layers of accountability to any sort of governmental program aimed at building back our infrastructure. We need to ensure that the oversight is ironclad, so that we can avoid the bureaucratic issues that arose in regards to the program – Build it Back. There is much work that needs to be done for the residents of City Council District 32. We need to get it done, the NOAA is projecting an ‘extremely active’ storm season – time waits for no one, and it is only a matter of time before we find ourselves in a crisis that could have been prevented by proactive measures, and a vision for the days ahead.


Piece 65 – Congresses Stunning Apathy By. Raimondo Graziano

Congresses Stunning Apathy

By. Raimondo Graziano

     As of the writing of this piece, Congress has allowed nearly a week to elapse since federal unemployment assistance ended. This has thrown many millions of Americans into a precarious situation in which they are faced with the prospect of economic uncertainty – meaning an inability to pay for bills, rent, and essential expenses for living and caring for ones family. The apathy of Congress directed at the American people is appalling. Putting aside for a moment that the Senate decided toward the end of May to take a nearly two month recess, and is again preparing to do so – both the House & the Senate had more than enough time to come together to work on the details of a short-term measure to address two things, both of which the White House backed – extending unemployment benefits and direct stimulus payments to the American people. While many Republicans were willing to back this, Democrats pushed back arguing for the need for a complete recovery package. The political games being played out in Washington must stop as they are coming at the expense of the American people.

     The assertion that two bills whose difference in funding measures nearly two trillion dollars, could be negotiated within a weeks time upon the return of the Senate is not wishful thinking – it is pure political opportunism. While the Democrats attempt to make the Republicans seem like uncaring and detached elites, the Democrats act no better by employing moral and legislative purism through their refusal to even consider a short term bill aimed at only helping the American people. If the Democrats wanted to help the American people, they would take the opportunity to hammer out a deal which addresses the most immediate and impactful needs of the public. The people of this country need direct aid now. While the Republican bill falls far short of what is needed regarding the broad strokes of a proper recovery, a proper negotiation can be had once the needs of the American people are directly addressed – that means money in the pockets of the people now.

     It truly baffles the mind that such a moment has been allowed to occur by our elected officials. There was ample time, the House Democrats passed a bill in May regarding recovery. That showed the due diligence of the House’s response to the crisis. That Republicans took nearly two months to propose a counter is a stunning display of governmental negligence. Two months of potential negotiations between the House, the Senate and the White House were lost because of the Senates choice to take a ridiculous and unprecedented recess during the height of a crisis we have experienced in nearly ninety years. Two months, tens of thousands of lives lost, and millions facing eviction and an inability to provide for their family, and thus slowing the economic recovery in the long term all because the Senate took a recess and refused to work with House Democrats on a counter-proposal which could have landed on the Presidents desk.

     And here we are. At this unprecedented moment in American history. There will be hell to pay for the inaction of the Senate Republicans in the afterward of the passing of the HEROES Act. Just as there will be hell to pay for the grandstanding of the House Democrats in their refusal to consider a short-term recovery bill. The cavern between the House & Senate proposals is wide and deep, and politically fueled – what’s not is the needs of the American people; cash in hand to survive in the immediate. Make no mistake – there will be hell to pay for the apathy displayed by 116th Congress, perhaps one of the most consequential, morally bankrupt and politically motivated Congresses in the history of our country. The road forward is clear – enough negotiations. Put forward the plan for extended unemployment benefits, direct stimulus payments and cancel all further recesses of Congress until a comprehensive reform and recovery package is brokered by the House and Senate.

Old Howard Union

79 – The Question of Schools Come This Fall, What to Do?

There is no doubt that the largest question on many American minds is the coming Fall. Specifically whether or not schools across the country should open at large. So many questions are coming from that simple question, because simply we have not faced a situation comparable to this in generations. Coupled with an extraordinary politized environment, where basic facts are disputed, the whole situation begs the question – are barreling toward disaster?

Show Notes