Old Howard Union

60 – A Quick Word on Congress & the Power of the Purse

For much of the history of the United States Congress has had sole responsibility and authority over what is called “the power of the purse”, or the power to appropriate and reappropiate funds in the governments coffers. No more. Now, through executive action the current President can reappropiate funds for a major project. The precedent set is astounding.

Old Howard Union

59 – Mayor DeBlasio’s Inaction

The current Mayor of New York City, Mayor Bill DeBlasio is perhaps one of the most disingenuous “progressives” currently serving the people in the United States in his own capacity. Tonight, we dig into some of this hypocrisy.

Old Howard Union

58 – Foreign Policy & the American People

There is a great lack of understanding regarding the nuances in the making of foreign policy in the United States and our lack of understanding of it, contributed greatly to the internal undermining of American leadership.

Film

Film – We Are All One, But We Have Yet To See It

The small film can be found here, be sure to follow for continued updates!
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We are in a time of great disunity for the country. For the entirety of the world really. We are divided on where it is we as a people of a collective of nations wish to move toward as a commonwealth and brotherhood of peoples. Do we retreat inwardly relying on old and archaic, clothed in the veil of traditional relations between nations mentality? A nativist and isolationist position, rifles readied pointing at the shores of nations who think differently, or people seeking a better life. Or do we shake off the shackles of that age and blaze ahead with a new understanding of our collective humanity, one not rooted in the concept of nations and people, but of a brotherhood, a band of brothers in arms defending mightily the tenets of liberty, democracy and the right to a just life? It is our choice. Though I know, and you know too in your hearts, that united there is much we can do.

Writing

Piece 56 – The Community & the Police of New York City

The Community & the Police of New York City
By. Raimondo Graziano

New York City struggled for many decades on the issues of crime, poverty, homelessness and lawlessness and in recent years has made significant progress from the help of members of the community, law enforcement and our elected officials. Though too often do we see that the three are very out of touch with one and the other. The needs of the community are not represented by those in office, and those meant to protect and serve their interests are in some cases not reticent or not representative of the values of the community – even in some cases doing more harm than good. This is a terrible disparity that needs to be rectified. The community, our elected officials and law enforcement need to work closer together to rectify the issues that plague our communities. Politicans need to work to address growing inequality, homelessness, affordability in living standards and other issues.

We have seen in recent months increased public transportation enforcement, including arrests some justified and others widlly out of line. What the state needs to understand is that by encouraging further enforcement you are only going to continually criminalize those who are in poverty for not being able to afford a wage which can gain them access to the ever increasing costliness of public transportation. Our politicans are somewhat to blame for this for failing to address rising inequality and a staggering homelessness crisis in the city. Coming down hard on people trying to make a living, such as vendors in the stations, does not increase quality of life for all New Yorkers. It is categorically antithetical to the spirit of the New Yorker.

Likewise, those in the community who are not in law enforcement or who have no family member in law enforcement who may have a certain perception of how law enforcement is has to work to break down their preconceptions as to what it means to be a police officer. By no measure is it a simple career or undertaking. There is a great deal of scrutiny, as their should be, and a great deal of stress involved. That being said – it is not easy being a poor, minority person of color in this city either. There is a prevalent fear that one may be targeted simply based on the color of their skin, and that they are under the suspicion of being guilty until proven innocent. Only when the community and the law enforcement meant to protect them begin to open a more constructive dialogue, and when our politicans start doing their damn jobs are we going to see a change in the hows and whys of this great, sometimes troubled city.