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
Writing

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.

Writing

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

77 – The Incomprehensible State of Our Infrastructure

This past week the United States was hit with a relatively average storm. However the damage it has caused is widespread. When the storm struck the tri-state area – there were major outages across Connecticut, New Jersey and the five boroughs. The sheer strain caused on our infrastructure is incomprehensible. One can only wonder that in the event of a major event – what will happen to our critical infrastructure; from power, to water resources, and roads.

Show Notes

  1. U.S. Flying Through Fog in $16 Billion Broadband Push https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-16-billion-push-to-expand-broadband-america-is-flying-through-a-fog-11590399000
  2. The Urgent Need to Strengthen the Nation’s Resilience https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-urgent-need-to-strengthen-the-nations-resilience-01588963181
  3. Agencies Warn States That Internet Voting Poses Widespread Security Risks https://www.wsj.com/articles/agencies-warn-states-that-internet-voting-poses-widespread-security-risks-11588975848
  4. Trump to Put New Environmental Review Rules Into Force https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-to-put-new-environmental-review-rules-into-force-11594832858
  5. UNITED STATES: Creaky infrastructure needs overhaul https://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/news/14iht-15oxan-unitedstates.7111279.html
  6. How to Spend Trillions on ‘Infrastructure’ https://nyti.ms/2FyK2G9
Old Howard Union

75 – A United States of Europe? A Potentially Strong Ally In The Making

I have said many times throughout the history of this podcast that our strongest and most important ally, are the nations of Europe. We share a collective history, and a shared interest in the flourishing of democracy and the liberalization of nations. This century has been marked by conflict and a shift back towards Great Power Politics. The Western institutions built after the 2nd World War are under attack. We can only preserve and reform the West & its institutions with the aid of a willing, strong and united Europe. They would not be a threat to us. They would be an indispensable ally.

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Show Notes

  1. A Step Towards A United States of Europe – https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2012/06/29/155973136/a-baby-step-toward-a-united-states-of-europe
  2. German Push for United States of Europe I – https://www.politico.eu/article/spds-martin-schulz-wants-united-states-of-europe-by-2025/
  3. German Push for United States of Europe II – https://www.ksl.com/article/46214841/german-fm-united-states-of-europe-wouldnt-negate-nations
  4. Europe Coming Together – https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/is-europe-finally-facing-its-debt/2020/07/26/08738a2e-cdc1-11ea-bc6a-6841b28d9093_story.html
  5. A European Army I – https://www.politico.eu/article/angela-merkel-emmanuel-macron-eu-army-to-complement-nato/
  6. A European Army II – https://www.politico.eu/article/trump-fights-macrons-european-army-over-words-not-weapons-nato/