Writing

Piece 50 – The Promise & Perils of New York City By. Raimondo Graziano

The Promise & Perils of New York City

By. Raimondo Graziano

 

New York City is one of the most diverse and wealthy cities in the world. Wealth in it’s people, and their character and the stories they hold. And wealth in the sheer abundance of opportunity and promise it holds. Though here there is wealth, monetary and material wealth which abounds in a great thunderous exchange of goods, services, luxury and great inequality. Great, terrible inequality.

This city has a history of corruption and governmental neglect and negligence at the hands of those the people dually elected. In some cases democracy does not always work to the favor of the people of this city. As rent rises to highs not seen before in this cities history, the wealthy move in and supplant neighborhoods and peoples who have had roots here for generations. Our elected officials do little to nothing to mitigate this. Often they are in the pockets of those they are meant to protect the people from.

Often it is the power of political parties and the monied interests of Wall St. And the Real Estate industry who hold our elected officials hostage with exorbitant campaign contributions. These in the hands of the powerful, the movers of the levers of government though not elected, are a dangerous tool acting as near as can be though skirting the gray moral line that divides contributions and bribes. It is not this city rejects wealth and chastises it. Rather welcome it with open arms. We must take a cautioned, measured and practical approach to the wealth that enters this city uninhibited.

If those that seek to come in look to benefit from the promise this city has, from its story and its trials – then they need to invest in these communities which have been here for generations. That’s individuals and corporations alike! No one ought to get a free ride and welcome mat laid out simply because they have a fat wallet. What message are we then sending our children? The stewards of this city in the years to come? As our mayor returns from his quixotic campaign for the Presidency, as he flies in, and prepares to get back to the job he was elected for let him be reminded of the issues facing this city.

Firstly, a housing crisis in affrodabilty, while countless tens of thousands of New Yorkers remain homeless, and a shelter system that many outright avoid. Secondly, a crisis in our wellbeing and health. I’m talking about the Overdose Crisis, where we have lost thousands of New Yorkers to a preventable overdose and countless more the horrors of addiction and the stigma that comes with it. Thirdly, a mayor who cannot work effectively with his Police Department to ensure that they receive the support they need while at the same time holding them accountable for their actions and in many cases negligence. Fourthly, educational disparities within our school system, disparities in opportunity.

The way we tackle this is not through ending programs for gifted students, but rather expanding access and resources to the people of New York, to those who don’t have access to begin with. To tackle a nuanced problem we needn’t follow the recommendations of the mayors bureaucratic commission, to penalize those who do well, but to gove opportunity to those who haven’t been given the chance to succeed!

Fourthly, the lack of expanded economic opportunities to smaller business which are struggling to compete with larger and often aggressive chains and other corporations. Let’s empower the people, and unleash the untapped potential in many cases lying dormant in this great city. We needn’t demonize corporations but rather, we can say to them – You have had your fill, let the people profit from the well too. We can reward responsible corporate practices, and those which are sustainable and empower workers by encouraging the growth of unions, while scrutinizing those who face no such oversight.

In other words, what this city deserves, what it’s people deserve and what is long overdue is a city government that works for the benefit of the people, responsible progressive and pragmatic governance for the benefit of all New Yorkers, those here for generations and those who seek to plant their roots. We can achieve this together, it is our hope that together this vision for a truly progressive, responsible and action oriented city government can become our reality. That is the hope of this city, that reason and justice, and personal responsibility projected outward can uplift and transform this city into a model for responsibility and duty and honor the world over.

 

Writing

Piece 47 – Compromise & Good Governance By. Raimondo Graziano

Compromise & Good Governance
By. Raimondo Graziano
   Something that is sorely lacking within governance today is really quite simple. It is goodness. Good governance is practically non existent in the Halls of Congress. Taken further we can say the same for local governance as well. There is a hemorrhaging of decency within government. The work of the people, passing legislation on a bipartisan basis is a reach and no longer within our grasp. The force of the two major parties in the country, and their funders and bureaucratic underlings has helped to push the nation into an ideological divide in an attempt by both parties to further polarize the country. The media is at fault here as well – there is no truth, or objectivity, or fairness in media any longer. And if there is, we can seldom distinguish between pieces which have the public good at heart and those which only seek to push an ideologically motivated agenda.

Ideology is not something that needs to fundamentally cripple the working capacity of a country, it can be a force for tremendous good. So long as that ideology does not inherently pit one portion of the nation against another, or one class or race against the other. Our fundamentally American ideals and ideological leanings are what can guide us together in the promise of greater unity. Our ability to work across racial and class lines to come together in pursuit of common ground, our tenacity and our spirit of revolution is what can bring us together in forging a stronger more coherent national identity and foster the demand for good governance.

Governing based on truth, and the needs of our most depressed communities and a unity in the common hope of the American dream revitalized for a new generation of Americans. We cannot allow political parties, corporations, or ideologically motivated politicians or foreign governments to chip away at our common identity as Americans. We can demand better, and work to elect officials that will both aspire to the greatest of ambitions and work for effective change that we can truly see and feel. Compromise is not a sign of weakness or moral ambiguity – it is a telltale sign of a true statesmen. One who does not bend to demands, but works to achieve equitable reforms and stands firm in their virtues and beliefs and above all – embodies the ideas and ideology of the American Ideal.

Writing

Piece 41; Belief Without Dogma By. Raimondo Graziano

Belief Without Dogma
By. Raimondo Graziano

Can there be belief in a greater cause, a unifying theme and ideal without all the trappings of dogmatic preaching and ideological punditry? Is this stance even possible, or plausible in the modern day? Why is it that throughout much of our history these two distinctive concepts have moved throughout it all, coupled together m, joined at the hip in a destructive spiral through each one of our lived and through each major moment in our history?

Belief and dogma; together they are the basis of radicalism. Though separate them and you have to benign concepts. On the one, belief. A belief, a strong yearning within and a pull towards something greater than oneself. On the other hand, dogma, blind adherence to a cause, belief or political system.

While belief can be the bedrock foundation of our faith in not only ourselves, but of others, dogma can be the flame within which connects you viscerally to a set of values. However when one and the same, and when propagated by one or a number of charismatic leaders, the consequences have proven deadly throughout history. From Roman Emperors, to the Catholic Church, to the Hans in China, and the Mullahs in Iran and from Germany in the 1930’s to the Republican Party and base today in the United States. Belief tied with dogmatic adherence to value and customs can be downright dangerous.

However, if we seek to build a belief within ourselves, and form a bedrock of foundational principles we can see that these are not one concept together, but two distinctive ones and we can leverage both to build a better world. Through the individual, we can see past the lies that the elites and supposed intellectuals of the world push on us subconsciously. Through an educated populace we all together can break the wheel so to speak, for good. 

Old Howard Union

42 – In Support of a Trade War

It is obvious that the actions taken by the Peoples Republic of China over the course of two decades has worked to undermine international norms of trade, diplomacy and law after they were admitted into numerous Western institutions meant to push for democratic ideals of liberty, democracy and freedom. While they have taken advantage of these institutions they have clamped down further on the rights of their citizens at home. Out of principle, and a desire for that which is FAIR, I endorse the trade war undertaken by the President.

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Show Notes

Important readings pertinent to the topic.

  1. https://thebulwark.com/trade-wars-are-good-but-hard-to-win/amp/
  2. https://thetylt.com/politics/trade-wars-good
  3. https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/trumps-trade-critics-are-wrong-his-tariffs-could-bring-major-benefits-to-america.amp
  4. https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/02/05/business/us-china-trade-war-europe/index.html
  5. https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/e-u-to-benefit-most-from-trade-war
Old Howard Union

Issue Brief, 11 – Progressive Foreign Policy

Progressive foreign policy is something we rarely hear spoken about by major political candidates of the left, they tend to focus more so on domestic policy. However with recent developments the world over and an increasingly interdependent world, many progressives are asking the question – what is, or rather, what should progressive foreign policy look like.


Show Notes

Some important and informing links.