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.

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

76 – Arms Control Aggrements Are Coming to An End

Much of the Cold War was built upon deterrence and proxy conflicts between the United States and its allies against those aligned with the Soviets. There were great periods of cooperation and terrible periods of conflict. The cornerstone of much of the cooperation was the litany of arms control agreements meant to limit the number of deployed strategic weapons and nuclear arms. Many of these agreements have been outright pulled out of or are near to expiring without a renewal. As the world moves closer to conflict between nations which have not seen great war and strife for nearly 75 years, many of the safeguards put in place in its aftermath are slowly eroding.

Show Notes

  1. A New Superpower Competition Between Beijing and Washington: China’s Nuclear Buildup https://nyti.ms/2NG5eQX
  2. China’s Arms Buildup Threatens the Nuclear Balance https://nyti.ms/3f6A4NH
  3. Trump to Withdraw U.S. From ‘Open Skies’ Treaty https://nyti.ms/3bQyePt
  4. Can 50 Years of Minimizing Nuclear Proliferation Continue? https://nyti.ms/2TFIGSU
  5. As the U.S. and China Wage a New Cold War, They Should Learn From the Last One https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-the-u-s-and-china-wage-a-new-cold-war-they-should-learn-from-the-last-one-11596223180
  6. Russia Tests an Anti-Satellite Weapon, U.S. Officials Say https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-tests-an-anti-satellite-weapon-u-s-officials-say-11595545670
  7. U.S. Moving Military Assets Around Asia to Counter China, Esper Says https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-is-positioning-military-assets-around-asia-to-counter-china-esper-says-11595340363
  8. Trump Administration Weighs Extending New START Nuclear Treaty https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-weighs-extending-new-start-nuclear-treaty-11592952274
  9. U.S. and Russia Hold Arms Talks, With China Absent https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-and-russia-hold-arms-talks-with-china-absent-11592863865

Piece 65 – In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union, An Argument for Further Federal Involvement By. Raimondo Graziano

In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union,

                                       An Argument for Further Federal Involvement

By. Raimondo Graziano

The United States is run woefully ineffectively. This is clear to many policy makers from both sides of the political aisle. The current crisis we find ourselves in has only made this all the more clear. The national response has been an utter disaster, and we have left it up to the states, of which there are fifty different ones with differing sets of codes, laws, regulations and governing styles, to deal with a crisis that in reality called for a unified national response.

It is pitiful and frankly pathetic. From the mixed messaging of the federal government to denialism across swaths of the country from public officials. While the rest of the world seems to be getting a handle of things, we lead the world in pure ineffective governance. It seems like this crisis has worsened and hastened our wholly avoidable decline. While the American people suffer, Congress cannot even reasonably get their act together to pass meaningful stimulus and economic relief – as always leaving matters of grave importance to the very last minute.

One would think that this is an argument for less government involvement. Quite the contrary. We need an overwhelming display of federal oversight. This here is a great lesson for would be statesman of the years to come. If the United States is ever to step into it’s true potential we from time to time must engage the full force of government to tackle threats and circumstances that cannot be managed effectively by essentially fifty different governing bodies.

We have seen glimmers of an executive branch unhinged and exercising the immense powers afforded to it – whether through lack of congressional oversight or the very ceding of power from Congress to the Presidency. We have seen the extraordinary powers of our central bank to bring stability and direction to a faltering economy. We have seen shadows of power used only when the elites of the nation are in peril. We must use these strengths to carry out the will of the people. We must restore decency to Washington and push an agenda to uplift the people, and root out corruption and dereliction of duty wherever it hides. We cannot use the full force, the might of the federal government until we restore decency to Washington. If we are to remain a strong and united country, we must increase the reach of the federal government to answer the increasing frequency or crises.