Tomorrow is the beginning of “Early Voting” in my state, USA. Many people think it is important who is in government control (local or national) and others could care less. We better care if we have learned anything from history.
I write about this not to promote one candidate or another, but reflect on what history may teach us on government and control… if we pay attention. The problem is that we rarely connect past history with the potential present or future history and what it may look like. Therefore, we will take a look at past history and hope that our skin does not crawl…but it will.
Did you know that one of the most famous names in our USA Supreme Court was responsible for the cutting off many individual rights during the early 20th century? Here’s his picture…Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Why was this esteemed man important? He had a great deal to do with the philosophy of Eugenics. Here is what he said on the matter of a court case from Virginia entitled Buck v Bell in which he voted Yes to enforce the following:
Buck v. Bell
(from Wikipedia) “In 1927, Holmes wrote the 8–1 majority opinion in Buck v. Bell case that upheld the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924 and the forced sterilization of Carrie Buck who was claimed to be mentally defective. Although later scholarship has shown the suit was collusive and Carrie Buck was probably of normal intelligence. The record before the Supreme Court showed only that she had received a proper hearing in which she was represented by a competent guardian, and was able to press her suit in the federal courts. She apparently had received the procedures required by due process of law in ample measure. The argument made on her behalf was principally that the statute requiring sterilization of institutionalized persons was unconstitutional, itself a violation of what today is called “substantive due process”. Holmes repeated familiar arguments that statutes would not be struck down if they appeared on their face to have a reasonable basis. In support of his argument that the interest of “public welfare” outweighs the interest of individuals in their bodily integrity, he argued:
(Quote by Judge Holmes) “We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes … Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
Although the opinion and eugenics remain controversial, the decision in the case still stands. Sterilization rates under eugenics laws in the United States climbed from 1927 until Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (1942). While Skinner v. Oklahoma did not specifically overturn Buck v. Bell, it created enough of a legal quandary to discourage many sterilizations…”
“A historical marker was erected on May 2, 2002 in Charlottesville, Virginia where Carrie Buck was born. Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner offered the “Commonwealth’s sincere apology for Virginia’s participation in eugenics,” noting that “the eugenics movement was a shameful effort in which state government never should have been involved.” (Paul A Lombardo U of V School of Medicine)
We are hearing words that will make the hair stand on the back of the neck: FORCED STERILIZATION… THE INCOMPETENT or the first use of the word “Moron” (feeble-minded or perhaps mentally ill)
This was what Eugenics was all about…getting rid of the undesirables. It came in the form of our first emigration policies and restrictions, the mental institutions where many ended up whether they were actually insane or not. It also had to do with racism. Even the histories of citizens were stored in locked vaults by the government. These could explain inherited traits and pinpoint those who would be considered “unacceptable”.
Perhaps we should think twice before we give over to any organization our DNA to do with as they like. Any authority may decide to act upon this greatest of our identity. Take for instance the controversy of 23andMe, a DNA test group.
” …23andMe’s Personal Genome Service is much more than a medical device; it is a one-way portal into a world where corporations have access to the innermost contents of your cells and where insurers and pharmaceutical firms and marketers might know more about your body than you know yourself. And as 23andMe warns on its website, “Genetic Information that you share with others could be used against your interests. You should be careful about sharing your Genetic Information with others.” (Charles Siefe in Scientific America)
One may ask, what about the good parts of having DNA used by the police investigators to find killers or rapists who may have been Cold Cases for years? Of course, this technology today can be celebrated for bringing the guilty to justice as we heard about recently on 60 Minutes. However, we must not forget that there are few standards set in the use of DNA and someone who is calling themselves DNA professionals could also make mistakes or prove to be using the knowledge for less than good to an individual…criminal or not. Could these same people be brought in to court as a witness with authority? Caution may be the best word. How important is your lineage to you?
Under President Wilson, the belief in Eugenics for the nation flourished. Some of the terms used are everyday words to us today because of the government efforts in years past to make lawful things that we might question today. The public can be coerced and made from advertisements to think that the government knows best. That is precisely why we should look at the people we put into office very, very carefully. Is individual liberty a priority to a candidate…or does he or she thinks that government knows best and can be the solver of all problems? When would they think, you, the citizen is the problem…for whatever reason.
Shown here is President Wilson, a eugenics sign, and a family that was found to have good lineage…having won a contest as “the best”.
We could go on with many eugenics topics in history: immigration restrictions, unfit individuals, compulsory sterilization, euthanasia programs, fit baby contests and family fitness under eugenics, planned parenthood promotions and how we as a nation promoted racial superiority as did Germany during WWII.
What a nation can do in plain sight can be terrifying if we are looking away or turn a blind eye. (More information on Eugenics)
Yes, it matters who is in power in your local, state, or national setting. Do your homework. Your human rights are at stake…as in past years and in the future. See how they have voted in the past that effects your life and more importantly your freedoms.
“The Eugenics Crusade” The American Experience PBS
Michael Bloomberg has had some harsh words to describe our now President Trump during the campaign, but recently he has begun to sound more like his pragmatic side.
Who exactly is Michael Rubens Bloomberg? He has been a Democrat…a Republican..and is now an Independent. According to Wikipedia, in brief Bloomberg was born in 1942. He is an American businessman, politician and philanthropist. He is a billionaire, raking as one of the richest people in the world. However, he has joined The Giving Pledge where billionaires will give away at least half their wealth. He is the owner of Bloomberg L.P., a global financial services, mass media, and software company. Bloomberg served as Mayor of New York City for three terms.
Recently Lang of ABC News wrote an article that you may have missed. She told what Michael Bloomberg, who did not vote for President Trump, had to say about the now President Trump and what the politicians and the country should do. It is a far cry from other things he has said, but his words are probably some of the most sensible and best advice that the country can have at this time.
Regardless of what your personal opinion of Mr. Bloomberg may be, Boyer Writes felt it was important to pass this along to all our readers… for his recent words should be put into practice by everyone. It is what our democracy is all about.
This is Lang’s article in its entirety:
“Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said America should “get behind” President Trump because “the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not,” during an appearance on ABC’s “The View.”
Bloomberg said that opposing a president just because of one’s alignment with another party is the wrong approach. He referred to a 2010 interview with The National Journal in which Mitch McConnell, at the time the Senate minority leader, said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
“That’s my country. That’s my kids and grand-kids,” Bloomberg said of his reaction to McConnell’s statement. “You have to make it work. We have an election — whoever wins, you got to get behind.”
“He’s our president, and we need this country to be run well. I didn’t vote for him,” Bloomberg added. “Let’s just all hope that Donald Trump is a good president of the United States.”
Also a businessman and philanthropist, Bloomberg said Americans should direct their energy toward changing the outcome of the next election rather than fighting the current administration.
He said people in other countries “try to tear down the government and have a revolution” when their candidate doesn’t win but Americans should be more strategic.
“We should sit back and say, four years from now, how do I get my woman or man elected? And that’s very different,” he said. But Bloomberg said people should still fight policies they don’t agree with.
“You can protest. You can elect other officials, write letters, make phone calls,” he said. “But in the end, the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not.”
Bloomberg joked that Trump had “a little help from the Russians” in the 2016 election.
As for whether the result of Tuesday’s special election in Georgia has serious implications for the future of the Democratic Party, Bloomberg warned people not to read too much into it.
But he said “one thing” the congressional race, won by Republican Karen Handel, showed was that “all the money in the world can’t buy an election.”
“The public is a lot smarter than people give them credit for,” Bloomberg said.
In the end, he said, it was Trump’s “Make America great again” message that resonated with voters.
“I don’t know what the ‘again’ means,” Bloomberg added. “We’re better today than we have ever been. Still, that’s the key.”
Post note: We may want to think about that last sentence. Are we in America truly “better today than we ever have been“? Think about these words:
- Health and Addiction
- Loss of employment
- Race Relations
- Respect for Law Enforcement, School Officials and Parents
- Faith and Church Attendance
- World turmoil and terrorism
You decide if we measure up to other generations. It is for certain that we must come together to make changes to all of these areas…through sensible thoughts, words and actions. Yes, we must work together to make changes…starting within ourselves.
VIDEO: Make me an Instrument of Thy Peace (Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi) sung by The Canadian Tenors
About two weeks ago, I sent out this blog, Is there another choice?, on the fact that there could be a chance that another person could derail both political parties in his bid for President as an Independent. The readers who responded said, “It is too late. There is no chance.”
It seems that this candidate, Evan McMullin, is banking on a strategy that has not been successful since 1824…but could it be a possibility considering the dislike of many people for both of the other choices?
Do you know how the House of Representatives plays into this stategy? Here are the facts:
John Quincy Adams was elected President on February 9, 1825. The election was the only one in history to be decided by the House of Representatives under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution after no candidate secured a majority of the electoral vote.
Look at this link which explains the pros and cons on Mr. McMullin’s run and the hope that history could repeat its self. (See Strategy )
Below is the content of the first post with a video of Mr. McMullin, in case you missed it: “Almost everyone that I have talked to since the Democratic and Republican conventions, have said that they are “holding their nose” as they go to the voting polls this November. We know that huge amounts of money have been spent, as well as billions of words uttered, to promote two choices, but is there another choice? ”
“You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” may have been an advertising hit, but we know now about the end results. Those Virginia Slims looked cool, modern and gave women the ideas that they no longer had to have a life of drudgery, but a life of freedom. No one talked about the cancer and suffering that would come along with this new life. No matter how misleading these words may be, there were other women who did come a long way, but it was a difficult road.
Women have fought for the rights to do whatever men can do for a very long time. Most people if asked what the 19th Amendment is probably could not tell you.
The 19th Amendment (1920) to the Constitution of the United States provides men and women with equal voting rights. The amendment states that the right of citizens to vote “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Practicing civil disobedience to get attention to a cause or problem is nothing new. The women who wanted equality to men in the political area by casting a vote began in the mid 19th century. They marched, lobbied and stood where they were forbidden to change the Constitution of the United States of America. Theirs would be a radical change and some women even became militant, going as far as hunger strikes.The records of the National Archives and Records Administration reveal much of this struggle:
In July 1848 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY, and launched the woman suffrage movement. Many of the attendees to the convention were also abolitionists whose goals included universal suffrage. In 1870 this goal was partially realized when the 15th amendment to the Constitution, granting black men the right to vote, was ratified.
Little by little our Constitution and laws of our land have been changed to make freedom for all a realization. Years ago no one would have thought there would ever be changes to our laws such as gays or transgenders being part of our military. States are fast changing rules that have been long-standing to include all people in restrooms and public facilities of their choosing. Age, appropriateness or family choice may seem to be going out the window for many. These are highly controversial as every generation has had to experience. Not everything that is brought to the public’s attention by demonstration or law suits means that change will happen. It will mean that leadership will have to decide on what is the right thing. Remember, we choose our leaders. The people’s votes are the best thing.
We have seen by the votes of Americans that most are compassionate, believing that all people should have the chance to be anything they can be, whether it is the President of the U.S.A.or some other goal. Gender or race should not stand in the way. The credit for this modern day thought can be traced back to those, like the women suffragettes or those in the civil rights movement, who were unwilling to stand back and let things remain the same. A prominent African American also took up the cause:
Frederick Douglass, a former slave and leader of the abolition movement, was also an advocate for the right of women to vote. He attended the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, and in an editorial published that year in The North Star, wrote, “. . . in respect to political rights, . . . there can be no reason in the world for denying to woman the elective franchise, . . .”
The rights and liberty of all people is a given in most thinking, but when one challenges whether we as Americans are giving serious thought to ethics and character of those wanting to serve as leaders to the masses, it becomes an unpopular stance. Trustworthiness should be a major factor in decision making. Unfortunately it is difficult to detect. One knows that their choice may be a correct one or it may turn out to not be, for political talk is cheap.
The marchers for Women’s rights were straight forward. The put their high top shoes and petticoats out where all could see. Carrying their signs, they knew that they would not be unnoticed. 1869 would turn out to be a big year for the leaders of the movement for women to vote. Susan B. Anthony and others organized the National Woman Suffrage Association and the following year the ratification of the 15th amendment petition was sent to the Senate and House and they were granted the privilege of being heard on the floor of Congress.
Many of the women who had been active in the suffrage movement in the 1860s and 1870s continued their involvement over 50 years later. Mary O. Stevens, secretary and press correspondent of the Association of Army Nurses of the Civil War was one such woman. In 1917 she asked the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to help the cause of woman suffrage
Today we hear strong statements made about the fact that nothing is getting done in Congress. It is interesting to point out that when opposing viewpoints were dividing the Women’s Movement, they were actually able to rise up from their differences and to become one.
This is how it happened according to our National Archives: The ideological and strategic differences that grew among suffrage leaders during and immediately after the Civil War formally split the women’s movement into two rival associations. Stanton and Anthony, after accusing abolitionist and Republican supporters of emphasizing black civil rights at the expense of women’s rights, formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) in May of 1869. The American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), founded 6 months later by Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, protested the confrontational tactics of the NWSA and tied itself closely to the Republican Party while concentrating solely on securing the vote for women state by state. In 1890 the two suffrage organizations merged into the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Stanton became its president, Anthony became its vice president, and Stone became chairman of the executive committee.In 1919, one year before women gained the right to vote with the adoption of the 19th amendment, the NAWSA reorganized into the League of Women Voters. ( I would add here that I have a close friend who has been active in the League of Women Voters. Thanks, Beth.)
Because states had to approve their own ratification, there were delays. For instance: Early in 1919, the House of Representatives passed the 19th amendment by a vote of 304 to 90, and the Senate approved it 56 to 25. Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan were the first states to ratify it. Tennessee delayed in 1920, but finally reaffirmed its vote, delivering the 36th ratification for final adoption. After the amendment became part of the law of the land, Maryland did not ratify until 1941, and did not transmit the ratification document to the State Department until 1958.
Yes, it takes time for many to decide what is right. It is even harder for Americans to get on the same page in their beliefs and commitment of conscience because we are such a diverse society. Our modern day America is no different than the days it took our country to do what was right for women and minorities. No matter how hard it is, look for the candidate that you feel will best represent you and you can trust with your future and the future of your family. Most of all, as we trust God who has calls us to “humble” ourselves and pray, He will “heal” our land…and our world.
Prayer: “Oh God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” The Book of Common Prayer 1979 p.815
Women in the 1800’s stood up and spoke their mind for themselves and those of us in their future. They let nothing stand in their way. Voting is now one of our special rights because of the courage of others. Let’s hope that this will be remembered in November. Every woman (and man) should take advantage of this privilege.
Everyone agrees…the new low in electing a president of the United States is upon us in 2016. What would George Washington or Abraham Lincoln think? Thank God they are not around to see the decline of their office, The Presidency. Many men have run for the office of the President of the United States. Some succeeded and others failed. None…NONE…sunk so low in their speeches and their personal presentation to the American people as what we have seen in debates and rallies around the country. Ronald Reagan gave a speech for Barry Goldwater in 1964. Goldwater did not win. However, the speech given by Ronald Reagan may be a genuine trophy compared to what we are exposed to by politicians seeking this highest of all offices.
All anyone can say, after a dose of ridiculousness and insult to our intelligence is “You have got to be kidding!” People I know have turned off the T.V. and refuse to listen. We have put on more music and less gab. One person’s analysis of the latest debates was “I feel sick.” When the political writers can only talk about a speck on a candidate’s lip or the candidates can sink to speaking of the anatomy, it is time to turn to a true era of what choosing a candidate for President is all about. Take the time to listen to the video below. It is worth it.
VIDEO (turn on sound)
For those who do not take this privilege for granted, the line can not be too long or the place too challenging. They will get out and vote. Others leave the privilege to someone else. I think there are some great reasons for voting and some great pictures to prove the point just given:
We can vote because we are free!
We will most likely not be shot at the polls…as in some countries.
Americans have died on the coasts of Normandy and places around the world, to see that we can keep this privilege.
If we voted and things did not work out the way we hoped, we can vote again in another election, and see if we can get it right.
We can debate the issues…agree to disagree…but the FINAL VOTE IS OUR OWN.
Enjoy these pictures of American voters:
Thank you to all of you who used this privilege on voting day!
One may think enough is enough….whether our political leanings are Democrat or Republican…conservative or liberal. We are tired of hearing the “party line”…the talking points. One may be ready to toss it out the window and look for something new. If this is our thinking during this sometimes tiring hash and rehash bombardment of our senses, then we better rethink what freedom is all about.
It is our right to choose.
It is our privilege to decide.
It is our obligation to vote….less we forget what living without would be all about. It has not been too many years ago that oppression was a stark reality. If you are sick of it all….get over it. It could be much worse.