BACK TO INDEX
Every American knows of the existence of the Statue of Liberty and has seen a picture of it, but the story behind is not well known and a believer of Democracy should know more about it. What is well known is that the Statue of Liberty was given by the French government to the American people and sculpted by a French sculptor, August Bartholdi. .
That seems to be for the American government a wonderful deal. In appearance the only thing they had to do was to receive a gift, the statue. It was a very large and heavy statue, so the Americans had to build a large pedestal made of stone and concrete. Money had to be found by the American government or the City of New York to build this pedestal.
The French created the "Union Franco American Committee" to raise funds in France and after some reluctance, the Congress accepted the Statue.
As the statue was to be erected on New York City land, it was assumed that the City of New York, as well as the Federal Government would come up with the money. However, the mayor, the United States President, Glover Cleveland, and the richest and powerful inhabitants of New York such as J.P. Morgan, Mr Vanderbilt and their wealthy friends nicknamed the robbers baron, (at this time, New York was without contest was the richest city in the United States), opposed very strongly the idea of the Statue of Liberty standing on New York soil. Because, they said, the Statue of Liberby will give ideas of freedom to the poor who were almost slaves in their factories.
No money came from the rich Americans, no money came from the mayor and the City of New York, no money came from the Federal Government.
Many people, among them, a young journalist, Mr. Pulitzer, decided to raise money nationwide, in many different ways to build the necessary huge pedestal to erect the Statue of Liberty. They started among other ways, to sell postcards, posters, little cups with the statue picture on it and many other everyday objects. To raise the very important sum for the pedestal they had to sell tens of thousands of these objects involving an army of volunteers. Almost all of them among the underprivileged classes. Despite the tremendous efforts of tens of thousands of people the money raised was not sufficient but that is a true example of a good side of democracy. When people bind together to defend a just cause.
The same people became more inventive and the committee negotiated a contract with many companies allowing these companies to use the picture of the Statue of Liberty and the name to advertise their products, any kind of products, drink, food, etc. in exchange for money paid for building the pedestal.
They were still short of money and Mr. Pullitzer called on a poet, Miss Emma Lazarus to write a poem, quote, "The New Colossus", who became very famous, still now, and the first line read, "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor.....". And at the same time, as there was a passionate momentum for this project, he raised the remaining of the money by printing in his newspaper the list of the donors among the poor, who gave pennies and dollars to raise the amount of $102,000.
At the same time, Mr. Vanderbilt's daughter gave a party dressed as the Statue of Liberty. This party cost more than the money needed for the Piedestal, and non of her money, or her friends money went for the construction of the Piedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
On October, the 28 of 1886, the Statue was finished and erected after 21 years of planning, sculpting and fund raising.
President Glover Cleveland, did an about-face and attended the ceremony.
Women were forbidden to attend the ceremony, but they stormed the island and the ceremony anyway.
For such an important symbol of democracy, a gift from France, only the will and courage of the everyday people made possible for the Statue of liberty to be erected on American land .
BACK TO INDEX
THE SECOND AMENDMENT
The second amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America:
Under the title "Right to bear arms"
means the following:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security off a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
Proposed September 25, 17189, ratified December 15, 1791.
Most unfair and opinionated people like the National rifle association and the congressman paid by the N R A to support their business refuse to read the second amendment in its entirety. They skip the first part of the sentence.
We instead will study the second amendment in its entirety which is made off three-parts.
Part 1,"A well regulated militia"
Part 2: "being necessary to the security of a free state"
Part 3, " the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Part 1:A well regulated militia:
Militia: means ; a group of citizens that get together and organize themselves for the purpose of forming a small army. The opposite would be individuals scattered around the country without any collective purpose.
Well regulated; means; a group that follows rules, obey regulations: regulations can only be fashioned by a government authority . The opposite would be people without control and supervision.
From this first part we can see that well regulated are the words that define best the spirit of this first part
Part 2: being necessary to the security of a free state
The security: means: to protect the country from external threat; for example from foreign armies.
A free State: means: that the state or country is not ruled or dominated by any other state as it was the case during colonial occupation.
Part 3 the right off the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
It is written in plain English and a very down to Earth's sentence which means that the citizens have the right to bear or keep arms.
When put together these three parts means only one thing:
In order to defend their country Citizens should organize themselves into a well regulated smallarmy under governement authority and for this purpose they should be allowed to bear arms.
The opposite meaning would be that
without the purpose to defend his country the citizen without being organized in a well structured militia should be allowed to bear arms.
Another false statement which is absolutely not in the second amendment is that citizens without being in a well regulated militia should be allowed to bear arms in order to defend themselves.
Now we can see that private interests such as the National rifle association and their friends in the Congress are twisting and twisting again the second amendment to further their business and sell more and more arms to individuals .
There is a theory based on Thomas Jefferson's feeling and ideas that puts forward the concepts that: If an American dictator took over the government of the U S A , the American people should be able to revolt against such a tyrant, and overthrow with him with their arms. Thus the need to keep and bear arms.
In 1999 the American army being so well equipped and so powerful, in order to rebel against a dictator being the supreme commander of such an army, each American would have to have at least a tank in his garage and a rocket launcher in his closet. What was a virtuous possibility in the 1770's has become a ludicrous proposition in the 1990's, due only to the evolution of techniques . If you follow the National Rifle Association reading of the second amendment to the letter then American citizen should be allowed to purchase and bear arms of any sorts as long as they can BEAR them, thus they could carry shoulder missiles launcher and be able to shoot down plane. How ludicrous is this proposition well it should be a consequence of the NRA twisting of the Constitution.
The Founding Fathers carefully began the second amendment with the words" A WELL REGULATED MILITIA" in order to emphasize the importance of the well regulated Militia and prevent what is happening now with the NRA, which is the selling of arms to anybody outside a well regulated Militia.
THE NRA ACTIONS ARE THE ABSOLUTE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE SECOND AMENDMENT MEANS.
BACK TO INDEX
August 31, 1999
After the premises of Democracy, mostly during ancient Greece (circa, 600 BC - 338 BC) and the early years of ancient Rome, (circa, 500 BC - 50 BC) there was a large period over a millenium where no trace of Democracy could be found around the world.
The first significant challenge to a tyrant, other than by arms, was the strong demands to be recognized as human beings with clear rights, that led to the writing and recognition of a very important document in England granted by King John to his barons.
Although the Magna Carta was simply a written guarantee of the noble's rights and privileges, the Magna Carta was of lasting effects.
The reasons are the following:
The Rights given to nobles and free men were later extended to all classes and genders.
Some clauses were later used to limit the power of the King.
The Magna Carta established the idea that the King or the ruler had to respect the law.
You can see from #1 that the Magna Carta was the ancestor of our Bill of Rights.
You can also see that by limiting the powers of the King the Magna Carta shows that power can be shared and thus divided among different parties, which was the base towards an evolution to Democracy in England and later in the United States.
By mentioning that the King should respect the law, it's stated indirectly that all citizens are equal, which is a fundamental element of Democracy.
MAGNA CARTA EXTRACT
John, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland
duke of Mormandyand Aquitaine, and count of Anjou, to the
archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justiciars, foresters,
sheriffs, stewards, servants, and to all his bailiffs and liege subjects greeting.
In the first place we have granted to God, and by this our
present charter-confirmed for us and our heirs for ever that the
English church shall be free, and shall have her rights entire.
We have also granted to all freemen of our kingdom, for us
and our heirs forever, all the underwritten liberties, to be had and
held by them and their heirs, of us, and our heirs forever.
No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned or diseased or exiled
or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him, nor send upon him,
except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.
It is a long list of claims, 63 paragraphs granted by King John and covering a lot of subjects that will be included in the American Constitution. However king John and his successors did not respect their signature and the Magna Carta' provisions were not put into effect most of the time, but it was a document of very significant importancee on which all people will base their claim in the future.
You can find the full text at www.fordham.edu.
BACK TO INDEX
September 7, 1999
HAVE NO FEAR NOW, MR. PRESIDENT
Why not transform what is called a lame duck president, in his last months in office into an exceptionally successful defender of the citizens who elected him?
We are going to base our strategy on the following postulate:
A) Although the Republican leaders, true Clinton haters, which, by the way, means that they hate the twice democratically elected president of their country, liked by the majority of the American people, will still try to demolish the president. It seems however that they will have little fuel to boost their bonfires.
B) Now that the president's agenda is cleared of scandals and major wars, it is time for him to put forward all and each reform and legislative achievements that Republicans parasitism delayed by their shabby tactics.
The principle is the following; list each and every piece of legislation, which the American people and President Clinton believes necessary for the good of the country.
Put through the Democratic Party this legislation on the floor of the Congress and ask the congress to vote for it. Here is a non-exhaustive list.
1) Close the loophole of the gun fairs and implement safer gun control legislation
2) Education: This segment only will generate a lot of legislation to be passed.
3)Healthcare, such as HMO reform and many others and prescription drug co-payment.
4) Social Security reform, to prolong the viability of social security.
5) Minimum wage adjustment
Mr President put this list up front and tell and repeat to the American people that you fought for their agenda but the actual leaders of the Republican party worked again the American people by delaying or upholding their votes.
BACK TO INDEX
September /15/ 99
IT'S THE EDUCATION STUPID
In the 21st century, people will see that a good economy is not due to mysterious elements. It's the level and the number of highly trained and educated people that makes the economy of the information age very strong.
The only real advantage that the USA has over other nations is it's lead in the information technology, and to keep and develop this lead, you need to have more and more people trained at a higher level. There is no way around a better education.
a.) Funding the renovation of schools.
b) Hiring new teachers.
c) Training new teachers.
d) Retrain teachers on new technology.
f)Implementing many other programs to help "left behind children to catch up."
g)Implementing new programs to help children to catch up on new technologies.
f)Expanding physical education, artistic programs, and hands on technology programs for after hour's activities, that will, at the same time keep children active in the school environment and out of trouble and improve their skills.
The Republican leaders and their businessmen friends, instead of opposing strongly each and every step of education improvement, should be the first to push for such legislation. After all, a capitalistic and entrepreneur businessman will make a lot more money out of a skilled work force in the information age, which has been trained free of charge for him by the government with taxpayer money than out of an illiterate work force. In other words, owners and managers of large companies will have employees with better output than before. The productivity thus will increase at a high pace.
"By focusing on the business of the people, for the people." President Clinton could achieve an historical and wonderful goal: GIVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE TOOLS TO BE A SUCCESSFUL NATION IN THE NEXT CENTURY.
THE ENGLISH BILL OF RIGHTS 1689AD
In 1689 the Parlement of England had the Monarchs sign a bill of rights which definitively established the preeminence of the Parliament over the King.
It is in one way a revival of the Magna Carta but extended to the citizens with more precise provisions which made the parliament which is the representative of the people overwhelmingly powerfull.
This Bill of Rights of course adressed protections Rights for the individuals such as; rights of trials by jury,outlawed cruel punishment. However we were not in a Democracy yet, mainly because only a small percentage of the population was allowed to vote and because the Kings of that century will not follow with any enthousiasm this bill of rights.
BACK TO INDEX
THE GLORY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
October 10, 1999
When was the last time the whole Nation was behind the Republican President?
It was during the eight years of the Ronald Reagan presidency, then to a less extent behind the George Bush presidency, especially during the Persian Gulf War.
President Reagan and President Clinton enjoyed the same, very high rate of approval among the American citizens.
If you remember, or watch again, the news during President Reagan's era, you will be amazed to see how moderate, compared to today, were the critics against his policies and more importantly they were not constant. What is also very important, because it characterized the era, the form through which the critics were delivered was not the constant mud slinging and back - stabbing that we see against President Clinton.
The most important characteristic of President Reagan was that by his genial personality, he lifted the spirit of the Nation, (which was extremely low after the Jimmy Carter presidency) to a very high level of confidence and optimism.
The whole Nation was confident again, and other countries around the world viewed the United States of America as a strong Nation again.
The United States dollar more than doubled its value from the Carter era to the Reagan era.
Although not cited very often, and recognized enough, restoring the American spirit was the main achievement of President Reagan and a huge one.
A Nation operates in the same way as a human being operates. In order to be able to live, take action and be successful a person has to be a confident human being. It is a necessary base, which is called self-esteem too, on which
people can build all the other elements and success, among others.
President Reagan believed so much in the great capabilities of the American people that he communicated with them, his enormous confidence in them, and by doing this, they again believed in themselves as the greatest country in the world.
This essential step restored a sound base. President Reagan and the American people were able to rebuild a great Nation. His political slogan could have been, "if you elect me, we can be great again." And he delivered.
His successor, President Bush started with this Nation that was in much better shape (although not flourishing) than the one prior to the Ronald Reagan era.
Although not re-elected, his mandate was characterized by two facts:
By organizing the international coalition that won, the Gulf War, he sent a tremendous message to the American people, first, and to the rest of the world later. "We are not hampered by the Vietnam War syndrome anymore, we are an efficient and confident military power."
His personality was one of a very, very decent honest man, but unfortunately for him, he was never able to communicate in a way that would let the American people understand his inner person. But even his strongest critics in the Democratic Party did not use the mud slinging and backstabbing that we see today.
The New Element in our modern era that completely changed the behavior of the opposing party towards the Presidents was the rise to power of Newt Gingrich and his followers.
Very similarly to the now anti-Communist, Mac Carthy, Senator in the 1950's. Newt Gingrich has used the method that "you can use any means of destruction in order to achieve your goal." That is the philosophy Newt Gingrich poisoned the Republican Party with, and that is still the philosophy of most of the Republican leaders today.
This philosophy has been condemned as illegal today, even between two different Nations at war, but it is the philosophy that prevails today among Republican leaders and that Philosophy was set up by Newt Gingrich. When you apply this policy, which is similar to an Army using poison gas, you have but one result; you will not destroy the opposing party. You will destroy your country.
The Republican party and its great values have only one chance of survival, and one chance of contributing to the well being of a democratic country, it is to abandon this. "All means can be used," philosophy and get rid through the election process of the defenders of this philosophy.
The Nation needs Republicans such as President Ronald Reagan and President George Bush; will these days come again?
BACK TO INDEX