You are browsing the archive for 2019 January 31.

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Why FDR Didn’t Support Eleanor Roosevelt’s Anti-Lynching Campaign

January 31, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

In December 2018, the U.S. Senate passed a federal anti-lynching bill for the first time. The significant milestone is preceded by at least 240 failed attempts since 1901 to pass any bill or resolution mentioning lynching in Congress. These attempts to outlaw lynching peaked during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was a strong supporter of anti-lynching legislation, but FDR never supported it for fear of alienating white Democratic voters in the south.

Eleanor joined the NAACP during FDR’s first term in 1934 and began working with leader Walter White to outlaw lynching. This work earned her a lot of enemies, as well as some death threats. Critics of her husband like J. Edgar Hoover spread racist rumors that she was mixed race; and in the 1950s, the Ku Klux Klan put a $25,000 bounty on her head. Her work also caused a rift between her and her husband, whom she could never convince to support her cause.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt with Mary McLeod Bethune, National Youth Administration Director of Negro Activities, at the opening session of the National Conference on Problems of the Negro and Negro Youth.

In the mid-30s, the NAACP persuaded Democratic Senators Robert Wagner and Edward Costigan to sponsor an anti-lynching bill. The legislation couldn’t survive without the president’s support, so Eleanor arranged a meeting with White and FDR to try to convince the president to endorse it. The meeting didn’t go well.

“Somebody’s been priming you. Was it my wife?” FDR asked in annoyance after White presented his case. “If I come out for the anti-lynching bill now, [southern Democrats] will block every bill I ask Congress to pass to keep America from collapsing. I just can’t take the risk.”

Those bills he wanted to pass to keep America from collapsing were part of the New Deal. At the time, “the southern Democrats in the Senate are holding the New Deal hostage and refusing to move on New Deal issues unless the rest of the Democratic party backs off the anti-lynching bills,” says Eric Rauchway, a history professor at the University of California, Davis.

The demographics of Republican and Democratic voters back then were much different than they are today. From the mid-19th century through the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Democratic party’s base was made …read more


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How Colonization's Death Toll May Have Affected Earth's Climate

January 31, 2019 in History

By Sarah Pruitt

As the 15th century drew to a close, some 60 million people lived across the Americas, sustaining themselves with the bounty of the vast lands they inhabited.

But with the arrival of the first European settlers, waves of new diseases, along with warfare, slavery and other brutality would kill off around 56 million people, or around 90 percent of the indigenous population.

Now, scientists from the University College London (United Kingdom) argue in a new study that this “Great Dying” that followed European colonization of the Americas may have actually affected Earth’s climate.

Their version of events, . The new study suggests that human impact on the planet stretches back centuries before the Industrial Revolution began, with the collapse of farming in the Americans hundreds of years ago.

…read more


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Venezuela Presents an Opportunity for Peace with Russia

January 31, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

For a moment, at least, the latest crisis is in Latin America,
not the Middle East. The Trump administration is hoping to
overthrow the disastrous Maduro government, which is busily
destroying Venezuela. Although the issue would appear to be of
little concern to Russia, its government is actively opposing U.S.

Washington should insist that Moscow stay out—remember the
long ago Monroe Doctrine? But how could anyone, and especially
Russian President Vladimir Putin, take such a claim seriously?
America incessantly meddles along Russia’s border, up to which it
wants to expand NATO, just a couple hundred miles from the Russian
capital. Washington’s intentions don’t matter; it’s effectively
invited Moscow to return the favor. Thus is Russian involvement
also growing in Cuba, another revolutionary failure.

U.S. policy towards Russia has become a hopeless muddle.
Historically, America and Russia were friends. Unlike other leading
European countries, it did not lean toward the Confederacy during
the Civil War. In what should be a lesson for today, Washington
similarly stayed out of European battles with Russia, including the
Crimean War and later struggles in the Balkans that ultimately
triggered World War I.

It’s time for Trump to
ignore the critics, sit down with Putin, and talk

The latter conflict spawned the Bolshevik Revolution, along with
the Red Terror, Stalinist madness, and the simmering Cold War,
during which Moscow and Washington were estranged. But Christmas
1991 presented an opportunity as the Soviet flag was lowered for
the last time over the Kremlin. Friendship with Russia seemed
possible again. Alas, the West underestimated the difficulty of the
transition from totalitarian communism to democratic capitalism.
And the U.S. and Europe appeared determined to constantly deepen
Moscow’s humiliation, incorporating its former allies and even
former Soviet republics into NATO, pushing the alliance ever

Putin initially appeared to harbor little animus towards the
West. However, he and his people—Putin is far more
representative of the Russian public than Americans want to
believe—saw Western behavior in the Balkans, Georgia, and
Ukraine as hostile. Moscow’s response to the anti-Russian
street putsch in Kiev, ostentatiously backed by American and
European officials, was brutal but effective. Russia reincorporated
Crimea under its control after a six-decade hiatus and enmeshed
Ukraine in an ongoing internal conflict, making it ineligible for
NATO membership. Sanctimonious complaints about Russian behavior
notwithstanding, no U.S. government would have stood idly by had
the old Soviet regime staged a coup against a democratically
elected, pro-American government in Mexico, and then invited the
new regime to join the Warsaw Pact.

The result has been a renewed rivalry highlighted by steadily
worsening bilateral relations. Western sanctions have caused pain
but had no apparent impact on Moscow’s behavior. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Make the Moral Case for Capitalism

January 31, 2019 in Economics

By John A. Allison

John A. Allison

Progressives want to accelerate the country’s century-long
shift toward socialism with a long list of policies:
Medicare-for-all, “free” college, government-run energy
production and prescription-drug manufacturing, federal job and
housing guarantees, dramatically higher tax rates and new wealth
taxes, and a $15 minimum wage.

Conservatives have opposed these socialist proposals by pointing
out how much they will cost. For instance, they’ve trumpeted
a Mercatus Center study estimating that
Medicare-for-all would roughly double the federal budget. They have
explained how high tax rates would hurt economic growth. And
they’ve demonstrated how a $15 wage floor would hurt small
businesses and reduce job opportunities.

These arguments are all correct. But they do not address the
root of why these policy proposals are wrong. By merely citing the
financial or economic challenges of implementing them,
conservatives cede the moral high ground and tacitly accept the
Left’s premises.

Collectivism is backed by
compulsion, where one side wins and the other loses, rather than
voluntary trade for mutual benefit.

To win the battle of ideas, conservatives must fight on
philosophical grounds, explaining why these policies are immoral.
They must make the case based on ethics rather than economics
because the latter is downstream from the former. It is only a
matter of time before a purely economic or logical argument loses
to a moral or emotional one.

In practice this means explaining why the fundamental principle
of collectivism underlying these socialist proposals is immoral: It
violates the individual rights upon which societal progress and
happiness are based. Collectivism is backed by compulsion, where
one side wins and the other loses, rather than voluntary trade for
mutual benefit.

One of the most compelling moral arguments in favor of the free
market is that it is the system most conducive to allowing people
to pursue their dreams and creativity, which — for the
overwhelming majority of people — manifest themselves through
professional work.

In work, this creative pursuit is known as entrepreneurship. It
is responsible for raising human society and living standards. Yet
it is possible only to the degree that markets are free. Why?
Because in order to innovate — by definition — you must
be free to disagree.

Consider Medicare-for-all. The Medicare for All Act, which was supported by
two-thirds of Democrats in the House of Representatives last
Congress, states, “No institution may be a participating
provider unless it is a public or not-for-profit
institution.” This would mean that doctors and medical
entrepreneurs would be required to follow the government’s
medical policies and procedures. There would be no room in such a
system for entrepreneurs who disagree with the status quo, meaning
an end to the medical …read more

Source: OP-EDS