Saturday, April 09, 2022

Please Calm Down


It was an inspiring, and politically uplifting, statement when Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson stated "I am the dream and the hope of the slaves." Nonetheless, it was a speech, and only a speech. Dan Rather, an excellent journalist falsely accused of smearing George W. Bush and forced out of his job as anchorman at CBS News, is offering false hype.

Please stop whatever you are doing to listen to (and share) this historic moment. The words of Judge Jackson resonate in defiance of cynicism, they grow from the deep roots of pain and struggle, and they usher forth a vision of hope in a better and more just America.

They usher forth a vision of hope in a better and more just America. Jackson's words are meant to stir and uplift but can do little more, and are not intended to do more.

While campaigning for President in June of 2008, Senator Barack Obama in rousing political rhetoric proclaimed

Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless...

... this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal...

... this was the moment when we ended a war, and secured our nation, and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.

Barack Obama was elected and yet

Sea levels along coastlines in the United States will rise about one foot by 2050, with larger increases on the East and Gulf coasts, according to a comprehensive new report by federal climate scientists.

Oceans have already risen about one foot in the last century, as climate change melts glaciers and ice caps around the world. But the pace is accelerating, scientists warn, and the next 30 years will see the same amount of sea level rise as the previous 100.

"It's like history is repeating itself, but in fast-forward," says William Sweet, a sea level rise expert with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and one of the authors of the new report.

Sea levels along coastlines in the United States will rise about one foot by 2050, with larger increases on the East and Gulf coasts, according to a comprehensive new report by federal climate scientists.

A group of researchers created the Job Quality Index and in late 2019

found when crafting their measurement, there is now a growing number of low-paying jobs relative to employment with above-average pay.

"In 1990, the jobs were pretty much evenly divided" said Daniel Alpert, a founder of Westwood Capital and one of the creators of the index. In the process of running the numbers, he said, "We discovered that 63% of all jobs that were created since 1990 were low-wage, low-hour jobs. That was a pretty stunning statistic."

To be sure, the metric indicated a slight improvement during the Obama years. As of when he had left office, it had declined beyond the point it was even in early 2009. The trend is unmistakable.

It turns out that Barack Obama's message on that day represented nothing more than "a vision of hope" that went down in flames in November, 2016. No doubt he wanted the USA "restored (to) our image as the last, best hope on Earth." However, when Donald Trump was inaugurated as the next President, he would emphasize "American carnage," a major theme of his successful campaign. In the following four years, the President effectively undermined the USA as leader of the Free World, an emphatic rebuke of the words spoken by his predecessor.

Let's cool our jets. The words of Ketanji Brown Jackson did "usher forth a vision of hope in a better and more just America." However, they represented only a vision and hope.  We should recognize them for what they are and for what they're not, lest the dream fall far short of the vision. We've seen that play before.




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