Douglass was born a slave on the Eastern Shore of Maryland; he was often badly beaten and semi-starved by cruel slave owners, their overseers and slave breakers. In an extraordinary odyssey, he became the pre-eminent African American speaker and leader, writer, editor and newspaper publisher in the twenty years of lead up to the Civil War and during its turbulent aftermath. During his long life of activism he faced every issue from racism and political corruption to misogyny and nativism to a retrograde Supreme Court, which we all must now confront and combat yet again in the administration of President Trump.
“Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. In short, remote-control murder by lone wolf(ves).”
The Trump re-election campaign is underway, and he wants to ensure that his loyalists are in charge of the nation’s intelligence agencies. Witness the rapid rise and fall of Representative Ratcliffe from Texas to replace Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats who has minced no words in describing Russian efforts to interfere in US elections.
In the heat of the Presidential candidates’ debate, crucial misinformation is inadvertently conveyed; some because the candidates don’t fully understand their own plans or those of their rivals, and some because they seek to elevate their own plans and dismiss their rivals.
Senator Bernie Sanders epitomizes the “Medicare for All” proposal. Vice President Joe Biden is the chief proponent of building on the Affordable Care Act. These are two very different ways to get to universal coverage with very important policy differences that merit serious thought and rational debate.
Senator Kamala Harris has outlined her own health plan for all Americans. Like Senator Bernie Sanders, she covers everyone. Like Senator Sanders she offers comprehensive benefits. Like Senator Sanders, she eliminates copays and deductibles, and premiums. She departs from Senator Sanders on three issues: the role of private insurance, the financing and the length of transition.
Here we are celebrating the extraordinary American moon landing achievement of 1969. It was also the time of great advances in civil rights, in health coverage for seniors, the disabled and the poor, and of a nation divided by the Vietnam War and the end of legal segregation – the American version of apartheid.