Posts Tagged ‘Injustice’

Similarities between Trumpism & McCarthyism

April 25, 2016

edward r murrow

Edward R Murrow

Joseph McCarth

Sen. Joseph McCarthy

 

donald trump

Donald Trump

 

In the  1950s Sen. McCarthy’s Committee on Unamerican Activities goal was to expose and destroy communist activities in the U.S. [the RED SCARE]. Communism was feared in the way right wing Republican party members now fear “Islamic terrorism” and conflate it with the Islamic religion.

I ask how Trumpism is different from McCarthyism?

McCarthyism [the following four paragraphs are from Wikipedia’s post on McCarthyism] is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means “the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism.”[1] The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1950 to 1956 and characterized by heightenedpolitical repression against communists, as well as a campaign spreading fear of their influence on American institutions and of espionage bySoviet agents. Originally coined to criticize the anti-communist pursuits of Republican U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, “McCarthyism” soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts. The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.

During the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans were accused of being communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person’s real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment and/or destruction of their careers; some even suffered imprisonment. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned,[2] laws that were later declared unconstitutional,[3]dismissals for reasons later declared illegal[4] or actionable,[5] or extra-legal procedures that would come into general disrepute.

The most notable examples of McCarthyism include the speeches, investigations, and hearings of Senator McCarthy himself; the Hollywood blacklist, associated with hearings conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC); and the various anti-communist activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under Director J. Edgar Hoover. McCarthyism was a widespread social and cultural phenomenon that affected all levels of society and was the source of a great deal of debate and conflict in the United States. [ Many in Hollywood went underground and were forced to use pseudonyms to get their plays staged and their movies filmed and produced – due to defamation of their character as the dreaded communist, perhaps for something as minor as being a member of a communist club in college]

There were also more subtle forces encouraging the rise of McCarthyism. It had long been a practice of more conservative politicians to refer to progressive reforms such as child labor laws and women’s suffrage as “Communist” or “Red plots.”[7] This tendency increased in the 1930s in reaction to the New Deal policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Many conservatives equated the New Deal with socialism or Communism, and saw its policies as evidence that the government had been heavily influenced by Communist policy-makers in the Roosevelt administration.[8] In general, the vaguely defined danger of “Communist influence” was a more common theme in the rhetoric of anti-Communist politicians than was espionage or any other specific activity.

No doubt that McCarthy would have considered social security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, voting rights, and many other social programs as communists plots.

The great CBS reporter and commentator, Edward R. Murrowbroke the back of McCarthy’s era of terror and injustice with the following public statement that I believe applies today to Trumpism in his witch hunt against Muslims and immigrants as well as it applied to McCarthyism’s witch hunting communism, acknowledging the role of media in perpetrating this dark part of our collective history in America:

by Edward R. Murrow, modified by Linda Lorincz Shelton for today’s Trumpism – 

Earlier, the Senator [McCarthy] asked, “Upon what meat does this, our Caesar, feed?” Had he looked three lines earlier in Shakespeare’s Caesar, he would have found this line, which is not altogether inappropriate: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful.

It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one and the junior Senator from Wisconsin [Trump and the Benghazi Committee] ha[ve] stepped over it repeatedly.

His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between the internal and the external threats of Communism [terrorism].

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.

We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

We will not walk in fear, one of another.

We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men — not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s  [Trump’s] methods to keep silent, or for those who approve.

We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result.

There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities.

As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age.

We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. [We cannot desert religious freedom, the 1st Amendment by condemning all Muslims as terrorists no more than we can condemn Southern White Protestants as KKK lynchers and murderers.]

The actions [speeches] of the junior Senator from Wisconsin [Trump] have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. [They’re even being used by Al Quida for recruitment videos –  to show how much the infidels hate Muslims.]

And whose fault is that? Not really his. [Trump] didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and rather successfully. Cassius was right. “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

Good night, and good luck.

[and don’t forget how the media (mainstream and social) have exploited fear and disseminated mis-information about Islam, Muslims, terrorism, and foreign relations.]
[extracts from – transcribed 7/20/06 by G. Handman from DVD, The McCarthy Years(Edward R. Murrow Collection)]

Sandra Bland case – Too many inconsistencies & unanswered questions!

July 31, 2015

There are too many questions still to be answered – this is a very disturbingly confused situation, suggesting a need for an in depth and thorough investigation

As a retired research pathologist and physician the Sandra Bland case is very disturbing to me.

Sandra Bland was arrested after an officer stopped her for not using a signal to change lanes and then, although legally but questionably as he had no reasonable basis to do so, told her to stop smoking and then  got mad at her and made her get out of the car because she seemed to object to this request.

When she got out of the car and was verbally objecting to the officer’s requests, the officer then slammed her to the ground causing her to smash her head down.  Then she complained she couldn’t hear, which indicates she suffered a concussion.

She told the officers she had epilepsy and was on a medication, Kepra.

The jail then claims she committed suicide by hanging three days later with a plastic bag.

Yes it is possible to hang yourself by leaning in after securing your hands so you cannot get the bag or rope away from suffocating you even without any drop. Many prisoners have killed themselves in this manner called “leaning in hanging”.

If the jail denied her  the epilepsy medication, it is possible that she died from a seizure as the medication wore out of her system and then made her prone to a seizure. The stress of the situation and lack of medication could have contributed to having a seizure. Then they could have staged the hanging.  If this was true, then there would be no bleeding after death around the ligature (plastic bag) which was around her neck and no petechiae (pin point hemmorhages).  Petechiae however, are not always present with hanging or suffocation.

If she was strangled and then the hanging staged, the autopsy report, if it was done properly, should show that the ligature furrowing was concentric and not consistent with hanging.  A hanging will have non-concentric furrowing as the ligature has more pressure on one side due to gravity.

There was also plant matter in her abrasions on her back, consistent with the day she was arrested, having been thrown to the ground and dragged.  It is negligence for the jail not to have cleaned and treated her abrasions or allowed her to shower properly for three days to clean the wounds.

If the blood tests show she did not have her medication, then that also would be negligence, as lack of medication needed for epilepsy could have precipitated a seizure.

The reports say she told the officers she was suicidal, but the jail did not have her on a suicide watch. That would also be negligence. Suicide in jails often occurs during the first few days in jail as that is when the detainee is most upset about the situation. Ms. Bland certainly had reason to be upset as the circumstances of the arrest and slamming her to the ground seem excessive.

In addition, she had an unusually high amount of marijuana in her blood.  Therefore, she was given a large amount of marijuana in the jail which she either ingested or smoked. That needs investigation. I am not an expert on effects of marijuana so I cannot comment on whether this can increase suicidal ideation or depression or if it can trigger seizures.

The autopsy does not prove she hung herself.  There are too many questions still to be answered.

A senior well-known forensic pathologist, Dr. Cyril Wecht , who is also an attorney agrees with the above assessment during an interview on the radio here.

Execution of an Innocent Man

August 26, 2009

Texas in 2004 executed an innocent man for murder of his three children because they died in a fire that he was accussed of setting. It has been discovered that the fire was not an arson, so it is expected that Texas will have to eventually acknowledge they convicted and executed an innocent man as a reward for losing his three children in an accidental fire. This is why the death penalty should be abolished. It is barbaric in a civilized world.

http://ow.ly/lr5F


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