Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Does morality figure in U.S. government decision-making? Has it ever?

Does morality figure in government decision-making? Has it ever?

This provides us a perfect example of why letter writing and petitioning  this rotten government by themselves and not part of massive movements are useless. Consider this before writing your next letter or signing and circulating your next petition if you aren't going to help build powerful mass movements.

This rotten government doesn't care about morality, well thought out ideas or what most people think.

We only got the New Deal as people in the streets placed the country on the verge to socialist revolution; we only got the Civil Rights Act and Affirmative Action when the cities were burning and the only time this rotten government only considered that it was necessary to end the war in Vietnam is when tens of millions of people had taken to the streets and the country was on the verge of being on the edge of total disruption.

But moral persuasion in letters and a petition was completely ignored when it came to dropping the atom bomb.

Think about this: If moral consideration was not even a factor in deciding whether or not to drop atom bombs on people; do you think arguments based on morality will ever convince this little Wall Street clique which owns and controls the presidency, the House and Senate and all politics down to township boards is going to consider the morality of all these "little" dirty imperialist wars, the need to eradicate unemployment and poverty, racism from which corporations reap so much in super-profits?

We have a government here in the United States that is so out of whack from which the founders of this country (many--- not all--- of whom couldn't even be convinced about the immorality of stealing the land and resources from the First Nations People's or placing human beings in chains bound by "laws" enacting chattel slavery) that morality was not even a second-thought, let alone a consideration--- when it came to using the atom bomb against an entire nation.

And it took a bloody Civil War to end slavery in spite of all the moral pleadings, petitions and writings over decades to end slavery.

Should we stop writing letters and petitioning? No; but let's get real here and realize we have a government that is rotten to the core--- just as thoroughly rotten as the capitalist economic system which has given rise to this rotten political system.

When do we realize the purpose for writing letters and signing petitions articulating the kind of country we want versus the kind of government Wall Street is imposing on us, is for the purpose of...

Resistance. Rebellion. Revolt. Revolution.

The nuclear scientist who had a conscience should have pitched their concerns to the American people not a a worthless warmonger like Harry Truman... their message would then have been delivered through the American people who were on the move towards socialism... and this conscience of the entire Nation is what would have prevented the use of Atomic Bombs.

But, had these nuclear scientists with a conscience have appealed to the American people they likely would have been seated in electric chairs before Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

This is the kind of dirty rotten government we are dealing with--- completely devoid of all morality.

And Harry Truman was an angel compared to this warmonger we have sitting in the Oval Office today. At least Truman didn't take pleasure in looking at pictures of his victims and knowing their names; barbarity completely lacking all morality best characterizes this rotten government... from brutally slaughtering Native Americans so to steal their land and resources to dropping Atom Bombs to dropping napalm on people to drone warfare in the name of "democracy" and "civilization;" American history doesn't look so good when considered from a moral point of view... and I never even mentioned the exploitation of workers and the brutality embodied in this exploitation nor did I mention the brutal manner in which lands and wealth were stolen from the Mexicans who are now treated like dirt because they come seeking a better life through of all things--- a job.

We really do lack a collective moral conscience in this country--- of the kind which leads to mass action to right the wrongs and injustices because too much time is wasted trying to use arguments to convince thoroughly immoral politicians to do what is right instead of talking to our friends, neighbors and fellow workers.

Democrat and Republican politicians have no moral compass... their needle only points to corporate bribes with their biggest bribes coming from the military-financial-industrial complex.

Was morality ever a consideration before the National Guard opened fire on students at Kent State?

If you aren't going to share your letters and petitions directed to these politicians with your friends, neighbors and fellow workers in a way intended to bring people into massive movements you might as well not waste your time writing letters and signing petitions... maybe you draw different conclusions from what is written below but this is the conclusion I draw.

Read on:

On This Day (July 3) in 1945: The Only Real Attempt to Halt the Atomic Bombing of Japan

Greg Mitchell
July 3, 2013
The Nation

It’s well known that as the Truman White House made plans to use the first atomic bombs against Japan in the summer of 1945, a large group of atomic scientists, many of whom had worked on the bomb project, raised their voices, or at least their names, in protest.

Hiroshima, ,
On this date in 1945, the great atomic scientist Leo Szilard finished a letter that would become the strongest (virtually the only) real attempt at halting President Truman’s march to using the atomic bomb—which was two weeks from its first test at Trinity—against Japanese cities.

Each summer I count down the days to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, marking events from 1945 that spurred the decision to drop the two bombs, raising plenty of my own questions along the way. Last year, I wrote nearly daily articles for The Nation. Of course, I won’t do that again, but I thought I’d launch it here with the Szilard letter. Over the next five weeks or so you can check my Pressing Issues blog.

I’ve written hundreds of articles and three books on the subject, Hiroshima in America (with Robert Jay Lifton), and more recently Atomic Cover-Up (on decades-long suppression of film shot in the atomic cities by the US military) and Hollywood Bomb (how an MGM 1947 drama was censored by the military and Truman himself).

It’s well known that as the Truman White House made plans to use the first atomic bombs against Japan in the summer of 1945, a large group of atomic scientists, many of whom had worked on the bomb project, raised their voices, or at least their names, in protest. They were led by the great Leo Szilard. On July 3, he finished a petition to the president for his fellow scientists to consider, which called atomic bombs “a means for the ruthless annihilation of cities.” It asked the president “to rule that the United States shall not, in the present phase of the war, resort to the use of atomic bombs.”

The following day he wrote this cover letter (below). The same day, Leslie Groves, military chief of the Manhattan Project, wrote Winston Churchill’s science adviser seeking advice on how to combat Szilard and his colleagues. The bomb would be tested two weeks later and dropped over Hiroshima on August 6.

July 4, 1945

Dear xxxxxxxxxxxx,

Enclosed is the text of a petition which will be submitted to the President of the United States. As you will see, this petition is based on purely moral considerations.

It may very well be that the decision of the President whether or not to use atomic bombs in the war against Japan will largely be based on considerations of expediency. On the basis of expediency, many arguments could be put forward both for and against our use of atomic bombs against Japan.

Such arguments could be considered only within the framework of a thorough analysis of the situation which will face the United States after this war and it was felt that no useful purpose would be served by considering arguments of expediency in a short petition.

However small the chance might be that our petition may influence the course of events, I personally feel that it would be a matter of importance if a large number of scientists who have worked in this field went clearly and unmistakably on record as to their opposition on moral grounds to the use of these bombs in the present phase of the war.

Many of us are inclined to say that individual Germans share the guilt for the acts which Germany committed during this war because they did not raise their voices in protest against these acts. Their defense that their protest would have been of no avail hardly seems acceptable even though these Germans could not have protests without running risks to life and liberty. We are in a position to raise our voices without incurring any such risks even though we might incur the displeasure of some of those who are at present in charge of controlling the work on “atomic power”.

The fact that the people of the people of the United States are unaware of the choice which faces us increases our responsibility in this matter since those who have worked on “atomic power” represent a sample of the population and they alone are in a position to form an opinion and declare their stand.
Anyone who might wish to go on record by signing the petition ought to have an opportunity to do so and, therefore, it would be appreciated if you could give every member of your group an opportunity for signing.

Leo Szilard

A clip from Hiroshima-Nagasaki 1945 archival footage of Hiroshima and Nagasaki victim - See more at: http://japanfocus.org/-Greg-Mitchell/3581#sthash.ACyE8nsM.dpuf