America: Our Self Inflicted Wounds

This is a companion piece to my podcast on Annette Aben’s Tell Me a Story.

The first charge against King George III in one of the most pivotal rants in
human history is that he refused to abide by the law:

“He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for  the public good.”

A cartoon depicting a corrupt King George 111
King George III awash in payoffs while the people suffer.

This idea that no one is above the law drives the evolution of American Democracy:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”  Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address.

Everyone is a human being and all human beings are equal before the law,

and equally protected by it:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. 14th Amendment

In 1948, the United States co-authored and signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which included Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: Freedom from Want, Freedom from Fear, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Worship.

Eleanor Roosevelt the Declaration of Human Rights

From the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

 

America’s Self inflicted Wounds

Photograph of a homeless woman sleeping in front of Whole Foods on Market and Dolores in San Francisco 2018
Market at Dolores Street, San Francisco 2018

When George W. Bush declared the end of the war in Iraq most
people knew there were no weapons of mass destruction.

Americans were still dying in Iraq when the voters made Bush President
again in 2004.

Blackberry photograph of a poster made after Barack Obama's first presidency with the caption 'Yes we did."
Yes we did

“When the United States stands up for human rights, by example at home and by effort abroad, we align ourselves with men and women around the world who struggle for the right to speak their minds, to choose their leaders, and to be treated with dignity and respect. We also strengthen our security and well being, because the abuse of human rights can feed many of the global dangers that we confront — from armed conflict and humanitarian crises, to corruption and the spread of ideologies that promote hatred and violence.”

– Barack Obama, Statement on Human Rights Day 2008

When Barack Obama became President he chose not investigate the U.S.
Invasion of Iraq.

Our leaders will not always make the right the decisions and that’s why
lethal actions based on false information requires accountability.

We don’t heal the nation when we hide from our mistakes, we make it sick.

Devin Nunes commits treason behind closed doors.
Nunes: We’re the only ones who can save Trump from the Constitution and the Rule of Law

We make ourselves vulnerable to corruption and the spread of ideologies that promote hatred and violence.

To have faith in the American Democracy is to live with ambiguity.

America will never be perfect at living up to our ideals and we must never
stop trying.

We must have faith in our innate morality as expressions of the divine; as
beings endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.

Click to hear my podcast on Tell Me a Story.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2018

 

11 Beautiful Minds of The 20th Century

Eleven brilliant and courageous men and women.

1.

Pablo Neruda
July 12, 1904-September 23, 1973

Art by Rob Goldstein
Pablo Neruda Ricardo Reyes as a young man

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

~ Pablo Neruda

2.

Norma Jeane Mortenson
June 1, 1926-August 5, 1962

Art by Rob Goldstein
Portrait of Norma Jeane Mortenson

I am not a victim of emotional conflicts. I am human.
Norma Jeane Mortenson

3.

Harvey Milk
May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978

 

Art By Rob Goldstein

“All men are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.”
Harvey Milk, The Harvey Milk Interviews: In His Own Words

4.

el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz
May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Malcolm X


“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”
Malcolm X

5.

Nina Simone

February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003

Art by Rob Goldstein
Nina Simone

“I am just one of the people who is sick of the social order, sick of the establishment, sick to my soul of it all. To me, America’s society is nothing but a cancer, and it must be exposed before it can be cured. I am not the doctor to cure it. All I can do is expose the sickness.”
Nina Simone

6.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963

Art by Rob Goldstein
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”, then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”
John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage

7.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929- April 4, 1968

Art By Rob Goldstein
Dr. Martin Luther King

There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.  Martin Luther King, Jr.

8.

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau
July 5, 1889 – 11 October 11, 1963

Art by Rob Goldstein
Jean Cocteau

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.
Jean Cocteau

9.

Frank O’Hara
March 27, 1926 – July 25, 1966

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Frank O’Hara


“I wonder if the course of narcissism through the ages would have been any different had Narcissus first peered into a cesspool. He probably did.”
Frank O’Hara, Early Writing

10.

Simone de Beauvoir
January 9, 1908 – April 14, 1986

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Simone de Beauvoir


Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying. Simone de Beauvoir

11.

Jean Genet
December 19, 1910-April 15, 1986

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
Jean Genet

What I did not yet know so intensely was the hatred of the white American for the black, a hatred so deep that I wonder if every white man in this country, when he plants a tree, doesn’t see Negroes hanging from its branches.  Jean Genet

 

Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the images on this page are in the public domain.

Header photo, Portrait of Malcolm X, by Rob Goldstein (c) 2016

Blog post update July, 2018

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I am not an Animal

I am a human being.

Re-processed digitized image scanned from an oil painting by Eastman Johnson, A Ride for Liberty, The Fugitive Slaves
A Ride for Liberty – The Fugitive Slaves

Do you agree with me?

10 Everyday Items invented in the 1920’s

Frozen Food

Clarence Birdseye worked as a fur trader in Canada. He saw that fish caught during the winter froze almost immediately after being pulled from the water. Birdseye soon realized that he could leave the fish frozen for up to a month while retaining the flavor. Read more

The Television

The television was invented in 1925 by John Logie Baird. The first experimental Television broadcast in the US. was in 1928. Read more

Black-and-white photographs Date: 1934 Topic: Television
Zworykin Kinescope, 1929

Traffic lights

The traffic light was invented by William Potts in 1920 as a way to direct traffic at 4 way stops. Read more

The Pop-up Toaster

Charles Perkins Strite invented the pop-up bread toaster in 1919, and received a patent for it on October 18, 1920.  Read more

Kool Aid

Edwin Perkins in Nebraska invented Kool Aid in 1927.
Read more

Cotton Swabs

The cotton swab was invented by Leo Gerstenzang in 1923. He sold
his invention under the name of “Baby Gays.” Read more

Bubble Gum

Walter E. Dieme invented bubble gum in 1928.  Read more

Penicillin

Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered penicillin in 1928.
Read more

Vitamin E

Herbert McLean Evans and Katherine Scott Bishop discovered Vitamin E
in 1922.  Read more

Sunglasses

Sam Foster invents sunglasses in 1920.  Read more

Now get your glad rags on and head over to Teagan’s Books for episode 4 Hullaba Lulu!

VR photograph of avatars waiting in a virtual train station to illustrate the story Hullaba Lulu by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
Lulu, Gramps, Rose, and Valentino wait for the train

Is someone gonna be Left holding the bag?

Check it out.

I gotta go see a man about a dog


Graphics (c) Rob Goldstein 2018