Monday, March 10, 2014

We've seen these Russian elections before

Putin is going to say that he will leave it to the people of Crimea to decide whether they want to join Russia. There are two problems with this:
  1. Putin has used this strategy before in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and he did this after deporting all of the ethnic Georgians in these areas. If he does the same thing as Crimea there is no question how they will vote.
  2. Russia has a reputation of getting very results on their elections, by having ballot stuffing, harassment, and other issues which are widely reported on. I see no reason to believe this will be any different.
The  election will be a sham and everyone knows it, it is an old Communist tradition of having "elections" where you always know who will win. China and North Korea use these and the USSR did, and the elections in Russia look more like the old Soviet elections every year. Since there will almost certainly be no EU or UN observers (except of course the Russian observers) there can be no doubt who will win the election, regardless of what the people in Crimea want.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Remove Jackson from the $20 bill

There has been talk about removing Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill. There are two very good reasons for this, the first of all is how he committed genocide against Native Americans and the second is how he vehemently opposed the Second National Bank and closed it, ushering in an era of economic instability. All in all, his economic and social policies were terrible, and he shouldn't be commended for it.

Then the question becomes, who should be on our $20 bill? Here are some ideas,

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was critical in getting two civil rights bills passed, and made an amazing difference... he would probably get the most support for replacing Jackson.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson. President Johnson passed more civil rights legislation than any other President in history despite half the country opposing it. He continued the economic policies under Kennedy that saw the 60s be a decade of immense growth in America. Out of all the Presidents not currently on our money, he is the obvious choice.
  • Susan B. Anthony. Leading the suffragist movement, she made an incredible difference for our country and it would be right to honor her to be on our money.
These are the three Americans currently not on our money who I believe made enough of a difference to be fit to be on our money. there can only be one, so I would make a proposition.

I would say President Johnson would be the most appropriate to be on the bill however. While I have endless respect for Dr. King and Susan B. Anthony the back of the $20 bill is the White House which is an appropriate national landmark to be on our money. What would be even more appropriate to put the other two great Americans on our money would be to have the White House surrounded by Dr. King on one side and Susan B. Anthony on another... who could be watermarks. That would keep the security feature of Jackson's watermark (which would of course be replaced) and surround the President who did the most good for our civil rights in our history with the two most influential civil rights leaders this country has ever seen, which would show people who don't value human rights here and abroad that this is a free land.