Monday, April 26, 2010

I Do Hereby Proclaim Ronald Reagan, Public Enemy #1

I cringe every year when Earth Day rolls around.  It isn't because I don't like Earth Day, in fact, I revel in it.  No, I cringe because I was there for the first one.  The promise of a new day.  A new horizon of enlightenment.  Wrong!

A new PBS program featuring the founders of Earth Day on its 40th anniversary once again drove home to me the immense damage done to our country by Ronald Reagan and his head-up-your-ass neo-con cronies.  Punch's post on "Just Say No" reminded me just how regressively stupid that administration and most of its policies were.

Richard Nixon was the first president to aggressively pursue an alternative energy policy, followed by Jimmy Carter who declared "war" on energy.  The result was the formation of an Energy Department and a bevy of programs and tax credits for alternative energy research and development.

For the first time, through your own efforts, you could make your electric meter run backwards and be credited for sending energy back to the grid.

As Michelle Obama's garden symbolizes healthy eating, Carter placed solar water heaters on the roof of the White House to encourage all of us to seek new ways to conserve and reduce our energy footprint.

Less than half a decade later, with much fanfare and media attention, Reagan had the solar cells removed.  I guess his ding-bat wife's astrologer said it wasn't in the stars.  But that wasn't all he had removed.  He also removed all of the energy tax-credit programs and reduced the Energy Department's budget by 80%, leaving only a shell of staff in place.

Altogether, by the end of this eight-year disaster, our nation's energy and environmental progress had been set back by 30-years or more.

The recent health care debacle again highlighted just how far we've regressed.  To those who claim that Obama is trying to do to much, I offer the following, legislation passed or spawned during Lyndon Johnson's 6-year presidency:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, banning job discrimination and segregation in public places.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965, outlawed literacy and other voter qualification tests designed to disqualify African-Americans.

The Civil Rights Act of 1968, banning housing discrimination and extending constitutional protections to native Americans.

The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, creating the Office of Economic Opportunity which spawned the Job Corps, Volunteers of Service to America, Neighborhood Youth Corps, Model Cities Program, Food Stamps, and Community Action Agencies.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, providing federal funding to education.

Head Start, a significant pre-school education program.

Higher Education Act of 1965, federal funding for higher education, created the Pell Grant program.

Social Security Act of 1965, created Medicare and Medicaid.

The National Endowment for the Arts

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Department of Transportation

The Clean Air, Water Quality and Clean Water Restoration Acts which included: 

The Wilderness Act 1964
Endangered Species Act 1966
Land and Water Conservation Act 1965
Solid Waste Disposal Act 1965
Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Act 1965
National Historic Preservation Act 1965

Presidents Nixon, Carter, and Ford each thought these programs important enough to not only fund them, but even expand them.  Ronald Reagan did everything he could to cut funding and even eliminate them altogether.

The Reagan administration gave birth to the mean-tempered, mean-spirited political modus-operandi that doesn't answer a question but attacks the person who raises it.  His administration gave birth to the immoral greed and gluttony brought to the tipping point by the looters of the Bush administration.

Therefore, on this 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, I, Mr. Charleston, do hereby proclaim Ronald Reagan public enemy #1 and do hereby issue a posthumus citizen's arrest for the president who did more damage to my country than any other politician in my lifetime.


  1. Hear, hear pal! I can't think of one word to add to this assessment.

  2. Excellent re-cap of Regan's terrible policies. But now let's move forward...he's gone and there are new enemies to fight. #1: Ignorance. Especially difficult when so much is about gaining ground against misguided fears...even when there are facts in our favor. Change is always hard to win.

    Still finding it hard to get over Obama's decision to open up more off-shore oil drilling.

  3. Danke JJ.

    Gropius... Get out there and kick some butt girl. We need you young'uns to pick up the fight. Us old hippies are flat worn out.

    I've heard it postulated that giving up off-shore drilling is a ploy to gain support for something as it's very unlikely, especially now, that any new drilling will be done. The states are against it and by the time they bring one in we will all be driving electric cars anyway.

  4. You know what I've realized? I've realized I don't know enough to piss me off.
    And, THAT pisses me off and I'm embarrassed by it.

  5. Good grief. My knowledge of American presidents is remarkably thin. Well, I suppose it isn't THAT remarkable, but yeah, this is all fairly new information to me. Shocking.

  6. Amen Brother!

    Gropius, Ragean might be gone, hell he was half gone while mouthing words from behind the Presidential seal, but his policies live on. His goons are the ones who came up with the concept to, starve the beast. That is why taxes have been dropped under every republican admin, overall, fed, state, local. Break the treasury, and then the poor cannot get help, programs we don't like must be cut, save taxes ya know. Spend the money on the bogey men, fight a war on something, 'Just Fucking Say NO, Hell No, Mother Fucker" (author,s message in quotes). They are still winning. One of the best ways to fight igorance is to know where you came from.
    By the way, there is a move to sell that 40Something old building, some call, the Whitney. Seems it is jammed into too small a space, and needs to move to a new building at the High Line elevated park. Me, I'm not too sure it is time for them to just move on and just leave that landmark building.
    "Do not go quietly into that goodnight."
    {sorry for the drift)

  7. Have to agree...Reagan was the cause, the root of most of everything that has gone wrong and the first president to really use the media to spin the truth into a web of deceit.

  8. About time St. Ronnie of Reagan started to get what's coming to him. "I'm a Ronald Reagan Republican" is worn like a badge of honor by the new breed who believe in limited or no government. And that brazen old Tom, Margaret Thatcher's policies, Ronnie's twin sister, are tearing the UK apart right now. It takes a generation for things to break down.

  9. I remember when Reagan was the pres, it was terrible. He cut every social program, not wasteful ones, very basic, badly needed ones. He wanted to count catchup as a vegetable and peanut butter as meat for school kids. He was at a fast food place, grabbed the mike and said something like "I just declared Russia illegal, the bombing will start in five minutes." He was freaking crazy they had to keep him on a short leash.


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