It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village is a reminder of Democratic Party values – especially the values of long time Democrats whose lives have been dedicated to helping people.

TGIF!

Good morning meese…

I’m pissed off so I’ve got very little of anything constructive to say and since every other word would be fuck or something similar I’ll refrain from venting this morning…

 

 

Fuck you Ghoulini…

 

The grifters keep on grifting…

 

Fuck off Dotard…

 

Thread…Ominous in it’s scope…

 

Short thread…

 

 

 

Our President…

 

 

That’s all folks!

Have a great weekend!

 

Fire away!!!

VNV Tuesday – A Tale of Two “Cities”: Concord Park, Trevose, PA 5/8/18

Morris Milgram was a dreamer and an activist first, a homebuilder second.

An ardent antifascist and peace activist, member of the Student League for Industrial Democracy and Student Strike Agains the War, Milgram was expelled from the City College of New York in 1934 after leading protest against a visiting delegation of fascist students. In the late 1930s, Milgram served as New Jersey executive secretary of the Workers’ Defense League… During World War II, …Milgram became the national secretary of the WDL. The WDL had a long record of supporting racial equality, which it saw as inseparable from “labor’s rights.” …Closely allied with CORE and the March on Washington Movement, Milgram advocated nonviolent civil disobedience. Source: Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North by Thomas Sugrue, p. 230-31

By 1947, with a wife and a young family, Milgram made the decision to take mainstream employment and started working for his father-in-law’s construction firm. Although he did not have a background in any area of construction (his degree, completed at Dana College, was in economics), he spent four years learning the ins-and-outs of marketing, tax codes, zoning laws, and construction finance, all while working with his father-in-law to build housing for whites-only in the Philadelphia suburbs. It was not a happy choice for him (“my conscience hurt”), but it was, according to his father-in-law/boss, the way things were done. After his father-in-law died in 1952, Milgram decided to pursue his dream of creating open housing, an interracial alternative to Levittown.

The dream was the easy part; the reality was far harder. Banks and investors had zero interest in supporting an integrated housing project; in his first year of trying to fund the project, he only raised $14,000. Fortunately, being in a Friends’ stronghold helped to save the project. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) introduced him to George Otto, a builder, Quaker, and the chair of the Philadelphia Friends Social Order Committee. Otto was interested in and sympathetic to Milgram’s dream, and they formed a corporation together, which enabled them to sell stock shares to friends and associates. Although the story of Concord Park will always be Morris Milgram’s story, the contribution of George Otto cannot be underestimated. He came from an old Quaker family and had connections throughout the Quaker community, particularly with Quakers as wealthy as himself. Between the two, with Milgram providing the moral argument, “Put your money where your heart is” and Otto providing the reassurance that this was a sound investment, $150,000 in venture capital was soon raised. A board of directors was formed, made up of six white and three black men, and with the initial capital two tracts of land were purchased: 50 acres in Trevose, PA (and only about 11 miles from Levittown), as well as a smaller plot of 9 acres in northeast Philly.

An article printed in a Fellowship of Reconciliation publication

Raising the initial capital was only the first battle; from there, Milgram had to ensure that mortgage financing was available. At this point, the project almost crashed and burned as more than 20 banks and financial institutions turned them down. For bankers, the conventional wisdom was that blacks lowered property values, so it made no sense to them to provide the financing. After much searching and with the corporation on the brink of ruin, one bank came through. A New York bank, with experience lending to African-Americans, agreed to finance some of the mortgages.

Milgram’s Concord Park homes were similar to those in Levittown, an intentional decision by Milgram, but because he lacked the economies of scale and the vertical integration of Levitt and Sons, they were slightly more expensive. Despite that, when his model home opened in 1954 (decorated by the same designer the Levitt’s used), 25,000 passed through in four months, 95% of whom were white. Milgram had marketed heavily to white communities (although not always mentioning that this would be open housing) and relied on word of mouth throughout black communities. However, when actual applications started coming in, Milgram was dumbfounded to discover that of the first 60 applicants, 50 were black. He had anticipated that securing the first sales to white families would be difficult, but he had not taken into account the pent-up demand for suburban housing for black families. “I woke up one night in a cold sweat and said to myself, ‘Morris, you s.o.b., you’re building a ghetto.'” (Sugrue, p. 233)

Morris Milgram, 1972; Concord Park brochure 1954

With the dream of integrated housing once again in danger, the board of directors for Concord Park were faced with a difficult decision. Did they set aside their initial goal and instead meet the demand of black buyers? Could they afford to wait for white buyers to move in? Finally, in 1955, the board made a difficult, controversial decision. They established a quota system, with 45% of the homes to be sold to black families and the remaining balance (55%) to white buyers. Milgram himself had suggested a 50/50 split, but one of the black board members, a former president of Florida A&M, suggested the 55/45 split to assuage white fears about losing the majority. By 1958, all of the 139 houses in Concord Park were built and sold; the ratio had been maintained.

For years, the dream played out just as Milgram had hoped. There was no violence as the Concord Park houses sold, and the development had social clubs; residents played bridge together; a babysitting cooperative was formed. It was 1950s suburbia in every imaginable way for the black and white residents. For a period of time, the ratio was maintained, in part because Milgram had owners sign an agreement which allowed the corporation to take responsibility for the resale. In 1968, the Fair Housing Act was law, and quotas became illegal; by the 1970s, cookie cutter tract housing, so necessary during the post-WWII housing shortage, lost their popularity, and white occupants of Concord Park started moving out…because they could. Although fair housing was by now the law of the land, housing discrimination still existed, but black buyers could still buy in Concord Park. So they did; the last, original white homeowners moved out in 2000, but Concord Park had become a majority-black development years before.

Next week: Was Concord Park a success or failure? And more Milgram…

TGIF!!!

 

 

Good morning meese!!!

 

 

Since I’m in one of my moods today…

This puts a smile on my face even though it’s missing about 50 deplorables….Can’t happen soon enough.

 

 

 

For Sher!!! To cut a long story short I’ve had another mama cat come up on the porch and since I’m such a pushover I started feeding her. She went into labor late Monday afternoon and here is the result…4 beautiful kittehs and all seem to be doing great.

 

You don’t say…It’s been obvious for as long as she’s been there.

 

Hey Rudy, keep talking, you’re doing such a good job and Avenatti is taking you to the cleaners.

 

Whoopsie

 

 

 

 

Hey Bernie!

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Have a great weekend!

Fire away!

VNV Tuesday – A Tale of Two “Cities”: Levittown, PA 5/1/18

Levittown PA: Filling a need (as long as you were white)

Last week, I intended to write about two contrasting approaches to the extreme housing shortage that developed after the end of WWII, but as I started writing, it became obvious that the background about discriminatory housing practices needed to be explained and expanded first. With last week’s post in mind, this then is a snapshot of the development of Levittown, PA (never incorporated as a town, Levittown spans four different municipalities and three school districts). Next week, I’ll profile a second “city” which took a far different approach.

TGIF!

Good morning meese…

 

Don’t have much to say this morning so to tweets we go….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend!

Fire away!

 

VNV Tuesday – Housing Segregation: An Overview (Part One) 4/24/18

Aerial view of Levittown, PA:  Built quickly using assembly-line techniques; affordable; and for whites only.

It is often assumed that segregation by race in cities and suburbs (particularly in the north) was and is a result of “natural” processes, even when those processes are the ugly expression of white fear. White flight to the suburbs, the logic goes, may be reprehensible, but it’s a predictable result when white people, guided by prejudice, felt their neighborhoods were in danger of being “taken over.” In reality, that does not accurately describe what happened in urban and suburban areas. The segregation of areas by race was more than a choice made by individuals; it was abetted and reinforced by private and public policies, laws, and regulations. (Note: The following post is, for the most part, about northern cities; southern cities may have followed similar patterns, but I haven’t researched southern cities enough to say that with any certainty.)

TGIF!

Morning meese…

 

 

I’ve mentioned my belief, and so have you all for that matter, about the role the xtian fundies have played in bringing Trumpism to life. Their mantra hasn’t really been that different for over a century now.

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h3806.html

 

 

The rise of Fundamentalism began as a reaction to liberal and progressive views held by Americans in the mid-19th century. One view they reject, held by scholars who employ the methods of biblical criticism¹, is that the first five books of the Bible (Pentateuch) were not composed by Moses.

In addition, the influx of non-Protestant immigrants at the turn of the 19th century alarmed conservative Christian ministers. In the midst of accelerated fragmentation of Christian denominations and attempts to bring “modernism” into American churches and seminaries, Fundamentalists rushed in to combat the swing of the pendulum toward liberalism.

 

Strong advocates of separatism, modern Fundamentalists are staunchly opposed to communism, while many are also opposed to the United Nations and ecumenical activities, especially by the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. They are not in favor of working with those of different opinions and beliefs. At the extreme, some hold a theory of international conspiracy in which the world is moving toward a one-world government system that will be led by the “Antichrist.”

Some Fundamentalists advocate a more stringent code of ethics that prohibits even modest consumption of alcohol, dancing, mixed bathing, gambling or such secular cultural activities as watching movies or listening to rock `n roll music. Included in that code is a more conservative dress code that prohibits women from wearing pants and men from having long hair.

 

This is where the greedy money hungry bastards saw an opening to use xtian fundies as a foil for their dreams of political domination. 

 

Fundamentalism experienced a re-emergence in popularity during the 1970s and ‘80s. The Christian right wing — comprising segments of conservatism, classical liberalism, and those directly opposite of left-wing politics — gave birth to such organizations as the Moral Majority and others.

In 1979, four writers from The Christian Voice left over issues regarding who should control that publication. Then they recruited televangelist Jerry Falwell and founded the Moral Majority. Promulgating a return to traditional values — specifically Christian values — the Moral Majority became the largest conservative lobbying group in the United States. They also stood for the preservation of individual and corporate rights through constraints on a strong central government, and lobbied both Republicans and Democrats to:

Outlaw abortion,
suppress homosexual rights,
endorse its vision of family life, and
censor media firms that promote what they call an “anti-family” agenda.

Also in 1979, Fundamentalists in the U.S., including the Moral Majority, became strong supporters of Israel, regarding the Jews as important in the fulfillment of their vision of Armageddon, the biblical place where the final battle will be waged between the forces of good and evil.

 

The Moral Majority was dissolved in 1989 following an exposé written by Memphis reporter Mike Clark, that resulted in suspicion of unethical involvement between the group and the Republican Party. Jerry Falwell, deemed the father of the modern “religious right” movement, organized the Moral Majority Coalition in 2004 and agreed to lead the organization for four years. Dubbed the “21st century resurrection of the Moral Majority” by Falwell, that organization took credit for returning George W. Bush to the presidency and saw the election of many pro-life proponents to national political office.

 

Perceived by many as fanatical, Fundamentalists failed to garner enough support to fully accomplish its agenda of a return to time-honored values. In order to survive, the movement faces a dilemma between obtaining broader support by moving toward a more moderate viewpoint, and facing the almost certain possibility of losing many conservative backers in the process.

 

I find Fundamentalists as the antithesis to liberalism and the opposite of moving forward and to get back to where we need to be it’s going to take Christians with common sense to win this fight against the hard movement right. While I have nothing against anyone, Christians included, doing what they believe in, when they try and impose their ideas on others is when I draw the line.

 

Fucking Rudy is back…These fools, Bernie included, can’t stand to keep their faces out of the limelight.

 

The grifting is unbelievable with these assholes…They just seem to stop themselves…When is enough money enough??????

 

Fuck you Lindsey

 

Thread!

 

Great thread!!!

 

Yay…Chuck!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great Friday and weekend!!!

Fire away!

VNV Tuesday – We Need to Keep Bending That Arc; Lives Depend On It 4/17/18

H/t to Eric Foner, author of the book, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad (all citations listed as “Foner” refer to this book) and current events for inspiring today’s post.

First, some history. The fugitive slave clause of the Constitution came about at the behest of the SC delegation:

On August 28 the convention considered the fugitives from justice clause. Butler and Charles Pinckney attempted to amend this provision “to require fugitive slaves and servants to be delivered up like criminals.” Roger Sherman sarcastically countered that he “saw no more propriety in the public seizing and surrendering a slave or servant, than a horse.” James Wilson objected that this would cost the free states money. Significantly, this opposition came from two delegates who usually sided with the South. Butler wisely “withdrew his proposition in order that some particular provision might be made apart from this article.”57… …Immediately after this vote [on a commerce-related issue], Butler reintroduced the fugitive slave clause. Without debate or recorded vote, it too passed. 61 The last bargain over slavery had been made. The northerners who had opposed the fugitive slave provision only a day before were now silent. Source: The Covenant with Death and How It Was Made, Part 2

TGIF!

Morning Meese!!!

Comey is just another stupid Republican when it comes right down to it. He might not be totally insufferable like most conservatives but what he did leading up to the election was a stupid intolerable one sided act that sealed the fate we now find ourselves in.

Seems like everything is getting a little dicey in Trump world lately with more and more shit piling up every day. I don’t think we have too much longer before the ceiling falls in on Trump and a large contingent of the deplorable right!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thread!

 

 

 

Have a great Friday and weekend!

 

Fire away!!!

VNV Tuesday – Privilege and Allyship: A Call for Introspection 4/10/18

James Zwerg: Ally, Freedom Rider

I’ve been grappling with the issues of privilege and effective allyship lately. Some of this has been prompted by my reading about the Movement; some of it by the Parkland students; and some of it by a survey I recently had to complete for an organization that asked, “Are you willing to engage in civil disobedience?” After some reflection, I realized my truly honest answer to the question was, “no” and that saddened me about myself. This post isn’t going to focus on my personal efforts to reconcile my ideals and my actions; it instead is going to highlight the actions of one ally as a means to encourage personal reflection and introspection.