Those who were fortunate enough to be on the Senate floor or in the gallery on Thursday afternoon, when the Senate voted to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and those who were on the South Lawn of the White House at the ceremony marking her ascension to the Court – the first Black woman to sit on the Court in its 233 year history – will never forget what they witnessed.
Decades from now, they will say to family and friends, “I was there that day, when the vote was taken, when Justice Jackson spoke of her life, her commitment, her gratitude and her love of America.”
As President Biden said at the White House:
“To turn to our children and grandchildren and say, I was there. I was there. That — this is one of those moments, in my view.”
It was a great day. It could not be ruined by the Senate Republicans filing out of their chamber, walking slowly to the eruption of cheers that seemed not to end, with only Mitt Romney of Utah, the Republican nominee for president against Barack Obama in 2012, standing at his seat and clapping at what had been achieved.
It was a moment that could not be diminished even by an iota by the words of Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who slandered Judge Jackson on the floor:
“When it came to one of the most consequential decisions a president can make, a lifetime appointment to our highest court, the Biden administration let the radicals run the show. The far left got the reckless inflationary spending they wanted. The far left has gotten the insecure border they wanted. And today, the far left will get the Supreme Court justice they wanted.”
A scholar of the Senate wrote me: “McConnell is always himself. It is not enough that he shredded all norms to stack the Court. He also had to rewrite the history and trash Judge Jackson.”
It was the only way the Republicans could justify to themselves the vote they had taken and the moral standing they had lost.
President Biden understood the transcendence at work here:
“When I made the commitment to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, I could see this day. I literally could see this day, because I thought about it for a long, long time. As Jill and Naomi would tell you, I wasn’t going to run again.”
“But when I decided to run, this was one of the first decisions I made. I could see it. I could see it as a day of hope, a day of promise, a day of progress; a day when, once again, the moral arc of the universe, as Barack used to quote all the time, bends just a little more toward justice.”
And if anyone doubts how the President feels about the Vice President and whether she has his trust and support – and there has been a lot of chatter about that – this is how Biden opened his remarks about the person who successfully shepherded this nomination through the Senate :
“Thank you, Kamala. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The first really smart decision I made in this administration.”
And he added a little later:
“And that’s why I’m proud that Kamala Harris is our Vice President of the United States. (Applause.) A brilliant lawyer. The Attorney General of the State of California. Former member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kamala was invaluable during this entire process.”
The VP is in with the P.
Finally there were these words from Judge Jackson:
“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. But we’ve made it. We’ve made it, all of us. All of us.”
And then this:
“But no one does this on their own. The path was cleared for me so that I might rise to this occasion.
And in the poetic words of Dr. Maya Angelou, I do so now, while “bringing the gifts…my ancestors gave “I am the dream and the hope of the slave.”
So as I take on this new role, I strongly believe that this is a moment in which all Americans can take great pride.
We have come a long way toward perfecting our union.
In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
These days are now indelible.
And her journey is not over.
It may be, years from now, that a future President will seek to appoint Associate Justice Jackson to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The dream and the hope are alive.
Gun violence epidemic – are the cries of millions falling on deaf ears?
Gun violence is continuing to soar throughout the United States, with mass shootings taking innocent lives and dominating news headlines day after day
ticker’s Brittany Coles was joined by senior fellow at the U.S. Studies Centre, Bruce Wolpe and journalist and commentator, Misha Zelinsky.
On May 14, 2022 in Buffalo, New York, 10 people were killed when a white supremacist stormed a supermarket.
Just days later, 19 children and two teachers lost their lives after a gunman armed with a semi-automatic weapon opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
On the day Americans are supposed to celebrate their freedom and independence, seven people were shot dead by a 21-year-old man.
And this is just to name a few.
Rallies for gun reform have been held right around the country, with protestors in Washington, New York and other major cities calling on lawmakers to act.
But with gun violence only increasing and gun sales only going up and up, are the cries of millions falling on deaf ears?
Activities once considered normal are now plagued by fear thanks to the gun culture, the panelists speak on the gun epidemic across America.
How many more policy makers, celebrities, local authorities have to take to the stand to call for tighter gun restrictions to help (as Kamala Harris phrased it) “end this horror”?
March for our Lives was formed back in 2018 after a shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The activist group helped force Republicans in Florida to enact reforms including raising the age to buy long guns and enact a three-day gap between purchase and access.
Does this prove that activism does work?
Just a few weeks ago, March for our Lives happened on the very street of the Highland Park shooting.
A stark reminder a mass shooting can occur anywhere.
“And we got to take this stuff seriously, as seriously as you are – because you have been forced to have to take it seriously,” VP Kamala Harris told Highland Park residents.
“The whole nation should understand and have a level of empathy to understand that this can happen anywhere, in any peace-loving community,” Harris continued. “And we should stand together and speak out about why it’s got to stop.”
Harris also told Americans “we have to be smarter as a country”
There’s been over 300 mass shooting so far, From Uvalde to Chicago this year.
Biden signed the first significant federal bill on gun safety in decades, but that was just days after the Supreme Court ruled that Americans have a fundamental right to carry a handgun in public… so what does “be smarter” mean now?
Viewed over 2 million times this is the viral moment from Philadelphia on the night of the Fourth of July of people running away from an active shooter while fireworks celebrate the country are going off in the background.. with the tweet captioned ‘america is a horror story’
National anthem playing, screams from Americans in the birthplace of their nation, it seems like the active shooter is the new symbol of the fourth of July.
The NRA are a powerful lobby group – there’s a long way to come when it comes to efficient gun reform to combat violence and crime in the states.
One thing is clear – activities once considered normal and care-free are now plagued by fear, propaganda-driven acceptance of gun ownership.
Does Boeing have a safety problem?
With two crashes of the 737 Max and ongoing production problems with the 787, former employees are asking whether Boeing has a safety problem
Boeing is the biggest name in aviation. “If it aint Boeing”, as the saying goes. But today Boeing is the most scrutinised company in aviation history.
The separate crashes of the 737 Max. Production problems with the 787 Dreamliner.
Some blame management all the way back to the merger with McDonnell Douglas in the 1990s. Boeing is still one of the largest and most important companies in the US.
But past employees are pointing to a toxic safety culture.
Ticker spoke with Geoffrey Thomas from Airline Ratings, and aviation analyst Jordan Chong.
Boeing safety report
Boeing has published its 2022 Chief Aerospace Safety Officer Report which reveals a host of major changes to sharpen focus and improve culture.
The report covers four main areas; Strengthening Engineering, Enhanced Oversight Mechanisms, Safety Management System Implementation, Investing in a Safer Industry and Fostering Transparency and Openness.
The report is an extremely important document and thus we have decided to reproduce in full as under, bolding important facts and numbers.
Enhanced Oversight Mechanisms
Boeing has made fundamental changes to enhance oversight of safety processes and procedures, and strengthen accountability, transparency and collaboration across the company.
In August 2019, Boeing’s Board of Directors established an Aerospace Safety Committee (ASC) to increase the effectiveness of its oversight of safety in all aspects of operations, including engineering, design, development, manufacturing, production, maintenance and delivery of products and services. The ASC is comprised of independent directors with relevant knowledge and experience. Learn more about their responsibilities here.
What is causing Australia’s flood crisis?
Twenty Australians have lost their lives in floods this year, as authorities continue their search and rescue efforts
For the third time this year, floods have battered Australia’s largest city.
Some areas have received eight months of rain in just four days.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says some parts of New South Wales have seen 800mm alone. For perspective, Greater London receives this type of rainfall over the course of a year.
There are more than 100 evacuation orders across Greater Sydney for the current emergency.
It’s the typical narrative for disasters like these, where a cesspit of data floods headlines.
It comes as the BOM confirms this season’s La Niña has ended, so what is causing these floods?
Divulging the data
The Indian Ocean Dipole is a technical term for the differences in sea surface temperatures between the eastern and western parts of the Indian Ocean.
This phenomenon is likely to shift ‘negative’ over the coming months.
This means “warmer waters concentrate near Australia, leading to above average winter–spring rainfall as more moisture is available to weather systems crossing the continent,” according to the BOM.
Meanwhile, the SAM refers to the Southern Annular Mode. This is a term used for the non-seasonal, north-south movement of the strong westerly winds.
When the SAM is in the ‘positive’ phase, it directs more moisture-filled air into eastern Australia.
The BOM says this is “driving above average rainfall and more east coast lows”.
This has forced a cargo ship to remain at anchor by the ferocious conditions off the coast of Sydney.
In fact, this happened 15 years ago when storms grounded the Pasha Bulker—a 40,000 tonne bulk carrier ship.
Is this climate change in action?
It is difficult to link any single flood to climate change. But many climate models suggest Australia will repeatedly fall victim to climate change.
Critically, these areas have been battered by heavy rains in recent months. The La Niña has also saturated the ground and filled dams. These are some of the crucial factors that lead to flash flooding.
“Similarly, we’re now working hard together to make sure that impacted communities get the financial and other assistance they need as soon as possible,” Senator Murray Watt says.
Sydney’s bustling population has pushed development into low-lying areas, which also places residents at an increased risk.
Greg Mullins is the leader of the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action group, who recently met with Australia’s new government.
“There is absolutely no doubt extreme weather events are being intensified because of climate change.”
“The science is very clear that we’re seeing wild fluctuations between periods of flood and fire, because of warming. On the East Coast of Australia in the last 18 months we’ve now had four major floods,” he says.
Senator Watt says he is committed to learning from past natural hazards, which turn into disasters when they intersect with vulnerable communities, devastate infrastructure, and lead to economic consequences.
This occurred when over 400 people were killed when deluge swept through South Africa in April.
“It’s time for the world to wake up and take real action on climate change. Communities having to deal with flood event after flood event is absolutely affecting our response and recovery,” Mullins says.
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