2022 Midterms

It’s already been two weeks since my vote and all the other votes were counted but I still feel I should thank and congratulate the U.S. voters who rejected many of the Trump-endorsed election-denying crazies who were endorsed by Trump not because they were the best choice for the country but because they were the best choice for him. It seems more Republican voters are waking up to the fact that with Trump it was never “America First” it was “Trump First” and it will always be “Trump First” and the sooner the rest of Republican voters wake up to this reality and start supporting candidates who are for democracy, against dictatorship, and put the country before their own narrow and narcissistic interests the better.

Congratulations Brazil!

Thank you for sparing us another four years of Bolsonaro and we look forward to a return to responsible environmental stewardship of the Amazon rainforest.

Every vote counts and that’s why I went out of my way today to send in my absentee ballot for the U.S. mid-term elections. Stay informed, speak up, and vote!

Iranian Protests

The world is inspired by the brave people protesting injustice in Iran. Governments need to focus on improving people’s lives and not on enforcing what they can or must wear.

Brazilian Elections

Another 4 years of Bolsonaro would be a disaster for Brazil, the Amazon, and the World so Brazilian voters need to vote this dangerous and delusional joke of a president out of office like we did with Trump!

臺灣 Taiwan 台湾

The best way to safeguard Taiwan as the beacon of freedom and democracy it is, and in particular Chinese freedom and democracy, is to not take provocative and counterproductive actions that embolden Taiwan separatists and make the mainland feel that the island is being pulled away from reunification and towards independence by the U.S.. This ill-advised Pelosi visit does nothing for peace, stability, or freedom in the region. It only puts Taiwan at greater risk of invasion and forced reunification while increasing the chances of miscalculations and misunderstandings between the U.S. and China.

The leaders of China understand the difficulty and costs of invading a heavily armed island of nearly 24 million people and will be less likely to do so if that island shows no signs of moving towards independence or unilaterally changing the status quo. This is the best chance that Taiwan has at existing in its current state for as long as possible into the future and until both sides decide to reunify by peaceful means in a mutually beneficial way. I hope at that time the mainland will socially and politically look a lot more like Taiwan than it does now and until then it still has a lot to learn from free and democratic Taiwan.

Bipartisan Incompetence

If there was truly no international solution to secure Afghanistan and keep it out of the hands of religious extremists and as a result the U.S. felt it was best to withdraw then a half-competent administration could have at least negotiated and planned for a peaceful and non-dramatic withdrawal which would have at least kept the jail doors locked and the capital secure until all those desperately in need of evacuation were safely screened and flown out of the country. If a formal inquiry into this bipartisan incompetence isn’t conducted and nobody loses their job over this international tragedy and national disgrace it will be an injustice to the country and all those who served in Afghanistan including all those who died in the rush to get out and all those who will die because they were unable to get out.

I agree that the buck stops with Biden but just remember Trump with broad Republican support was the one that failed to negotiate a proper deal and instead gave the Taliban what they wanted like prisoner releases and an exit date while getting virtually nothing in return like a guarantee that they wouldn’t try taking over the country until after the U.S. had left and perhaps some basic human rights assurances that proved the Taliban weren’t the same barbarians who ruled the country before the U.S. and its close allies overthrew them. Maybe if Trump hadn’t been so “America First” he could have negotiated a security agreement with other countries that also have an interest in not seeing Afghanistan descend into chaos that would have at least kept it from becoming the next terrorist safe haven and human rights nightmare.

Update May 2022

Taliban Order All Afghan Women to Wear Burqa

Partisan Shame

There was an attempted coup supported by a sitting president and one party feels that it wasn’t all that bad and that we should just forget about it. I’m sure they’d feel differently if this attempted coup was carried out by muslims or minorities but I guess for them it isn’t as bad since it was primarily carried out by unstable white men similar to much of the Republican Party.

I’m so glad these capitol police officers were given a platform to deliver the testimonies they did. Shame on those that try to rewrite history and downplay what happened on January 6th 2021 which was nothing less than an attempted coup that was encouraged by the lies of a delusional president that should have been held accountable for spreading dangerous lies and banned from ever holding political office.

Ignorance, Racism, Xenophobia, Hatred, and Violence.

It’s hard to imagine security guards not running to the aid of an old lady being brutally assaulted and instead actually shutting the door on her as she lay bleeding outside but we don’t have to because there’s a video of it. Racially motivated attacks on innocent people of Asian decent or any racial decent must stop and people who claim to be decent human beings can not stand by when such verbal or physical attacks take place. If there are any more such attacks I hope they will all end with a mob of decent people apprehending the assailant and assisting the victim.

A few days ago I talked to a Malaysian mother about how her son who received a grant from NASA to do his graduate studies in the U.S. was brutally attacked on the street as he was out buying groceries a couple weeks ago and how and nobody even bothered to help him. Fortunately he did make it to the hospital and received treatment for his injuries and is now doing well, however he and other smart people like him may need to think twice about whether the U.S. is still the place to go to bring their talents and intelligence as it may be better for them to stay home or to bring their skills to less xenophobic and less violent places.

America, I hope you’ve learned your lesson.

1.) Don’t elect ill-informed and incompetent liars just because they know how to play off of your fears and ignorance and say what you want to hear.

2.) Don’t elect aspiring dictators who openly praise and admire other dictators, and be extra cautious of aspiring dictators that with a little bit of flattery can be so easily manipulated by actual dictators.

3.) Don’t elect delusional and narcissistic people that prefer to surround themselves with sycophants rather than experts, and that think so highly of themselves that they would never admit fault, take responsibility, or learn from their mistakes.

4.) Don’t support politicians and political parties that would so easily cast any and all human decency and democratic principles aside to ride a cult of personality wave in order to further their own narrow self-interests at the peril of social stability, democratic institutions, and the planet itself.

5.) Don’t believe whatever you read on social media, check your sources, check your facts, and check the basic logic behind the crazy shit too many people in America and elsewhere believe. The earth is not flat and it is getting warmer. Climate change is real and it’s really urgent we take steps to mitigate it.

Lame Duck Donald

Words can not express my relief that he wasn’t re-elected and words can hardly express my disbelief that after 4 dishonest years of this seasoned conman/aspiring dictator so many people still voted for him. The sad truth is that if it wasn’t for covid I think we’d be in for another 4 years of his lies, narcissism, and disregard for science and ethics. It is fitting that the severity of this pandemic in the U.S. which in large part is due to his incompetence was the decisive factor in his defeat. Now I sincerely hope people will heed the warnings of health experts and wear a mask, socially distance, and if possible stay home. Let this final month of 2020 welcome the first rays of light belonging to the dawn of a more ethical and enlightened era and hope that people will see this light and start viewing things as right or wrong rather than left or right.

The Social Dilemma : Official Trailer

I Voted Early and I Hope You Will Too

Over the past 1,349 days that Trump has been president he has proven he was as unfit for the job as many of us thought he was while campaigning against him in 2016. In addition to nearly going to war with Iran and North Korea and starting a counterproductive cold war with China he has given all the crazies in the U.S. and beyond the confidence they needed to come out of their closets and support dangerous conspiracy theories and spew hatred towards those who aren’t as white or as Christian as they are. He has also repealed many environmental policies that were desperately needed to stave off the worst effects of climate change and he even moved to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord which was and still is humanity’s best hope of mitigating the climate crisis by limiting additional warming and minimizing the biodiversity losses and human suffering such additional warming would bring.

When he showed the world that he was scientifically illiterate with regards to climate change by saying things like it was a Chinese hoax and that he wasn’t a big believer in man-made climate change that should have been enough to disqualify him from office. However it wasn’t and three years later he showed the world how scientifically illiterate he was with regards to pandemics. Trump can not be blamed for Covid-19 however he can be blamed for much of the death and devastation it has caused in the U.S.. Just look at what he was saying early on, things that only an idiot in way over his head who’s key strategy was wishful thinking would say, things like “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.” and “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” and “We’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”.

At the same time he repeatedly gave the impression that face masks were not effective in reducing transmission and could perhaps do as much harm as they do good and like climate change he allowed wearing a face mask and taking Covid-19 seriously to be politicized. Not only did he set a bad example by holding large political rallies and by not encouraging participants to wear face masks he even went so far as to ridicule his political rival for not holding large rallies and for often wearing a face mask in public. Just ask yourself how many lives and how much economic damage did statements like these cause: “Just about everybody has a face mask on. They’ve learned about face masks — the good and the bad, by the way. It’s not a one-sided thing, believe it or not.” and “You know, there was a time when people thought it was worse wearing a mask. I let people make up their own decision.” and “In light of these studies, the CDC is advising the use of nonmedical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure. So it’s voluntary; you don’t have to do it. They suggested for a period of time. But this is voluntary. I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.”.

What kind of moral decency and presidential leadership is this? Please don’t make the same mistake again. Don’t think you’re making a statement by not voting because Biden wasn’t your first choice and isn’t progressive enough for you; and don’t vote for Trump because he and Fox News has scared you into thinking Biden is too socialist for the good of the country. Regardless of what you think of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris personally or politically the fact is they are infinitely better and more capable people than Donald J. Trump and that is what the U.S. and the rest of the world desperately needs right now, better and more capable people leading and governing countries, especially a country still as influential as the U.S.. So let this election be a Biden landslide and show Brazil and other countries with unfit leaders that these thug-like clowns can be voted out of office just as fast as they were voted in. I hope that the rhetoric that Trump, Bolsonaro, and other arrogant, immoral, and ill-informed leaders like them used to play upon the fears and hatred of the insecure, xenophobic, and easily manipulated among us will be studied and become common curriculum in order to prevent other unqualified narcissistic charlatans from gaining significant popular support and political power.

Trump Must Go

The disaster which this presidency is all started with Trump wanting to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., and now after three and a half years of Trump the Europeans want to ban Americans from entering the E.U.. Many of us knew a Trump presidency would be bad and did what we could to prevent it but nobody could have predicted it’d be this bad.

Trump might have effectively achieved his Muslim ban by making the U.S. so scary of a place that hardly any Muslims would even consider going there while he is president and all of his crazies have been given presidential passes via Twitter to come out of their basements and wave around their guns, confederate flags and other white power paraphernalia.

I’ve been living through the COVID-19 pandemic in a country whose official religion is Islam and as bad as the Malaysian government is it at least managed to properly handle this crisis. Not only do I feel safer in a Muslim majority country I feel safer living amongst Muslims because the vast majority of them aren’t as ignorant and irresponsible as many Americans are when it comes to social distancing and wearing a face mask in public.

During his first run for president Trump liked to talk about how other countries were laughing at us. It seems his solution to this imaginary laughter was to create a situation that is so sad that not even America’s adversaries can smile at these misfortunes. If the Trump administration handled the pandemic as well as Germany did nearly 100,000 lives could have been saved, and even more lives could have been saved if the U.S. had handled the crisis as well as Thailand and Taiwan did.

If all the other things didn’t do it for you, and they should have, then I hope the pandemic did. Even if Trump had handled foreign policy, climate change, and race issues in a decent manner the way he has bungled the handling of this pandemic is grounds for firing him in November. Biden certainly wasn’t my first choice or even my second but it’s obvious that he would be a far better president than Trump, especially during this pandemic and racial tension, so please be sure to register to vote and remind your friends and family that they can not sit this one out!

Justice for George

After seeing an unarmed and handcuffed man who was only suspected of using a counterfeit $20 bill murdered in slow motion by police as he repeatedly told them he couldn’t breathe I demand justice for the victim, severe punishments for the perpetrators, and additional training for all police officers so another tragic incident like this doesn’t happen again. We need justice for George and we need a president capable of delivering it. Unfortunately we currently do not have such a president but if enough people have had enough and are willing to vote this November we could have one in January. In the meantime I hope people will keep their protests peaceful.

P.S. With new infection rates still high in many parts of the U.S. and over 100,000 people already dead please wear a mask and cover your face when in public places that make social distancing difficult if not impossible, e.g. when on a bus or in a grocery store. Thank you for not being a selfish, ill-informed, and irresponsible idiot like the president.

Bernie or Bust?

I’m not happy about the last two Tuesdays’ results either but if you’re really considering “Bernie or Bust” or writing in Bernie this November provided he is unable to make a comeback and win the Democratic nomination then you should learn more about the climate crisis and ask yourself if it would be moral to not vote blue no matter who in 2020.

This November Trump must lose and science and human decency must win. Biden wasn’t my first or even second choice but unfortunately after the disappointing results in Michigan yesterday it is increasingly looking like he will be my only choice. With that said I still hope Bernie has an amazing debate performance this Sunday and wins two or three states the following Tuesday. If Biden’s campaign can make a come back then so can Bernie’s!

Regardless of how unlikely a come back now is it’s not over until it’s over and the country benefits from hearing Bernie’s ideas and from Bernie leveraging the delegates and the grassroots support he has earned to help shift the Democratic party in the right direction like he did in 2016. So if you haven’t voted yet then don’t give up, your vote counts, even if Bernie doesn’t win you are still making a statement to the political establishment that says enough of politics as usual, we want real progress, we want people before party, we want people before profits, we want a better country, and we want a better world.

Tuesday March 10th

Tuesday March 3rd was a disappointment and I hope young voters realize what is at stake, for example the earth’s hospitable climate, and start turning out in record numbers to vote in the remaining primary elections and in the general election. Thanks to California the race is close and Bernie can regain the lead if things go well this Tuesday in Michigan and in the other states holding their primary on March 10th.

If you learn more about Bernie you’ll find he is quite practical and not nearly as “radical” as many would like you to believe. Regardless of your stance on some of his policy positions Bernie is the kind of honest, independent minded, and forward thinking person the world needs in the White House. Unfortunately the democratic party establishment and mainstream media backed by a virtually limitless supply of money are trying their best to stop him like they did in 2016.

I fear that if they succeed we will end up losing in November with yet another severely flawed candidate favored by the democratic party establishment and their extremely wealthy backers that would like to continue seeing nearly half of all new wealth go to a top 1% that already owns more wealth than the bottom 90%. Trump must go, he must lose in November and that is why I’m writing this, why I sent my absentee ballot in yesterday, and why I just donated again to Bernie’s campaign.

Environmental Protection

The Environmental Protection Agency should not be led by an environmental polluters advocate. It’s Time to Fire Scott Pruitt.

You can also tell Congress to fire Scott Pruitt via this link from Friends of the Earth.

E.P.A. Prepares to Roll Back Rules Requiring Cars to Be Cleaner and More Efficient

P.S. The durians in Penang are dropping over a month earlier than usual. Last week I bought some for the kids and before they devoured it I took this photo.