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 He has also repealed many environmental policies that were desperately needed to stave off the worst effects of climate change and he even moved to pull the U.S. out of the Paris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.

Bernie 2020

Come on America, since you didn’t want Yang, the most likable candidate and the one I feel would have done the best against Trump in November, the choice is now clear; and Yang Gang if you still want to replace Trump with an honest, fact-based, & forward-thinking person who has proven to be ahead of the curve throughout his life and political career then join us in helping Bernie Sanders make it all the way to the White House. After the last 3+ years of lies and injustice let’s make 2020 a turning point that sees America take the lead in combating climate change while leading the way towards a more just, healthy, and prosperous future.

Donate to Bernie’s Campaign

How and When to Vote for Bernie in the Primaries

Feel the Bern.org

Make America Think Harder – Yang2020!

I support Andrew Yang for President because he’s a pragmatic and independent minded data-driven thinker with the brain power and temperament to lead the U.S. in solving its most serious and pressing problems. His human-centered approach to capitalism will make life better for Americans of all walks of life now and into the future, and his proposal for a universal basic income, aka the Freedom Dividend, is an old idea whose time has come and should be implemented before, rather than after, there is an economic and social crisis due to the millions of Americans who over the next decade will have their jobs automated away. The Freedom Dividend will help support those affected by this inevitable wave of automation as they seek/create new economic opportunities.

The Freedom Dividend will also help ensure that all Americans have a chance to pursue their passions instead of having to shelve their passions to work at soul-crushing jobs just in order to feed themselves and this can/will lead to increased creativity and entrepreneurship. Moreover unlike disability and some other forms of government welfare the Freedom Dividend would not discourage anyone from working for fear of losing their benefits. Furthermore a thousand dollars a month will not provide meaning or sense of purpose and is definitely not enough money to live on comfortably so people will still seek/create economic opportunities. Instead of having so many people stressed out, on the edge, and using opiates to cope we can collectively decide to give everyone a little bit of breathing room to figure out how they can best contribute to society and improve their lot in life.

The Freedom Dividend should not be seen not as socialist policy but as a libertarian one because it will make people more free to choose. It will not and does not seek to achieve equality of outcome, it merely seeks to improve equality of opportunity. As Yang has said it’s still capitalism it’s just capitalism that doesn’t start at zero. Moreover it will not require any new government bureaucracies as government will not decide which Americans get this money or how they use it. Sure some people will make poor choices but these poor choices can at least be discouraged through the value added taxes which will help pay for the Freedom Dividend, i.e., in addition to targeting luxury goods these value added taxes can also target unhealthy consumption, e.g., cigarettes, alcohol, and sweetened beverages. A policy like this could do wonders to improve health, alleviate stress, keep families together, and enable more children to grow up in environments conducive to their healthy development.

I hope you’ll go on to check out the policy information on his website and some of his videos on YouTube. You will find him to have a solid understanding and an enlightened stance on many issues however it’s just that the universal basic income is the one that gets the most attention because he is the only one looking ahead and seeing the near-future clearly enough to propose one. I hope Yang will gain traction over the next few months provided they keep his mic on and let him speak for more than 3 minutes in future debates and enough people seek to learn more about him and his policies. If not and he is unable to gain traction then I will be supporting Sanders like I did in 2016. RCP Poll Average

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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.

 

A Terrible Decision

If making America great again means going against the strong, sincere, and wise recommendations of just about every citizen on planet earth including the nation’s and the world’s top business leaders and seriously damaging U.S. credibility and moral standing in the world in order to take a selfish, immoral, and irresponsible unilateral action which is against the wishes of the majority of the citizens you’re supposed to represent and with no concern of the immediate and long-term effects it will have on others in and outside of the U.S. then Mr. Trump you, Bannon, and Pruitt are off to a good start and I assure you that you’ve made history, just not the kind your grandchildren are going to be proud of.

As for where to go from here, are your senators one of the 22 that recently signed a letter urging Trump to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement? Have you contacted them and expressed your extreme disapproval of their position on climate change and role in this disastrous decision?

Don’t just blame Trump for quitting the Paris deal — blame the Republican Party

The Republicans who urged Trump to pull out of Paris deal are big oil darlings

Tell your Governor to uphold the standards of the Paris Agreement.

Add your name to condemn Trump’s reckless abandonment of the Paris Climate Agreement!

P.S I’m still thinking about what to do with this blog and about what I can do to help mitigate the environmental damage caused by profligate individuals living in America and around the world. I hope to have something figured out and started by the end of the year. In the meantime have fun being alive on a planet that isn’t nearly as beautiful as it once was but is still awesome.

Individual action: what you can do about climate change

Climate Change

Don’t just blame Trump for quitting the Paris deal — blame the Republican Party

The Republicans who urged Trump to pull out of Paris deal are big oil darlings

Tell your Governor to uphold the standards of the Paris Agreement.

Add your name to condemn Trump’s reckless abandonment of the Paris Climate Agreement!

Individual action: what you can do about climate change

Seven Things to Know About Climate Change

A List of Climate Change Solutions From Drawdown.org

Contact: White House     U.S. Senate     U.S. House of Representatives

Support: Natural Resources Defense Council   EarthJustice   350.org   The Climate Reality Project   Greenpeace

P.S I’m still thinking about what to do with this blog and about what I can do to help mitigate the environmental damage caused by profligate individuals living in America and around the world. I hope to have something figured out and started by the end of the year. In the meantime have fun being alive on a planet that isn’t nearly as beautiful as it once was but is still awesome.

DJT at NYT

In an interview at the New York Times yesterday President-elect Trump said he was open minded and carefully looking at the issue of climate change. Now more than ever is the time to voice your support for the Paris Climate Agreement and the Clean Power Plan. Please contact the President-elect and urge him to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement, ensure the U.S. keeps it’s Paris commitments, and continues to lead the world in its effort to curb climate change!

The evidence is overwhelming and we have far too much to risk.

Tweet to him.

Send him a message on Instagram.

Share your thoughts with him on Facebook.

Contact him via the Presidential transition website.

Trump’s Presidential Transition Update

In a video updating the world on his presidential transition and explaining some of his policy plans for his first 100 days in office Trump said he will “Cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy”, i.e., he will cancel health and environmental protecting restrictions on the production of dirty, unsustainable, and climate change exacerbating energy.

If Trump continues down this road pushed along by the likes of climate change denier Myron Ebell he will not only hurt America’s chance to lead the world in renewable energy he will also hurt humanity’s chance to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change; and all in exchange for some coal industry profits and a few unhealthy and unsafe jobs for people to blow up mountain tops, crawl into coal mines, burn coal, and dispose of coal ash.

If you like this a video sign this petition from the organization that made it.

Keep fossil fuel industry funded climate change deniers like Myron Ebell away from the EPA

The petition can be found here and if you agree please sign, comment, and help it get noticed. Also please support this petition as well along with any similar ones you may find because it’s important that those of us who care about maintaining and furthering the progress made in addressing climate change over the past 8 years are as vocal as possible because the best shot we have at positively influencing the path the Trump administration takes on climate change, and other issues, over the next four years is NOW.

I stole the following article from the Steve Bannon run Breitbart News, which I just read is now the most widely-read conservative site in America, because I didn’t want to link to it and give them the benefit of a few extra clicks on their advertisement loaded website that keeps automatically reloading and is severely affecting my internet speed. I re-post this article not to make you cringe but to give you some background on the guy we’re trying to get fired and in hopes it will motivate you to support this petition.

Continue reading

U.S. Electoral Reform

Besides the need to reduce the influence of money in politics the way people vote and the way candidates are elected also needs to change if we’re going to allow people to vote for their first choice without having to worry about “wasting” their vote or “spoiling” an election. If you’re interested in ranked choice voting and electing presidents based upon which presidential candidate receives the most votes then learn more and sign up for email updates via the links below.

FairVote.org

National Popular Vote

“New York City, Mr. Trump!”

I went to the beach today in hopes some sun, sand, and salt water would cleanse me of the last 24 hours. I did some snorkeling and saw some beautiful fish as I picked a few pieces of old plastic out of the ocean. Seeing an old and disintegrating plastic bag that has become attached to the sea floor wave back and forth with the currents like an underwater plant makes you realize how easy it is for a hungry fish to nibble away at it thinking it was food and not something that was going to get stuck in its stomach and eventually kill it. The largest fish I saw was only about half the size of my hand probably because like in many other parts of the world people have eaten just about anything worth eating however there were still small fish which came in a variety of shapes and colors.

I wonder if the decedents of these fish will be there when children today are my age or if they will vanish along with most of the world’s coral reefs due to a slight increase in water temperature and acidity as a result of all the carbon released into the atmosphere from all the fossil fuels we’re burning and forests we’re cutting down in order to satisfy our hunger for cheap meat and palm oil? While I was waiting for the boat back I was passed by a morbidly obese man probably in his late twenties. One of the Thai boatmen said “Hey, where you from?” and he replied “New York City.”, then the Thai boatman says “New York City, Mr. Trump!” and the fat guy says “Mr. Trump” as he does a big thumbs up at which time the same nausea and leg weakness I experienced on election night slightly returned as I once again thought about all the environmental consequences of this election. Should have been Bernie however it is what it is, now it’s time to fuel up and fight on!

Post Election Day Dinner

Links Worth Sharing Before Tuesday

Make A Plan To Vote

I hope you’ll consider viewing and sharing articles and video clips like those below with friends and family before Tuesday. Rather than seeing it as preaching politics to people that probably don’t want to hear it see it as sharing some information which people can use as food for thought or choose to ignore. I’m confident the more people who step back and think ahead of Tuesday’s election the better chance the U.S. and the rest of the world will have at a better future.

This election summed up by President Obama in under three minutes.

How Donald Trump thinks about foreign policy

The presidential election: America’s best hope

If you’re considering voting 3rd Party please check out this video and if you’re considering voting for Trump please hear out this columnist.

Stark Contrast on Climate Change

The Paris Climate Agreement takes effect today and although the national commitments pledged thus far fall far short of what needs to be done if global warming is to be kept below 2C above pre-industrial levels and if the most environmentally devastating and socially destabilizing effects of climate change are to be avoided it at least provides a framework which gives humanity a chance at reaching this extremely important goal.

I ask any U.S. voters that visit this site and I hope you’ll ask any you know to take this critically important issue into account on Tuesday and note that one candidate has a plan to address it while creating new jobs and the only plan her competitor has is to deny there’s a problem and write it all off as a “hoax”. Trump doesn’t even list the environment as an issue on his campaign site however it does say he will “scrap the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan” and has said he will get rid of the EPA in almost every form. Of all the things that make Trump unfit to be president I think his ignorance and lack of concern as it pertains to climate change and other environmental issues is the most disqualifying.

Taking on the threat of climate change and making America the world’s clean energy superpower.

Two Weeks to Election Day

The biosphere and human civilization can not afford 4 years of inaction and reversals of the modest climate change policies that have been enacted over the last 8 years. We need a U.S. president, as well as a U.S. Senate and Congress, that will not only support policies like the Clean Power Plan and treaties like the Paris Climate Agreement we need one who will build upon them because the international community’s current commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions fall far short of what is needed to ensure, or even make it likely, that the earth of the late 21st century will be as biodiverse and inhabitable as the earth of the early 21st century. Obviously climate change isn’t the only important issue in this election but I think it’s the most important as well as the most neglected. If you take a few steps back and take a broader more long-term worldview I’m confident you will agree.

If you’re eligible please don’t leave this election and the health of this planet to chance. Be sure to vote and encourage others to join you in making sure climate change deniers do not get elected president, senator, or congressperson.

 

Climate Change Ignored

It’s disgraceful that in four debates the candidates for president and vice president were not asked a single question about planet earth’s and human civilization’s most pressing problem, climate change. Shame on all the moderators for missing a great chance to help educate the severely uniformed and misinformed U.S. electorate on this extremely important issue. Moreover shame on much of the U.S. electorate who choose to ignore the warnings and continue to burn fossil fuels in larger than necessary vehicles and eat meat like climate change, deforestation, and environmental degradation in general isn’t an issue while supporting climate change denying politicians or not bothering to vote at all.

Call out the Climate Change Deniers

Presidential Debate Ignores Climate Change … Again

Yemen

I had to leave my place a day after getting back due to some painting. It’s only a little on some trim on the balconies however even a slight smell of paint or any other harmful concoction of chemicals, e.g., perfume and laundry detergent, is too much for me so I decided to leave for a couple days. I’m now at my mountain retreat which is a two and a half hour bus ride away where I don’t have internet access thanks to the screen on my phone dying after being dropped about 3 weeks ago. Anyway here’s a good article regarding recent U.S. actions in Yemen and the way the mainstream media has covered it.

Hiding US Role in Yemen Slaughter So Bombing Can Be Sold as ‘Self-Defense’