“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’

 

A Dirty Debate

In case you didn’t see it much of the first half was spent arguing about the sexual assault rhetoric and record of one candidate and that of the spouse of the other along with the history of that candidate during her time as a young lawyer and as a wife defending sexual predators and discrediting their victims. Way to go America! That’s the way you promote democracy to the rest of the world. We could’ve had Bernie Sanders debating important issues with John Kasich or some other decent, sane, and somewhat informed human being but instead we’ve got an uninformed guy with a severely inflated view of himself and another phony politician who tries to be all things to all people.

So why bother voting for either of them? Because regardless of whether or not you participate in this election you and your loved ones will be stuck with its consequences so civic duty aside it’s in your personal self-interest not to mention the interest of human civilization and entire biosphere that you not only vote but also encourage others to vote for the best possible candidate that has a shot at winning the election. That candidate is Hillary Clinton hands down. She is intelligent, articulate, and well informed; moreover I think/hope that at this point in her life she really wants to do the right thing for the country and the world and if elected will be focused on doing just that rather than on accumulating more wealth and more power so I’m with her!

Absentee and Early Voting

I mailed in my absentee ballot today! If you know anyone overseas or eligible for early voting in the States please encourage them to vote now rather than later. Getting an absentee ballot is easy! So is printing it, marking your choices, signing your name, and sending it in the mail. Here’s a link to an online tool that makes it even easier for U.S. citizens abroad to vote.

Please remind all the U.S. expats you know to vote.

More Than 150 Republican Leaders Don’t Support Donald Trump. Here’s When They Reached Their Breaking Point.

A Vote For Trump is a Vote Against Life on Earth

Tonight’s the first presidential debate of 2016 and will be the first time a women is one of the two people making their case for your vote and public support leading up to election day. Unfortunately rather than pondering the well-thought and detailed plans of the one candidate that has them I’m afraid many of those who are still undecided, yes such people exist, will just be looking for the worst gaffes and best one-liners. To these people who still haven’t outright rejected the possibility of voting for Trump, those who plan on voting for a third party or not voting at all, and those who actually support Trump, know that a vote for Trump is a vote against life on Earth.

Trump claims climate change is a “hoax” and has promised to undo the modest and long-overdue commitments the U.S. has made to do anything about it, e.g. Clean Power Plan. He doesn’t even mention climate change or environmental issues in general on his campaign website nor does he talk about them on the campaign trail except to say things like he’s “going to get rid of the department of environmental protection in almost every form” and “cancel the Paris climate agreement”. How could a man with such a blatant disregard for the health of the planet that has given us all life get a single vote from anyone even remotely concerned about the stability of the climate and diversity of the biosphere.

Trump’s positions, and lack of positions, on climate change and other environmental issues should be a deal-breaker for anyone who isn’t intent on leaving behind a planet to future generations that’s much less biologically diverse and in much worse shape than the one we’re fortunate enough to inhabit. Please publicly support Hillary for president and remind any Trump supporters what a vote for The Donald could mean, and if he’s elected will mean, for future generations of life on this planet. Climate change is real, humans are largely responsible, and we can’t put off taking decisive action any longer. We need a president who will build upon the environmental and economic achievements made over the past 8 years not one who is running on destroying them.

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

A Full List of Donald Trump’s Rapidly Changing Policy Positions

Trump’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton

P.S. In the debate Trump denied saying virtually the exact same thing he tweeted and has yet to delete. Unfortunately his supporters don’t seem to see it as lying or untruthful when he denies his past statements. The fact is Trump bends the truth or straight out lies more so than Hillary according to the Truth-O-Meter.

Police Shootings

Dear Police, we all know you have a dangerous job and need to be ready for anything but if you’re so nervous and fearful, particularly around black people, that it affects your decision making ability then you shouldn’t be armed and on the beat. Not all people that fail to follow your commands are out to kill you. Some may be autistic, some deaf, and some may be intoxicated so please give them the benefit of the doubt and don’t take lethal action until your life is truly in danger.

Dear Public, you will greatly reduce your chances of getting shot if you keep your hands visible, avoid sudden movements, and do as instructed. I’ve seen a few tragic videos over the past few years of people getting shot and killed by anxious police and most of them have something in common and that is the victim is resisting arrest or not following commands. While this doesn’t justify a police shooting it does greatly increase the chances of one happening so please remember to follow commands.

Dear Protestors, bringing public attention to what might have otherwise been another overlooked injustice is the right thing to do and will lead towards better policing and safer streets. However any rioting and/or looting is the worst possible thing you can do in the wake of a police shooting so if you really want to prevent future tragedies please keep your protests peaceful, engage in constructive dialogue, and work with law enforcement agencies to help bring violent police and protestors to justice.

3.8 Billion Dollars Annually

How can the U.S., a country so deeply in debt that we’ve been told it can’t afford to provide health care and higher education to all its citizens, afford to give Israel, a country with a per capita GDP of around $35,000 and the most technologically advanced military in the Middle East, 3.8 billion dollars a year in military aid? I understand it costs Israel a lot to defend its illegal settlements but I don’t think U.S. taxpayers should be the ones to pay for it. Moreover as the sole nuclear power in the Middle East Israel is perfectly capable of deterring and defending itself from its neighbors without U.S. taxpayer dollars.

U.S. and Israel reach agreement on unprecedented amount of military aid

Feel free to let your government representatives know if you think this is a good way to spend 3.8 billion in taxpayer dollars over the next 10 years. I think the U.S. and the rest of the world would be much better off if this annual $3,800,000,000 was spent on health and education or perhaps on alternative energy infrastructure.

White House     U.S. Senate     U.S. House of Representative

September Eleventh and November Eighth

In addition to remembering the innocent people who were murdered 15 years ago we should also remember the decades of U.S. interventions in the Middle East and elsewhere that helped fuel the hatred that culminated in that terrorist attack and reflect upon the poorly planned interventions that followed it. 9/11 was a turning point in U.S. and world history and unfortunately the U.S. turned the wrong way. On this anniversary a sarcastic thanks must be given to U.S. mainstream media, particularly Fox News, for too often failing to challenge Bush administration assumptions and leading an uninformed/misinformed U.S. public into a strongly opposed war of choice.

Continue reading

Gasoline Is Not Cheap

The fact that the average person in the U.S. is responsible for emitting more than twice as much greenhouse gas as the average person in the E.U. and Japan doesn’t seem to affect their vehicle purchasing or driving habits like you’d think/hope it would. Climate change, dying planet, future generations having to deal with the consequences… who cares. Gas is cheap so lets buy gas guzzlers and drive more! All people who drive, especially those who drive gas guzzlers, should make a serious effort to carpool.

American Drivers Regain Appetite for Gas Guzzlers

Cheaper Gas Means More Americans Are On The Road

Disaster Trump

Donald Trump is unfit to be president and entrusting such an erratic individual with the nuclear launch codes is beyond irresponsible it is insane. We can not elect a president who thinks climate change is a hoax and who has vowed to “cancel” the Paris Climate Agreement.

This election is not a choice between the lesser of two evils it is a choice between stability and disaster. I choose stability and that is why I support Hillary Clinton for president. Not voting or voting for a third party candidate is almost as bad as voting for Disaster Trump so I hope all Bernie supporters will vote for Hillary in November and encourage others to do the same.

“Make America Great Again.” or “America Is Already Great.”?

Neither. No country is or has ever been great and our species is not nor has it ever been great. What many countries and humanity as a whole have done is progress a long way towards greatness. On this journey many great things have been accomplished however there’s still a long way to go before our species or any specific country can be considered great. I believe that humanity can achieve greatness, not perfection but greatness, by the end of this century provided we all do our best to become great individuals, to positively influence those around us, and work to positively shape the societies in which we live.

U.S. Politics and Islamic Terrorism

The Middle East is on fire and the first thing we need to do to extinguish this fire is to stop fueling it and providing it power vacuums to grow in, e.g., Iraq, Libya, Syria, because no matter how well planned and carefully executed a U.S. supported multilateral military campaign led by Muslim nations in the region against ISIS is it will not succeed if terrorists are being created faster than they’re being destroyed and/or persuaded to renounce violence.

Advocating to discriminate against people who identify as Muslim whether it be by temporarily banning them from entering the U.S. or by creating a database of those who are already in the U.S. and targeting them for surveillance is not only morally wrong it’s strategically stupid because humanity needs the help of these people to put an end to the kind of indiscriminate violence we saw in Brussels yesterday and bunching them all into one big group and discriminating against them on the basis of which religion they were indoctrinated into as a child regardless of how they decide to interpret and practice that religion as adults isn’t the way to get it.

Casino Jack and the United States of Money

If you’re a U.S. citizen please watch this documentary and see just how corrupt your country is, why campaign finance reform is such a critical issue, and why it’s important to transition to publicly funded elections which is something only Bernie Sanders is talking about. As for Hillary Clinton she is waste deep in this corrupt campaign finance system and won’t even release the transcripts to her paid speeches to Wall Street. We need a political revolution to get big money out of politics and overcome this corrupt system of campaign finance and return power to the people U.S. politicians are supposed to represent. Bernie is the candidate to do it!

Casino Jack and the United States of Money

Ignorocracy or Apathocracy?

I voted today! My vote won’t be received for two weeks and it won’t be counted for another four after that however I did mail in my absentee ballot. In 2014 just over a third of the US electorate cast a vote and even more pathetic is that of 18 to 34 year-olds less than a quarter of them voted. No wonder we have a bunch of fossil fuel funded climate change deniers in the House and Senate doing everything they can to obstruct initiatives that shift the U.S. to clean energy and set a positive example for the rest of the world.

Equally pathetic is that in 2014 around 95% of those running for re-election in the House and Senate were re-elected. This either shows how awesome Congress is or how ignorant and apathetic the voters are and how big money rather than voter preference really determines who runs and gets elected. Don’t just wait until November to pull the lever for whichever of the two candidates were selected for you but vote now or in the coming weeks depending on where you live for the candidate you’d like to see on the ballot in November.

Fixing a Broken System

Who are the “Billionaire Class” and why is Bernie so adamant about standing up to them?

Why is comprehensive campaign finance reform so critical to the future of U.S. democracy?

When are people in the U.S. going to wake up and support politicians that represent their best interests rather than those of big money donors?

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.

The more you learn the more you Feel the Bern!