From Dan Rather:
I think we should erect a monument built from materials impervious to the elements and list the names of all the elected officials and others in positions of power today in the United States who refuse to stand with the science on climate change.
We can put this monument on the coast – say off Miami – and have its base equal to the lapping waves of high tide. As sea levels rise, the monument will begin to be submerged, at increasingly greater depths. It will become a symbol of the cynicism, stupidity, and folly of our age. And it will be important for future generations to know who was responsible for this failure of action and imagination as this global crisis crescendoed. When I see Donald Trump cast doubt on climate change, I am deeply disappointed. When I see him appoint climate change deniers to key posts in his cabinet, I am deeply worried. When I see those in the scientific community and elsewhere pushing back, I am determined to bring these voices of reason to light.
Science is not a conclusion. It’s a process. It’s also about the real world. Not a post-truth world. If you’re wrong as a scientist, it’s hard to keep that hidden for very long because others will do an experiment and show the limitations of your earlier conclusions.
All these climate change deniers are denigrating the very nature of scientific discovery. It’s the same enterprise that, in biological research, leads to the cures these climate deniers plead from their doctors, or the geological research that finds and extracts the raw materials that power these climate deniers’ lives, or the physics that makes these climate deniers’ modern technology work.
To cherry pick the science you like is to show you really don’t understand much of anything. That is your right. But when it affects my life, that of my family, the future direction of my country, and the health of our planet, than the ignorance is far from harmless. The world must remember what is happening here and perhaps the judgement of history might induce some to the action we so desperately need.
From the New York Times editorial board, December 10th, 2016
Donald Trump understood at least one thing better than almost everybody watching the 2016 election: The breakdown of a shared public reality built upon widely accepted facts represented not a hazard, but an opportunity.
The institutions that once generated and reaffirmed that shared reality — including the church, the government, the news media, the universities and labor unions — are in various stages of turmoil or even collapse. Because Mr. Trump himself has little regard for facts, it was easy for him to capitalize on this situation. But even as Americans gobble up “fake news,” there is the sense that something crucial has been lost. A North Carolina man told The Times that while he regularly clicked on links to stories claiming that Hillary Clinton was indicted or that Mexico built a wall along its southern border, he missed the days when Walter Cronkite delivered the news to the nation.
He’s not alone; it was different then. Americans knew that whatever they were hearing on the news, their neighbors were hearing, too. Cable TV fractured that shared experience, and then social media made it easier for Americans to curl up in cozy, angry or self-righteous cocoons.
The rise of social media has been great in many ways. In a media environment with endless inputs and outlets, citizens can inform and entertain one another, organize more easily and hold their leaders accountable. But it also turns out that when everyone can customize his or her own information bubble, it’s easier for demagogues to deploy made-up facts to suit the story they want to tell.
That’s what Mr. Trump has done. For him, facts aren’t the point; trust is. Like any autocrat, he wins his followers’ trust — let’s call it a blind trust — by lying so often and so brazenly that millions of people give up on trying to distinguish truth from falsehood. Whether the lie is about millions of noncitizens voting illegally, or the crime rate, or President Obama’s citizenship, it doesn’t matter: In a confusing world of competing, shouted “truths,” the simplest solution is to trust in your leader. As Mr. Trump is fond of saying, “I alone can fix it.”
He is not just indifferent to facts; he can be hostile to any effort to assert them. On Tuesday, Chuck Jones, a union boss at Carrier Corporation, told The Washington Post that Mr. Trump was wrong when he claimed to have saved 1,100 of the company’s jobs from moving to Mexico — the real number will be closer to 730. Rather than admit error, the president-elect instead attacked Mr. Jones, a private citizen, on Twitter, saying he had done a “terrible job representing workers.”
In other words, Mr. Trump’s is a different kind of lying, though it has been coming for some time. When Bill Clinton, during the Monica Lewinsky meltdown, defended his public contortions of the truth by saying, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is,” he provided a sort of coda for the era of spin. In those days, politicians pinched and yanked at facts like Play-Doh, trying to shape them to their ends, but they were still acknowledging, and working with, the same shared underlying realities.
During the Bush years, the administration saw itself as racing ahead of a faltering media. In 2002, one of President George W. Bush’s top advisers mocked a Times reporter as living in the “reality-based community.” “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he was quoted as saying. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study, too, and that’s how things will sort out.”
By the time Mitt Romney was running for president a decade later, politicians recognized that they could treat the news media not as some sort of arbiter of the facts but simply one side of a he-said-she-said debate. As one of Mr. Romney’s aides put it, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”
Mr. Trump has changed this game. He has exploited, perhaps better than any presidential candidate before him, the human impulse to be swayed more by story than by fact. As one of his surrogates said recently, “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore, of facts.”
Right now, Mr. Trump has his story, and he’s sticking to it — and he’s increasingly carrying the Republican party along with him. It’s bad enough when a truth-defying president-elect uses his megaphone to shout the lie that millions of illegal votes were responsible for Mrs. Clinton’s large popular-vote win. It’s even more ominous when the vice president-elect, the speaker of the House and the chairman of the Republican National Committee — all people who should know better — repeat that fiction, or refuse to disavow it.
Without a Walter Cronkite to guide them, how can Americans find the path back to a culture of commonly accepted facts, the building blocks of democracy? A president and other politicians who care about the truth could certainly help them along. In the absence of leaders like that, media organizations that report fact without regard for partisanship, and citizens who think for themselves, will need to light the way.
It’s ok to be angry. You’re not doing anything wrong, or being dysfunctional.
Did you know that most feelings of anger are secondary emotions, with one exception? Meaning: In most cases you don’t feel angry first. You feel a primary emotion first, THEN you feel anger as a follow-up to that first emotion. For example, someone says something mean to you or rejects you, which makes you feel sad and hurt. That is a primary emotion. But then you get angry. That’s secondary. Or you feel frustrated and fearful because you can’t get your car started in the morning, and you know you’ll be late for work…those are primary emotions. But then you get angry. Secondary anger is not so healthy. It’s better to center in on the primary emotion and deal with that. Anger just masks it.
The exception to this rule? Anger that has at it’s root a desire for justice. Anger that’s felt when bullies are taking over the playground, when the powerful are exploiting the weak, when the rich are disenfranchising the poor, when the selfish are getting what they want at the expense of others, when innocent people’s lives are being shattered by other’s greed, when the environment is being raped for other’s profit. That’s a primary emotion – it’s built right in to our very nature. It’s not comfortable, but it’s natural and it’s good – especially when it leads to action
Just so we are clear on the kind of thing we’re up against.
Trump chose Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. Scott hates the EPA and has been a vocal opponent of the EPA. Scott doesn’t believe in climate change. Scott is a huge supporter of and in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry.
Trump chose Betsy Devos as Secretary of Education. Betsy doesn’t like public schools and has worked to defund them in Michigan. Detroit schools are the lowest performing among big city schools in the country, and over the last 15 years the entire state of Michigan has declined when it comes to student performance, based in part on defunding and the deregulation of charter schools under Betsy.
Trump named Pablo Escobar to the post of Drug Czar. Pablo is a Columbian drug overlord who trafficked mainly in cocaine and was responsible for thousands of murders. Also, he’s dead.
That last one was fake news. But the first two are real. Be vigilant. These are not normal times.
Though it’s important to fight Trump’s policies, it’s at the values level that we need to do a reset
Using religion to brutalize other people is not a Muslim invention, nor is it foreign to the American experience.
And President Obama has never been one to go easy on America.
As a new president, he dismissed the idea of American exceptionalism, noting that Greeks think their country is special, too. He labeled the Bush-era interrogation practices, euphemistically called “harsh” for years, as torture. America, he has suggested, has much to answer given its history in Latin America and the Middle East.
Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.
-Obama, during his prayer breakfast speech.
Conservative politicians and talk show hosts are NOT happy.
Examples of true stuff
- Vaccines do not cause autism or mental retardation. Proven fact.
- The climate is warming up. Fact.
- Human activity is contributing to the warming of the climate. Fact.
- Most living creatures (including humans) will suffer in many, many ways as the climate warms. Duh.
- The earth is not 6,000-10,000 years old. It is around 4.5 billion years old. Regardless of how many “generations” are listed in your religion’s holy book.
- Certain economic policies, usually associated with more liberal politicians, tend to improve our economy. Certain other economic policies, usually associated with more conservative politicians, tend to harm our economy.
- Rape really is a thing. Benghazi really wasn’t. Our Constitution was not based on the Bible. Most homosexuals didn’t “choose” their sexuality. These things are just true, despite the stuff that Fox “News” bombards its viewers with.
What I find in my work with people is that a lot of folks, instead of seeking truth, want reassurance that what they already believe is true.
What science has recently revealed, also, is that some brains are more geared toward allowing new facts to adjust their belief system, while other brains are geared toward defending against changes in beliefs by rejecting facts.
What if we took our lead from the Enlightenment thinkers and based our opinions on facts, instead of on feelings, superstitions, ancient books, left or right-leaning news stations or paid-for-by-corporations-politicians?
Anti-gay pastor Scott Lively will stand trial in federal court for crimes against humanity. He has tried for months to have the case dismissed on First Amendment grounds, but the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has denied his last petition for dismissal. He’s going to court.
America was founded as a Christian nation, and, frankly, I’m darn sick and tired of the constant assault on our religious freedoms from the gays, the minorities, and especially the ladies.
Yes, you heard me – especially the ladies. What completely chaps my hide is how successful the women-folk have been in dragging us away from the Biblical values this great nation was founded upon. Everywhere you look nowadays you see chicks perverting the Biblical order of things by exercising leadership over men, participating in the complicated and sensitive political process, acting all uppity and equal to their husbands in marriages, wearing whatever the heck they want to wear (with no concern whatsoever over how their cleavage makes us men tingle), having sex when they choose to like men do, and worse.
Here’s some facts for you, Christian ladies…facts that I hope you will seriously consider:
- The most common Biblical epithets for women are “harlot,” “whore,” and “unclean.” In fact, in most of your appearances in the Good Book, when you’re even mentioned at all, you are either superfluous or diabolical. Take a hint.
- This is really important! Don’t forgot – YOU WERE AN AFTERTHOUGHT! You were designed to be a “help meet” for men! You wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for us men – you were literally created out of a man’s spare rib!
- And THEN you completely messed everything up. Eve was a sin-inciting, disobedient, impulsive, morally inferior seductress who literally led to the downfall of humankind.
We need to get back to a Biblically based, common sense society where everyone knows their place and stays within the parameters outlined for them in God’s holy Book. Some examples of your “place,” ladies:
1 Corinthians 11:3-7:
But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man…for a man…is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
1 Peter 2:12-13
I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet, for it was man who was first created, then woman.
Wives, submit yourself unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church…therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
1 Peter 3:1-6
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your husbands. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and wearing of jewelry or fine clothes. Rather it should be that of your inner self, the unfolding beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted to their husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him “Lord.”
(Side note: I don’t personally apply these particular passages to my own marriage, but only out of practical considerations. If I were to, my wife would cut off my testicles or leave me. Or both.)
Granted, the very next verse in 1 Peter does instruct husbands to treat their wives gently because they are “weaker vessels.” Kind of like how I treat my pets.
Even the Jesus’s mom was put in her place: Woman, what have I to do with thee? (Jesus, John 20:17)
Still not convinced that women were basically created for men, to be men’s property?
The Bible makes it pretty dang clear that every aspect of women’s bodies and behaviors are subject to the scrutiny and control of men. The Good Book issues edicts over such matters as feminine hygiene, menstruation, pregnancy and more. No detail about women is too private or trite, from your periods (during which you are “unclean” for seven days) to your hairstyles to your housewifely duties to your conduct in church. (In 1 Corinthians, Paul says you’re to shut up at church, be submissive to your husbands, and wait until you get home to ask him questions.)
Back in the good old days daughters could be sold, women who had sex outside of marriage could be stoned or burned (their male partners got off scot-free), and women who did not have intact hymens on their wedding night were to be publically executed.
If a man raped a woman who was engaged to another man, both the rapist and the woman would be stoned to death. But if a man raped a women who was not already claimed as a man’s property (not engaged or married), the rapist was only required to pay the woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and the women was forced to marry her rapist.
Clearly, the Bible defines women as men’s property. Why have we allowed our society to stray so far? Even the Ten Commandments lump women in with other possessions, such as asses. Women actually take second billing to inanimate objects, such as “they neighbor’s house” in the Exodus 20 variation.
Look, we are a Christian nation, founded on Christian principles. To the degree that we walk away from our religious heritage as a country, we play right into the hands of Satan. Remember, according to Sarah Palin and other right-thinking politicians, the Bible was the basis for our constitution – and it’s clear that in the Bible the weaker sex was placed on this earth for the purpose of meeting men’s needs and for men to have dominion over. Why have we allowed America to stray so far?
This assault on Biblical values has been going on for over a hundred years now. Check out this whiny, self-indulgent, godless passage from an 1885 speech by the Feminazi Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the first woman to formally call for women’s right to vote:
You may go over the world and you will find that every form of religion which has breathed upon this earth has degraded woman. There is not one which has not made her subject to man. Men may rejoice in them because they make man the head of the woman. I have been traveling the old world during the last few years and have found new food for thought. What power is it that makes the Hindu woman burn herself on the funeral pyre of her husband? Her religion. What holds the Turkish woman in the harem? Her religion. By what power do the Mormons perpetuate their system of polygamy? By their religion. Man, of himself, could not do this; but when he declares, “Thus saith the lord,” of course he can do it. So long as ministers stand up and tell us that man is the head of the woman how are we to break the chains which have held women down through the ages? We want to help roll off from the soul of woman the terrible superstitions that have so long repressed and crushed her.
Sheeple, don’t give in to this modern, liberal, anti-Christ rhetoric that seeks to pull you away from the one true religion and to destroy our country by stripping away our religious freedoms. Do everything possible to get us back on the straight and narrow as a nation: Pray, preach the true Word of God (not the liberal, pansy, “Christian-left” version), speak out against women’s “rights” whenever you can, and above all, vote Republican.