Sunday, January 10, 2016

Christians and Climate Change

So I took a break from my studies this morning to take a shower and while in the shower I had a few thoughts about my profession and career that were provoked by one of my assignments.
I thought about how a lot of patients and their families often pray and thank God for the doctors and nurses and for the advances in science and medicine that has allowed them to treat the patient into recovery and healing.
But then suddenly another thought came to my mind. If people can thank God for the advances in science and the evidence-based practice that allowed the doctors and nurses to treat and heal their loved ones, why is it that when 97% of scientists the world over have found and concluded that global warming and climate change are facts and that human activity is responsible and continually making it worse, why do so many people reject it out of hand or call it a liberal conspiracy? Or why do they say that since 3% of scientists disagree, the jury is out? Why is it they don't realize that those 3% are paid by the oil companies and billionaires to produce those reports because the necessary interventions to slow down or possibly stop climate change will hurt their bottom lines? Then I wonder, if we ever do get serious and, as a people, confront and intervene, will those same people then thank God for the scientists who discovered this problem and then came up with the interventions that could save our planet? Will they thank God for the politicians who stopped being complacent and passed measures to fight the ongoing trend? I wish that people would instead thank the doctors, nurses, researchers, and scientists who have worked tirelessly to bring about the best evidence and the best interventions for both medicine and climate change. I wish people were more inclined to believe the 97% of scientists who have individually studied the data, looked at the trends, and found conclusive evidence of the facts: climate change is real, global warming is real, and unless we act now, the damage will be irreversible. I wish that those who believe God has given us stewardship over the earth will realize that now is the time to act and to fulfill that obligation. Honestly, I don't care whether you give the credit to God or the scientists, but if the vast majority of those in this country who call themselves Christians would stand up to the politicians and vote those out who are in the pockets of the billionaires and fossil fuel industry, we could really make an impact and begin healing the earth that God or nature gave us.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

This New Speaker is a Lying Despicable Koch Brother Shill

This is so disingenuous it makes me sick. So let me get this straight, Ryan wants us, the taxpayers, to pay for his first class flights to and from DC, every weekend, so he can be with his family (remember his salary and expenses are paid by us), but he has voted against every single bill that would allow the rest of us to have meaningful family time and paid leave at critical times in our lives: birth of a child, take care of sick parents, adoption, etc. And the thing that really angers me is this is the wealthiest nation in the world and we are the only 1st world nation that does NOT guarantee paid maternity leave or family leave for important events in our lives. Heck, my wife's country of Uganda, in East Africa, guarantees government employees all kinds of paid leave, including a full month of paid vacation! The only thing Republicans think we can afford is more tax breaks for the extremely wealthy and the wealthy's wars!! These rich men sit around and dream up senseless wars to send not their kids, but ours, to fight and die in, while they further enrich themselves!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tonight's Democratic Debate

I watched both GOP debates and now the Democrat debate. Tonight was the first debate where the candidates talked about real, substantive issues that affect the middle and working class. This is the first time candidates talked about the economy and taking on the folks that destroyed the economy in 2008. They talked about climate change, acknowledging that it is real and a real threat to our nation and world, and put forth plans to move to a clean energy solution to fight climate change. They had a grown up discussion of foreign policy. The candidates spoke about common sense gun legislation, supported by a vast majority of American citizens, that will keep Americans safe, and clearly stated that the NRA cannot be allowed to keep the Congress paralyzed at a time when getting guns and ammo are too easily obtained in not-so-straightforward ways. They talked about immigration policy in a compassionate way, recognizing that our immigrants are our fellow human beings and should be treated with dignity and respect.

There was no mud slinging, name calling, no racist remarks, in short, this first Democrat debate was an adult debate, in stark contrast with the GOP debates, which looked more like the kids' table, or more accurately, a clown show!!

I look forward to further debates and hope to hear more about what candidates from both parties have to say on veterans' issues and strengthening their benefits and healthcare programs, I'd like to hear more about how they will do more to improve the economy for the middle and working class. I want to hear more about improving primary, secondary, and college education, both in getting better outcomes in the primary and secondary levels, and in making a college education more affordable/free for all Americans who want to better their lives.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Taking Our Country Back (And Moving It Forward)

(Image from Meme GOP FACEBOOK)

It's time we as a nation really did move forward rather than backwards! I am dismayed that the baby boomers used to protest against these injustices, but now they're the ones supporting it and allowing it by electing the same good ol' boys to office that put our country on the backwards path we're on. 
There was a time when the welfare and the good of the people trumped corporate profits or CEO pay and benefits, and there truly was upward mobility in the middle class. Those days are sadly long gone. Since Reagan and the GOP took over in 1981, the middle class has been stripped of all but it's dignity, and even that is almost gone. Yes, we need to take our nation back, we need to protest the injustices perpetrated on us by our legislators and Presidents over the last 33 years, and put the focus back on the people and the middle class, rebuild our factories and production lines, provide a decent living wage to all workers. We need to stand up to the GOP, who continually block funding and efforts to rebuild our infrastructure! Honestly, what could be more important to our national security than well built and well repaired roads and bridges? 
We need to stand up to the GOP, who, at the state level of several states, are passing laws meant to restrict voting or disenfranchise voters so that only Republicans are able to win in their states. Both parties have been guilty of gerrymandering districts to gain advantage at the Congressional level, but the GOP's violations since the 2010 census have been especially egregious. The right to vote and to have your vote really count is one of EVERY American's most precious and sacred rights and responsibilities! It should never be infringed by anyone of any party or ideology! 
I'm tired of the way things are in this country, and I refuse to sit idly by and watch it go to ruin. I will join protests and marches, I will open my mouth and speak out against not only the injustices of our government against its citizens, but also against the apathy of its citizens! Why do you think the NSA has been spying and collecting our private data and correspondences? It's because after 9/11/2001, Congress approved and President Bush signed the Patriot Act, which has since been renewed by President Obama. Don't worry about taking it to the Supreme Court though, there's a 5-4 conservative majority that will never strike it down, regardless of how unconstitutional it is! And while all this and more is going on, taking away our privacy, rights, and freedoms, many of us are too worried about what's going on with the Kardashians or Miley Cyrus or some grease ball on Jersey Shore, distracted, just like the very wealthy and the corporations and the government want you to be! 
I do not apologize for my rant. I want my family and friends to open your eyes. I want this nation to collectively open its eyes and see the direction our country is headed. It is becoming a police state, its citizens monitored continually by the NSA, and owned and operated by the biggest corporations and the wealthiest 0.01% of Americans. It will only change if we as a people united speak out, to and against our elected officials, and vote them out of office if they will not comply with our will. Our tax dollars are being surrendered to the corporations, that already make billions of dollars in profits annually, while they pay very little to no taxes at all! They should be paying taxes for the right and honor of operating in the USA, where they can make such amazing profits! We can change that. I choose to be part of that change. I will not be silenced. I invite you to join me and hundreds of thousands of Americans who have also had their eyes opened and are fighting for change. Do research, get educated, and then speak out and protest the injustices, intolerance, bigotry, hatred, fear mongering, wars, plutocracy and oligarchy that has infested this nation and this government, in a time when such things ought to have been done away!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bill Moyer: Why America — Where Only The Rich Get Richer — Is Not A Democracy

This is the most important thing anyone can hear today!! By Bill Moyer, we all must stand up and reclaim our democracy!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mitt Romney and the State of the GOP

Romney is not only good at contradicting himself, he also contradicts Obama, perhaps he or his people should do a little homework?? Throughout the primary campaign, Mitt Romney has done nothing but make sweeping general statements about Barack Obama's lack of leadership, lied about his record over and over again, while offering absolutely no concrete or specific plan on what he would do to differently. I have listened to speech after excruciating speech. The most laughable new attack is that President Obama is "out of touch." Yes, out of touch! This coming from a man who is installing a car elevator in his  3600 square foot garage within his 11,000 square foot mansion of a beach house, not to mention his homes in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Last I checked the President owned one home in Chicago and one family vehicle. Anyway, go ahead and watch the video put together by the Obama campaign. It's rather entertaining.


While we're on the subject of being out of touch, in the last three years, President Obama has given the middle class more tax breaks than any Republican in the last 30 years. This is a fact. Middle class America, you have kept more of your paycheck in the last three years than you have in the rest of the last 30. Mitt Romney, if elected President, has promised to cut his own taxes, and those in his tax bracket, you know, the top 1% in HALF!!! Middle class America, do you know how he intends on paying for this extremely generous tax break for himself? YOU!!! Your taxes are going to go up! Not only that, he has embraced the Paul Ryan budget. And this is why people who are cynical about politics and government drive me absolutely mad! They don't pay attention when things like a Paul Ryan budget come along and just blindly say, "They're all crooked." WRONG!! The entire Republican party voted for the Ryan budget last year and this year's is just a carbon copy. If any sane middle class person would pay attention to this thing, he or she would run to the polls in November and vote against every Republican that voted for this budget. A vote for a Republican is a vote against you own best interest. So, what's in this budget. First, a big healthy tax cut for millionaires and billionaires like Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney. They like this budget a lot already. Because the ultra wealthy are "job creators". This has worked so well over the last 30 years right? Right?!? It also increases military spending more than the generals ask for. So how do we pay for these tax cuts and spending increases? Oh yes, we cut billions in funding from Medicaid. It ends Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher system in which seniors will pay double what they are now paying for their healthcare. There are spending cuts to education - including Pell grants, food stamps, and infrastructure. His budget only helps the very wealthy and is a burden to women, children, the elderly, and the very poor. Once again, the very wealthy in this country are not called upon to sacrifice one nickel to the recovery effort since the devastating recession.

Here is the President's response to the Ryan budget and Romney's embracement thereof:

WAKE UP AMERICA! Open your eyes to your Republican party. They accept millions of dollars in contributions from the very wealthy and produce laws that benefit only the the very same very wealthy. I do not claim the Democrats are not guilty but for the most part, this Democratic party is fighting for policies which benefit the middle class, close tax loopholes on the very wealthy and large corporations, and this Democratic President, Barack Hussein Obama has fought more for the middle class than any President in the last 30 years. And I will say it unashamed, if it weren't for these obstructionist Republicans, especially these corporate-backed Tea Partiers, the recovery from the recession would have happened much quicker, the jobs would have returned much sooner, the unemployment rate would be low, our nation would be a much more prosperous place right now. But instead of focusing on ways to improve the situation, these Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor, who have made it their number one priority to defeat the President, by whatever means possible, and if that means ruining the economic recovery and preventing job growth, well in the infamous words of Mr. Boehner, "So be it." America, are we going to continue putting these people in office whose goal it is to score political victories, or will we put people in office who will find solutions to our problems and put the people first? We have a choice.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In Memory of Trayvon Martin

Today my heart hurts for the family and friends of Trayvon Martin. I wish to express my deepest condolences to his mother and father and to all who knew and loved him. And as more and more information come out I am further saddened, and at the same time angered. 

I am saddened that we still live in a society, where in some circles it is seen as a crime to walk down a sidewalk while being black in America. George Zimmerman has a history of calling 911 and each time it was only for "black" or "African-American" males and their supposed "suspicious behavior". The most revealing moment in this call, I believe, is when Zimmerman proclaims, "These assholes, they always get away." And then after Zimmerman confirms that he is pursuing young Trayvon, and ordered by the police dispatcher to stand down, he continues to pursue him anyway. Moments later, as evidenced by other 911 calls from neighbors in the area, there was an argument, yelling, calls for help, and then a deafening gun shot. And then there were no more calls for help. George Zimmerman saw to it, that this "A and B student who majored in cheerfulness", armed only with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea, did not "get away." I am saddened that this young man, with aspirations of working in the aviation field like his uncle, will never realize his dreams. Most of all I am saddened that this young man's civil rights were taken from him with one shot. His rights to walk on a sidewalk in a Florida neighborhood, because a man with obvious racial bias took it upon himself to be prosecutor, judge, jury, and executor of young Trayvon for walking down the sidewalk while being black, were stripped in an instant. 

I am saddened that some in our society still think it is okay in 2012 to judge someone based on the color of his or her skin. It breaks my heart that this young man was shot just because he was crossing through the neighborhood to his father's house and was murdered because of the color of his skin. Of course his father says George is Hispanic and has black friends and he's not racist. To which I call bull crap! Not only does Zimmerman repeatedly comment on Trayvon's race during his call to the police, and not only does he declare that these assholes always get away, but in that same call you can seemingly hear him calling his "suspicious black male" a "f***ing coon". This one clip would be enough to convict Zimmerman of a hate crime against Trayvon Martin.

I am angered because the Sanford Police Department is hiding behind a NRA sponsored Florida law, the so called "Stand Your Ground" law in Florida, in not detaining, arresting, or charging Zimmerman with any crime whatsoever. This law basically says that if there are no witnesses, and you shoot and kill someone and claim it was in self-defense, well, you are basically free to go. And this is exactly what happened. Zimmerman was allowed to keep his gun, go home, and sleep in his own bed that night, while Trayvon went to the morgue. 

I'm angry because this 28 year old man, George Zimmerman, called police 46 times just since January 1, 2011, with reports of suspicious activity, mostly by "suspicious black males", outweighed Trayvon by 100 pounds, armed with a 9mm handgun, continued to aggressively pursues Trayvon after being ordered by the police dispatcher to stand down, obviously confronted the young man, and according to 911 evidence, shot and killed Trayvon as he was pleading for help. It is a lie that he was acting in self-defense. If he was acting in self-defense, Zimmerman would have stayed in his car, or returned to his car when the dispatcher ordered him to stand down. Martin was walking down a sidewalk minding his own business. And still, Zimmerman is at large, and the Sanford PD claims they cannot arrest him because they do not have enough evidence to disprove his claim of self-defense. Um, have you listened to his 911 call, or the 911 calls of the neighbors? That's enough evidence to call into question his testimony. Or how about Trayvon's girlfriend, who was on the phone with him at the time Zimmerman confronted him? Her account contradicts that of Zimmerman and seemingly corroborates some of the neighbors' 911 calls. I'm angry because the Sanford PD has a history of badly mishandled racially charged cases, involving their own officers, and it seemingly took a national outcry to get the Dept. of Justice and the FBI involved in this case. Otherwise, Zimmerman may have been allowed to go free forever. 

I am angered because we live in a society, where in some places the gun laws are so loose, that even though one has a history of battery and violence, he is still allowed a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I do not wish to infringe on anyone's second amendment rights, but I do believe in a certain amount of regulation thereof. The fact that this man was permitted to carry a concealed pistol, which he used, not to defend himself, but to pursue and kill young Trayvon Martin, is case in point for stricter gun regulations. I believe that when you break a law and demonstrate an inability to handle yourself, you also give up your rights, including and especially to bear arms. 

I am angry that this same police department has allowed Zimmerman to act as a policeman, although he A. is not one, B. is the self-appointed leader of his neighborhood watch, C. his neighborhood watch is not registered, and D. violated the neighborhood watch principle of not confronting any person who is suspicious and calling the police to let them handle it, and, at the risk of repeating myself, was told by the police dispatcher not to pursue Trayvon. Why is this man not incarcerated right now?

I am encouraged that as more facts and details have come to light, the right people have come out in support of Trayvon and his family. It has been announced that a grand jury will be convened to evaluate all the facts surrounding this case. The Department of Justice and the FBI are now involved with their own investigations. Even the Republican state legislators who sponsored the "stand your grounds" law in Florida have declared that Zimmerman should not be protected by this law, particularly since he did pursue Trayvon. They have called for Zimmerman's prosecution. And while I am encouraged that things are moving in the right direction, it should not have taken a national outcry to make it happen. I want everyone to go to and sign the petition started by Tracy Martin, Trayvon's mother, to prosecute and bring George Zimmerman to justice.

When will we as a nation stop this hate and bias and prejudice against one another only because of the color of one's skin? If you believe in God and the Bible, we all came from Adam and are the children of God who loves us and wants us to return to live with him after this life is over. That journey would be much better in this life if we embraced one another and lifted each other and joined hands as we made our way. And if you don't believe in God, if you're atheist, then we're all descendants from African heritage and have evolved and adapted over millions of years to different climates which accounts for the differences in our appearances and skin color, which means black, white, yellow, red, or whatever, we all have the same origin - from Africa - which means that no one race is any better than another, just better adjusted for a certain climate due to the process of natural selection, and we should all be respectful of one another and still embrace one another and lift each other up and try to make life better for our neighbors. 

Trayvon's death does not have to be in vain. Again, I send my love and thoughts to the Martin family. I grieve with you in your time of mourning. No parents should have to suffer as you are suffering now. Although I do not personally know you, I feel that Trayvon was my little brother, my nephew, my cousin. He was my family member and my heart hurts for his loss and my heart hurts for you. And I pray that you may find peace. And I pray that as a people we may put away our prejudices and begin to work together in cooperation and love and brotherhood.