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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

The other day, the U.S. Supreme Court actually shocked me!  That is hard to do in most cases.  However, taking into consideration the conservative view of the current majority of the court, this one actually shocked me.  In case you haven’t heard, the court ruled not to review North Carolina’s Ultrasound Law.

A lower court and then the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law earlier.  This law was one of those draconian laws that forced women who wanted an abortion to go through an ultrasound with the doctor required to read a script detailing what she was seeing.  It didn’t matter of the woman wanted the ultrasound, or even wanted to hear what the doctor told her.  It didn’t matter if the doctor was against this procedure and script reading either.  If the doctor failed to follow the law to the letter, that doctor risked losing his license to practice medicine.

Handing down its decision, the Fourth Circuit stated:

Informed consent frequently consists of a fully-clothed conversation between the patient and physician, often in the physician’s office. It is driven by the “patient’s particular needs and circumstances” … so that the patient receives the information he or she wants in a setting that promotes an informed and thoughtful choice. This provision, however, finds the patient half-naked or disrobed on her back on an examination table, with an ultrasound probe either on her belly or inserted into her vagina… Informed consent has not generally been thought to require a patient to view images from his or her own body much less in a setting in which personal judgment may be altered or impaired. Yet this provision requires that she do so or “avert her eyes.”

Rather than engaging in a conversation calculated to inform, the physician must continue talking regardless of whether the patient is listening… The information is provided irrespective of the needs or wants of the patient, in direct contravention of medical ethics and the principle of patient autonomy. Forcing this experience on a patient over her objections in this manner interferes with the decision of a patient not to receive information that could make an indescribably difficult decision even more traumatic and could “actually cause harm to the patient.” … And it is intended to convey not the risks and benefits of the medical procedure to the patient’s own health, but rather the full weight of the state’s moral condemnation.

This refusal to review the case by SCOTUS is a potential major blow to the anti-choice forces.  One of the key elements of their fight against choice has just been rendered illegal.  There are several states that still have such laws on their books.  And, you can be sure they won’t go down without more legal wrangling.

The Republican base is all for telling people what to do and how to act.  We have seen this nonsense in various forms of stupid laws and legal wrangling in the last several years.  Besides this draconian law, the conservative base of the Republican Party wants to be the sole determining source for many of life’s biggest decisions.

Remember the fight in Florida about when a woman could be taken off of life support?  That was a huge political issue.  Remember the brain-dead woman in Texas that was kept on life-support simply because she was pregnant?  Remember the cases in Tennessee where women were charged with murder of an infant because they had a miscarriage?  These cases were all determined by conservative laws that tell the average person only the conservatives in this country have the right to make decisions for them.

The other factor that no one talks about in these types of cases is fiscal.  The states tell you what you may or may not do, and if you decide to go against them they tell you that you have to undergo very expensive medical procedures before you can go ahead with your decision.  Yet, even though you are forced to undergo these procedures, you are still stuck with the bill.

In the cases in Florida and Texas, the state did not “pick up the bill” for the added useless medical treatment they forced on these women.  None of the states that require an ultrasound prior to an abortion pick up the tab for that procedure either.  The patient and their families are required to pay for these procedures even if they don’t want them.

Let’s be honest, none of these procedures are cheap!  Unfortunately, this type of stupid law may not be limited to stupid conservative states.  Scott Walker is Governor of Wisconsin and is running for President.  Wisconsin passed a similar law to the one in North Carolina that was just struck down.  He said of his law:

I’ll give you an example. I’m pro-life, I’ve passed pro-life legislation. We defunded Planned Parenthood, we signed a law that requires an ultrasound. Which, the thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea. Most people I talk to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time who’ll get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, you know we still have their first ultrasound picture. It’s just a cool thing out there.

We just knew if we signed that law, if we provided the information, that more people if they saw that unborn child would, would make a decision to protect and keep the life of that unborn child.

Yes, the Governor thinks these ultrasounds are “a cool thing.”  But, he also tells you exactly why forced ultrasounds are necessary.  To convince women NOT to have an abortion.  No other reason, just to make women change their minds.

This is the kind of country we are potentially facing.  One where the government will decide what is “moral” and what is not.  If they consider something “amoral” based on its narrow interpretation of some ancient book, then they will tell you what you can and cannot do.  One thing fascists all around the world throughout history has advocated for is that women have as many children as possible.  It is the only way to ensure enough “soldiers” to fight their wars of aggression.

Maybe it is time to ask if these laws forcing people to undergo treatment they don’t want is really a step in that direction?  Thankfully, at least for now, the courts, including SCOTUS says this kind of law is illegal.  Maybe, just maybe, that is a step away from Republican interference in our personal lives.

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We are about half way through the year.  The Presidential election process for 2016 is underway with a myriad of candidates.  The budget is supposedly being worked out and there are a lot of questions which the budget could answer, but probably won’t.

A few years ago, sequester became a reality.  Mitch McConnell has claimed that was a major victory for the Republican Party.  But, as always, things have changed since then.  We have seen the rise if ISIS in the middle-east.  We have seen the Ukraine problems and Russia’s annexation of the Crimea.

These have all sent the war hawks into a tizzy.  They ask: “How are we expected to fight all these things with the Defense Department hampered by sequester?”  So, the new budget being proposed by Republicans in Congress will increase the Department of Defense budget by about 9 percent.

Unfortunately, that increase isn’t really going into the Defense Budget.  It is a gimmick where the money is going into a special fund used to “fight wars.”  That is a whopping $38 Billion dollars.  In the meantime, non-defense spending is supposed to remain under sequester.

We have seen a tragic accident on Amtrak.  Yet, under a bill just passed by the House, Amtrak’s budget is going to be cut by $242 million.  TSA has made the headlines because of failed tests of the screening they do at airports.  Yet, under sequestration, the TSA budget has been regularly cut.

Since the report of the tests became public, Republicans, the very party that insisted on TSA in the first place, now say it would be more efficient to turn it back over to the same private security that failed on 9/11.  By the way, when a Republican says something would be more “efficient” what they are really saying is “cheaper.”

In the past few years, we have seen bigotry raise its ugly head again.  It isn’t just about black and white anymore either.  It is about sexual orientation, it is about immigration, it is about women’s rights.  The same Republican Party that claims to defend the Constitution is working tirelessly to void rights to these groups of people simply because they are different.

If you just look at immigration, you can see the total hypocrisy in their arguments.  People like Ann Coulter say immigration, of any kind, should be stopped.  She doesn’t just hate undocumented immigrants, she hates legal immigrants, too.  Yet she is more than happy to show up on an immigrants news network to spew forth her hatred for immigrants.  Yes, I am talking about Fox News which is owned by an immigrant.

Since the 1970s we have seen our infrastructure start falling apart.  Our roads are overcrowded and dangerous.  Our bridges are collapsing underneath us.  Our dams are in danger of collapse.  Our electrical grid is antiquated and just waiting for the next trigger to cause a major blackout.

For example, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower wanted, and got passed the Interstate Highway System.  He used public money and said it was for Defense purposes.  Having such a highway system, he argued would make it easier to transport troops in times of need.  Yet, that very highway structure supposed to make it easier to transport troops is so overburdened that it almost useless.

Additionally, our railroad system is suspect as well.  Look at all of the train derailments we have had just in the last couple of years.  This country lags the rest of the developed world in high-speed rail systems.  As a matter of fact, we DON’T HAVE a high-speed rail system.  These all hurt our economy as well.  We don’t transport our goods as fast as we should.

To make matters worse the only export business being conducted by our corporations, supported by Republican policies, is to export our jobs to China and other foreign countries.  All the while taking advantage of tax loopholes in the tax code so they don’t have to pay any taxes in this country.  Over half of the Fortune 500 companies in this country pay nothing in taxes!

We lead the developed world in the number of uninsured people, even with the Affordable Care act.  We are at the bottom of the developed world in terms of pensions and care for our retired people.  And, we are forced to work longer, because of our poor pensions, than anyone in the developed world.

The EPA is, as usual, under fire because it wants to do its job and protect our drinking water and the air we breath.  It wants to protect our planet’s climate.  Republicans claim climate change is a hoax.  Yet, the one department’s budget they want to defend the most, the Defense Department, has said that climate change is a severe threat to our national security!

Yet, all of these things are being sacrificed in the name of the Defense Budget.  We must remember, as Republicans tell us, we live in very dangerous times.  We must be prepared to defend ourselves from those evil people in the world.  That may all be true.  But, as a veteran, I am compelled to ask a simple question.  What exactly are we defending?

Why should anyone be willing to put their lives on the line for a country that treats its own people like they are the enemy?  Why should anyone be willing to put their lives on the line for a country that is willing to throw away any injured veteran?

We always hear Republicans talk about “American Exceptionalism.”  What is so exceptional about a country that says it costs too much to ensure everyone has health coverage?  What is so exceptional about a country that treats minorities like they are second-class citizens with no civil rights?  What is so exceptional about a country that treats its elders like they should just die off and make things cheaper for the survivors?

What is so exceptional about a country that asks its young to defend it, and then treats them like some leper when they need the physical and psychological help after fighting in wars?  What is so exceptional about a country that allows its infrastructure to collapse possibly killing people when a bridge falls down or a dam breaks?  What is so exceptional about a country that had an education system that was the envy of the world only to let it fall off the charts reducing the opportunities for those who graduate from that failing school system?

What is so exceptional about a country whose policies are driving good paying jobs overseas instead of fighting to keep them home?  What is so exceptional about a country that allows its working class to fall behind the cost of living while giving tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations and arguing that the minimum wage isn’t necessary?

There is nothing exceptional about any of those things.  Yet, that is our reality today.  I served my country for 20 years.  I have never looked for praise or thanks.  I served because I believed I was doing the right thing.  I enjoyed my years in the Coast Guard.  I help save countless lives which was what I wanted to do.  It was a pleasure to serve my country… then.

But, things are a little different now.  When I was in the Coast Guard,  I served a country that was in favor of better living standards for the poor and elderly.  I served a country that was proud of its educational system.  I served a country where working class people had bargaining rights that ensured them fair pay for fair work.

I served a country that was fighting against bigotry at home.  I served a country where immigrants were welcomed and not spat upon and called names.  I served a country that was far closer to that fairy tale of “American Exceptionalism” than the one we live in today.  The country I served was not perfect.  We had a lot of problems.  But, it was different in that it was trying to solve our problems, not just blame someone for those problems.

Yes, all of these items I have mentioned costs money.  Yes, taxes may have to go up, especially for the wealthy, if we are to face reality and fix our problems.  Yes, civil rights must be more than a slogan or catch phrase.  They must be defended for ALL of our citizens.

Immigration policies must be reformed.  We must make it more costly for a company to “outsource” our jobs and cheaper for them to keep those jobs here in America.  We must ensure our poor and elderly are helped and not criticized for “being takers.”  We must protect our environment and our planet’s climate.

If we do all of these things, we will have something to defend.

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I want to make this very clear.  I spent my adult life working in fields that helped other people.  When in the Coast Guard, I worked disaster relief more than once.  When disasters happen, people need help and there should be no interference from politicians from them getting that help.

Think back to 2013.  Super Storm Sandy raged up the East Coast of America.  New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and other states were hammered by the storm.  Businesses and people lost everything they had.  FEMA was called in and Congress debated billions of dollars in relief aid for the victims.

Ted Cruz didn’t think that was what the government should be doing.  He voted against the aid.  Cruz said:

Two-thirds of this spending is not remotely “emergency”; the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 30% of the authorized funds would be spent in the next 20 months, and over a billion dollars will be spent as late as 2021.

This bill is symptomatic of a larger problem in Washington – an addiction to spending money we do not have. The United States Senate should not be in the business of exploiting victims of natural disasters to fund pork projects that further expand our debt.

As you can see, one of his biggest complaints is that the money wouldn’t be spent immediately.  It would be spent over time as people rebuilt their lives.  He called it “an addiction to spending money we do not have.”  Cruz has also been calling the President a socialist.

Just last month in New Hampshire, Cruz said:

Obama is a disaster because he’s an unmitigated socialist; what he believes is profoundly dangerous, and he’s undermined the Constitution and the role of America in the world.

As you can see, Cruz says he is against any form of “redistribution” of money and calls that “redistribution” socialism.  Okay, sounds like he is being consistent.

But wait.  Fast forward to now.  Parts of his home state of Texas has seen very ugly storms, huge rainfall amounts, and massive flooding causing property damage and death.  Cruz is famous for telling people in trouble to “hitch up your boots and get to work.”  He believes that people in trouble don’t need any help from the federal government.  Well……. that is until now!

Cruz was very explicit about his demands from the administration.  He said:

The federal government’s role, once the Governor declares a disaster area and makes a request, I am confident that the Texas congressional delegation, Sen. Cornyn and I, and the members of Congress both Republicans and Democrats will stand united as Texans in support of the federal government fulfilling its statutory obligations, and stepping in to respond to this natural disaster.

Quite a change of opinions here.  He was against Super Storm Sandy relief, but when that relief is needed in Texas, he calls it “the federal government fulfilling its statutory obligations.”  You may say that he is just doing his job.  He is never going to NOT ask for money for Texas, that would be political suicide.

But, his ranting about “socialism” isn’t just confined to federal disaster relief money.  His rantings about “socialism” goes to the very day-to-day budget operations of his state.  For example, did you know that a full one-third of the Texas State Budget comes from the Federal Government?

That is right, Texas gets a full one-third of its annual budget from the federal government.  Every state gets money from the Federal Government every year.  It is used to help repair roads and other important infrastructure.  It is also in the form of Medicaid money and other “social safety net” programs.  Texas has never turned down that money because of their stance against “redistribution” from other states.

The top five states that get more money from the Federal Government than it pays in taxes are all in the south and are all Republican controlled states.  That sure sounds like “redistribution” to me.  But, it is only “redistribution” if they say it is.

Then we have the “redistribution” made necessary by the Great Recession of 2008.  Texas received $6.4 billion in funding, as requested by former Gov. Rick Perry, from the Recovery Act; which, by the way, has been referred to as the “failed stimulus” by Cruz and others. The redistributed stimulus money balanced the Texas budget and preserved its rainy day fund. In total, Texas was the third-highest recipient of stimulus funds, totaling more than $33 billion.

As you can see, Cruz claims to be fiscally conservative.  He claims that the President is the worst kind of socialist.  He claims that he and his Tea Party cronies have all the answers to our problems.  But it turns out that Texas is really the state that harbors the most socialists in the country.

I don’t want to see any relief money denied to Texas families and businesses.  We are supposed to help our neighbors in times of need.  On the other hand, it is time for Cruz, Abbott, and other Texas politicians to be called out for their lying to the American People.  It is time for the truth about Texas Socialism to be brought to light.

I guess what we really need is for this truth to be brought out so it will be easier for the American People to tell Cruz and his Tea Party cronies to simply “shut the f… up!”  Then vote them all out of office.

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There are two laws in Missouri that really go against each other.  The first is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  The second is Missouri’s 72 hour waiting period and “informed consent” law about abortion.  This problem is coming to a head.

A woman who belongs to the Satanic Temple wants an abortion.  She went to Planned Parenthood and filed an exemption form stating that the 72 hour waiting period places an undue burden on her religious beliefs.  Planned Parenthood rejected the exemption form based on Missouri’s 72 hour waiting period and “informed consent” law.  The woman, called Mary Doe in court documents, and the Satanists have filed suit over the denial.

In Missouri, and several other states, the waiting period has no medical or scientific basis.  It is merely a forced waiting period so the woman can digest the “informed consent” material they are forced to endure.  This material has no medical or scientific background or need either.  Most of the material is intended to make a woman feel guilty about her choice, thus forcing her to change her mind.

The Satanic Temple says that is a violation of the RFRA.  Spokesman Lucien Greaves says that “in our tenets, we hold that one should make decisions based on the best scientific evidence available and that a woman’s body – anyone’s body – are subject to ones own will.”  He claims that the state mandated material is not scientifically based, is nothing more than state-propaganda designed to sway an individual’s decision, and therefore is against their religion.

That puts the 72 hour waiting period and “informed consent” law in conflict with the RFRA.  The really weird part of this story is that the Hobby Lobby case at the Supreme Court opened the door for this conflict to happen.  In the Hobby Lobby case, Hobby Lobby argued that certain contraceptives were abortifacients.  They are not abortifacients, yet Hobby Lobby argued that they believe they were and therefore should not be forced to provide them in their health coverage.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby.  In essence, the court ruled that even if the science does not support your claim, as long as you hold “deeply religious beliefs” about your argument, you are right.  Which brings us to the “informed consent” law in Missouri.

The Satanic Temple is saying that they believe that the material being forced upon women is not scientifically based and inaccurate.  Under the Hobby Lobby ruling, they only need argue they have a “deeply held religious belief” that the material is bogus and therefore, they are correct.

There have been other challenges to the waiting period laws that have failed.  However, this is the first one using the RFRA as a reason the waiting period laws are invalid.  I know that not many people are going to support the Satanic Temple.  However, it is a religion, whether or not you agree with them, and therefore should be protected under the RFRA as well.

The other sad part of the story is that the Satanic Temple cannot get a pro-bono lawyer to take up their case.  So, they are forced to look for donations to continue this case.  I am extremely surprised that the ACLU doesn’t take up the case.  So, I ask the ACLU to please explain why you aren’t taking up this case.

The ruling in this case has a lot of ramifications.  None of them, in my opinion, are positive for the Conservative Christian right who are behind these anti-abortion laws.  If the courts rule in favor of the Satanic Temple, what does that mean for everyone else?  Would these waiting period laws be stricken?  Probably not.  More likely, the state legislature would change the waiting period laws to remove any religious exemptions from them.

Taking that step would indicate that they really don’t believe in the RFRA they so dramatically scream about when it suits their desires.  It would also prove that they are only interested in forcing their beliefs on everyone else, religious freedom be damned.

If the court rules against the Satanic Temple, there would be a legitimate argument that the court is “defining what is religion and what isn’t.”  That would also be bad for everyone.  If the court rules that the Satanic Temple isn’t a real religion, which religion will be next?

Yes, this case is one that is worth watching. The arguments put forth by the state to defend their waiting period law will allow the world to see just how insincere they are about religious freedom.  It will open up the can of worms that prove their arguments about religious liberty is one-sided and hypocritical.

To be frank, I hope this turns out to be a real dilemma for the Christian right.  It will only accelerate the movement away from religion recent polls are indicating is happening.  Then, maybe, we can have legitimate discussions about our issues and not have religious bellicose drowning out potential solutions.

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Tennessee obviously want to lead the way in the anti-woman agenda bill competition.  Of course, just passing such anti-woman bills is not enough.  They also have to call women liars and cheats.  Then the get to call doctors as money-grubbing sloths only interested in the abortion “business” for money only.

This all started with HB 977.  In this bill, the GOP wants to make women wait 48 hours and attend “counseling” before having an abortion provided.  This is simply another attempt by a GOP controlled state to make women go through nonsensical non-scientific “counseling” before having the abortion they, their families, and doctor have all agreed to.

See, women are not allowed to make up their own minds on such subjects.  The GOP obviously believes that women are simply too stupid to make any decisions by themselves.  No, once they make their decision, the GOP must abuse them with “counseling” that is ridiculous and meaningless.  Unless, of course, you want bully a woman into changing here mind.

Still, Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D) proposed an exemption for victims of rape or incest.   Needless to say, GOP lawmaker is Sheila Butt went bonkers.  According to Rep. Butt, this is just a political stunt.  She said:

This amendment appears political because we understand that in most instances, this is not verifiable. Let’s make sure these women have the information and the understanding to act.

This nice “Christian” lady from Tennessee believes that you cannot verify that a woman was raped or a victim of incest.  Apparently, every time a woman claims she is a victim of one of these horrendous crimes, she is simply lying in order to get around this abysmal law.

Fitzhugh then had the unmitigated gall to suggest that women are actually able to comprehend both the magnitude of deciding to terminate a pregnancy and the gravity of rape and incest.  He said:

I just don’t think women take something like rape or incest lightly. And I can’t imagine any person would take advantage of that type of situation. Fortunately or unfortunately, it may not happen much. But it is certainly a condition that women need to be protected from, and that we should not give them a more burdensome process because their pregnancy is a result of one of these two actions.

Unfortunately, Rep. Butt and the other GOP butts in the house voted to “table” Fitzhugh’s amendment.  So, it won’t be part of the bill which is surely going to be signed by the state’s biggest GOP butt, the Governor.

But, don’t think that his is the only instance of Rep. Butt showing off her ignorance.  Earlier Fitzhugh offered a different amendment.  He wanted allow doctors to exempt patients from the 48-hour waiting period for mental health reasons.  Rep. Butt once again showed her “Christian Charity” on this matter.  She said:

Putting this psychological harm bypass into the bill is really a loophole for the abortion industry. It allows someone who is going to profit from abortion to get the waiting period waived.

Just to be clear about all of this.  According to Rep. Butt, every woman who claims to have been raped or a victim of incest is a liar.  Every doctor who wants to grant an exemption to this “waiting period” is simply out for the money.  It is really nice to see just how sympathetic this woman is to other women.

Bills like these are simple attempts to legislate specific religious beliefs into law.  They serve no other purpose.  Other than attempting to control the lives of women.  It is open season on women across the nation.

As I wrote yesterday, none of this nonsense being vomited up by conservatives has anything to do with religion or religious beliefs.  It is all a simple way to keep women down and under control.  And it stinks.  And it is wrong.  In my humble opinion, the GOP is using “terrorism” against women to deny them their civil rights.  But don’t worry, even if you believe they are correct, once they get women “back in their place” they will come after you, too.

 

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It is very easy for people on the left to poke fun at our conservative brothers.  It seems that almost every day some conservative says something that most rational people would consider inappropriate.  It also is true that almost every day a conservative controlled state passes another law that infringes on the rights of its citizens, all in the name of “liberty.”

There has been a lot of talk about these so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, anti-abortion bills, one state even passed a law that allows for carrying concealed guns without a license!”  Conservatives are continually railing about the “red menace” still threatening our way of life.  They argue the Iran Nuclear Deal is “giving in” to Iran.  They continue to harp that the ACA is bad for your health, although they don’t have any alternative to offer.

Conservatives deny that climate change is real.  There are states like Florida that actually ban public workers from using the words “climate change.”  They claim that man has had no influence on the weather.  Texas conservatives are hugely against doing anything about “climate change” all the while the western end of their state is getting hotter and drier by the day.

But, rather than poking fun at these conservatives, I think it would be better to try to understand them, just a little.  That is the only way to really fight back and gain the support of the American People.  See, conservatives are really living in the past.  Conservatism by definition favors the status-quo and hates progress.

Face facts, do you really think that all of the crying about evolution and not teaching the bible in school has anything to do with religion?  No!  It has to do with the fact that conservatives want to remain in a time when bad things that happen like drought, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes could all be handled by saying it was “God’s will.”  If you allow science to teach something other than “God’s will” you don’t have any basis for your fantasies.

As I said once before, the phrase “it’s God’s Will” is a convenient excuse to believe that nothing is really anyone’s fault.  That explains their consistent denial about climate change.  They want you to believe that man is not helping the climate to get warmer, it is “God’s Will.”  Therefore we just have to put up with it.

Conservatives use the abortion battle to say “life begins at conception.”  But what they are really saying is that they want to be able to tell women what they are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do.  The last thing a conservative wants is for women to decide for themselves or for that matter even think for themselves.  In our days of yore, women were subjugated to the will of men.  That is how they want it to be in the future.

As a result of their backwards thinking, they have nothing to offer America except fear.  The Red Menace is still a threat.  ISIS is coming to America to kill us all in our sleep.  Gay couples are destroying the American family and the institution of marriage.  None of this is true, but they do make for great headlines.  Especially aimed towards other conservatives who are afraid that tomorrow will be different from today.

So, how do we fight against such backwards thinking?  We need to call them out for their stupidity, yes, but we also need to educate the populace on how this kind of backward thinking is ruining our economy, defense, and country.  Let’s look at climate change as an example something the DOD even says is a threat to national security.  See, everyone who is fighting the conservatives on climate change are making the wrong arguments.  If you really want to see a change in our energy policies, you need to hit them where it will hurt the most.  People’s pocketbooks!

Those who are arguing that fossil fuels are hurting the planet are correct.  But, they don’t take the argument far enough.  They only talk about how climate change is changing our planet.  That is serious enough, but if you want to get everyone on board, you need to show that changing our energy policies to renewable energy will actually create a boom to our economy.  You need to show that these conservatives are really stopping the creation of millions of jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Using renewable energy, like wind and solar power, helps reduce the costs of energy for every single American.  It reduces energy costs for manufacturing and other businesses.  It creates jobs that cannot be outsourced.  It creates education opportunities so people who currently work in the fossil fuel industry, like coal miners, can learn a new trade and secure economic stability in the future.

I don’t know a single business owner who would not like to see their electric bill cut.  I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t like to see their heating and air conditioning bill cut.  This can happen if we stop using fossil fuels whose costs are subject to the whims of Wall Street.

Of course changing our energy policies costs money.  We need to rebuild our energy infrastructure.  We need to upgrade our electric producing plants.  We need to reeducate our workers so they can benefit from the changes.  However, in terms of return on investment, we would probably recover these costs in less than 20 years.

It doesn’t matter to me if the rest of the world is going to follow us or not.  In my opinion, they will be forced to follow us because using renewable, cheaper energy will make America more competitive in the global market.  It will allow us to restore our manufacturing base at a lower cost, thus creating even more jobs.  More people working at livable wages means more tax dollars coming into the Federal coffers.  More money in the treasury will help pay off our debt.

The conservatives want to eliminate things like SNAP, WIC, and welfare.  What better way to eliminate the need for these programs than to create an environment where people can actually get a real job that cannot be given to someone in China?  What better way to help the poor than teaching them a trade that they can earn a livable wage with?

But no, conservatives would rather fall back on their tried and true method of claiming that climate change is “God’s Will.”  They are not interested in creating a better future for our country.  They are not interested in creating a better future for our children.  They are only interested in living in the past.  That is where they feel safe.  That is where they feel in control.

It isn’t hard to show the economic benefits that the average American can acquire if we change our policies.  Just look at what we gained from NASA and the space program?  Hell, we never had Tang before the space program.  We didn’t have personal computers either.

The benefits of changing energy policies would have just as much benefit to the average American as the space program had.  Maybe even more because these policy changes would put money into people’s pockets.  It would create job security.  It would return our manufacturing base.  It would create more research into things like cars that don’t need to burn gasoline or be limited to a few hundred miles on a battery charge.

It is time we show the American people that conservatism is holding back our economic growth.  It is holding us back from a future that would be far better than the present.  Be honest, you are not going to win the argument by telling people that New York City will be underwater in 100 years.  The people today won’t be around then, and frankly don’t care.

But, if you tell them they will gain economically by a shift in energy policies, if you show them that their children will have a more secure lifestyle, they will listen.  It doesn’t matter if you earn $1 Billion per year or $10,000 per year.  It is all about personal economics.  That is where we need to take the battle.

Naturally the conservatives will use the argument that it will “cost too much.”  But, the American people have shown in that past that if they benefit from changes, they won’t care how much it costs.  They will want it.  That is how you beat conservatives and take our country into a better future for our citizens.

 

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We have seen the headlines and we have heard the radical right claim that there is a war on Christians.  What better way to deflect your war on democracy than to put the blame on democracy?  If you really pay attention, that is exactly what is happening in this country right now.

A term you have probably never heard before, I am willing to use right now.  Our country, our very democracy, is under attack by a “Radical Christian Agenda!”  Yes, you have all heard a similar phrase used by the right against gays, blacks, liberals, etc.  As in “Radical Homosexual Agenda.”  The truth is, Radical Christians are the real villains who have a radical agenda that will fundamentally change our country.

The other day, Mike Huckabee told an Iowa news radio station the “military is waging war on Christians.”  Really?  The military is probably the most secular organization in the country.  Yes, there are homophobes, Islamaphobes, and pure xenophobes who are in the military.  But, as an organization, the military does not force anyone to believe in any religion.  That is the problem as Mike Huckabee sees it.

The self-anointed prophet, Bill O’Reilly, has been crying about a “war on Christians” for years now.  He started with his ridiculous “war on Christmas” and it has just gotten worse over the years.  He claims Christians are the truly “moral” people in the country.  Sorry Bill, I was taught that purposefully lying is not “moral.”  Quite the opposite.  So, until you fess up to your deliberate lies over the years to make yourself look good, keep quiet about morality.

All of these so-called “restoration of religious freedom” bills around the country really have nothing to do with “religious freedom.”.  The people who are introducing these bills in the various states don’t give a rat’s ass about religious freedom.  What they really want is the right to discriminate against, segregate, and even kill those who don’t believe in their radical Christian beliefs.  If you think I am exaggerating, look at the proposed ballot initiative in California that calls for the “putting a bullet in the head” of homosexuals.

The real goal of this Radical Christian Agenda is to eliminate our democracy.  They want to establish a dictatorship in America that would rival the most gruesome dictatorships in history.  Their goal is to establish a society where their group are the only ones who can say what is civil rights and what is not.  They want to be able to determine that discrimination can only be defined as you not following their radical Christian beliefs.

If you desire to “fit in” you will have to adopt their beliefs.  You will have to accept that same-sex marriage is illegal and homosexuals need to be “eliminated.”  You will have to accept that abortion is illegal and that your belief otherwise will just get you put in jail.  You will have to accept that only white evangelical christians will have the right to vote.

In order to justify their goals, they are quick to point out the atrocities that ISIS is committing in other countries.  What they fail to tell you is that is exactly what they want to do right here.  Only it will be the Christians who are committing the atrocities.

They want to shut down our border with Mexico.  They want to eliminate immigration to any group other than “white European Christians.”  As far as these people are concerned, White Christians, especially White Evangelical Christians are the “supreme race” and therefore are the only people who deserve rights.

The election in 2016 will be a turning point for our country.  If the Radical Christian Agenda wins, it may be the last general election we ever have.  If you don’t believe me, just listen to the wonderful “candidates” the Republicans are fielding.  Listen to Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Scott Walker and you will hear this Radical Christian Agenda being spouted daily.

The only real “attacks on Christians” are the backlash you hear when someone tries to use their “religious beliefs” as an excuse to discriminate against someone.  That is not an attack against “religious beliefs,” it is an attack against bigotry!  If your religion tells you it is okay to be a bigot, I suggest you find another religion.

On the other hand, you see these Radical Evangelical Christians attacking homosexuals, women, blacks, Latinos, and non-Christians.  These same-sex marriage bans, anti-abortion bills, anti-immigration bills, and voter suppression bills all show who the true attackers are and what they are after.

They attack science and education.  They hate evolution and want to ban it from our schools.  They hate America’s true history and want to ban all of the “bad” stuff from history classes.  They want to keep women subjugated to the will of men.  In their eyes, women are only around to have babies, and nothing more.

Anyone who stands up for the rights of others is not a “true American.”  Anyone who stands up for peace and negotiated treaties to maintain that peace is a “supporter of terrorism.”  They are the only ones who are allowed to determine what the truth is.  Your truth is wrong.  Your beliefs are wrong.

There is nothing in the teachings of Jesus that says it is okay to discriminate against anyone.  In fact, just the opposite is true.  He preached peace and harmony among men.  He told you to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  He told you to “turn the other cheek.”  The ministry of Jesus was love, not hate!

You can mark my words here.  If you are not part of the Radical Evangelical Christian cult, you will be persecuted as much as the rest of us should they gain power.  You will discover that their meaning of “religious freedom” is that you must follow their religion.  Otherwise, you will be considered an “outsider” too.

As the campaign season starts ramping up, please listen to these preachers of the Radical Christian Agenda carefully.  They are lying to you and believe you are stupid enough to buy into their hatred.  History is full of examples of what happens when the public swallows these kinds of lies.  We must fight to ensure America is never included in that horrible history!

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