I have bad news. I have stage 4 lung cancer

I have some very bad news.

For the last 25 years I have been one of the nations most prolific letter to the editor writers. Unfortunately that might come to and end soon as I have been diagnosed stage 4 lung cancer. As someone who understand probabilities far too well I understand this is a fatal diagnosis and it’s just a matter of when. My life is now a casino and it’s mostly all about luck at this point.

Since 1991 I have written some 2500 letters to the editor, all 100% original, and I have mass distributed them to about 2000 newspapers each time. Back in the early days it was by fax. If you remember the old Sprint “Free Fridays” where long distance was free on Friday, I would write a letter every Thursday and queue it up. At the stroke of midnight 3 fax servers would come on line and fax 2000 papers and often every member of Congress weekly. In the late 1990s I switched to email.

I am usually well published because I understand that short is better, talking about current events, and laying out my points as clearly as possible and a flair for humor. This allowed my original opinions, right or wrong, to reach untold millions of people over the years. And I want to express gratitude to all of you who have published my work over the last 1/4 century.

It’s actually rather ironic that I of all people should be dying of lung cancer as someone who is a lifelong anti-smoking activist. I feel the cancer gods owe me a favor.

I suppose I’m now the new Christopher Hitchens – the dying Atheist. But I’m really not the same. Where Atheism is ultimately about nothing, Realism is about everything. And for the past 18 years I’ve been developing my Church of Reality and leave behind a reality based philosophy of life that is based on science. Trying to get it so logically tight that when computers become smarter than humans and have an existential crisis wondering “What is the meaning of artificial life?”, that I have an answer that it can reason is valid.

In that context I face my “final adventure” with the comfort of knowing that I have lived an extraordinary life and that I have accomplished more that most people do in 100 lifetimes. I have always looked at life as a story. Your story is everything you do from birth to death, and then your story is how you affected the world. Leonard Nimoy is gone, but Spock is still with us. At an early age I chose to “own my story” as I call it in my religion, to “live the life worth living”.

No one has a perfect life and as I look back there’s lots of things I could have done better. But surprisingly I feel that I have lived a life well lived and that is very comforting to me right now. And because of that I have a huge number of friends who care a lot about me, so much so that is is very humbling. And I’m dealing with making a lot of people very sad right now and that’s difficult to do. I’m not used to being on the receiving end of generosity. Even a little guilty that I might not have been as generous with them as they are with me.

For someone with a death sentence I’m doing OK so far. I have a paid for home in California, and still make a good income from home doing my little tech empire, web hosting and spam filtering. I’m not feeling any symptoms yet so if not for the diagnosis I would not know I was sick. So I’m writing this early in the process while I’m still in an inspirational state of mind. A very close friend of mine who is a hospice nurse, told me that people die the way they lived. So I’m hoping that’s true. (Although I’m probably going to be cranky and difficult as I get sick.)

I’m not afraid to be dead. I’m more afraid of the process of getting there. I had thought there was a chance that with new technology that I might be young enough to cheat death. That with the genetic work being done by Dr. David Sinclair and the advancements in computers that I when I die I would be “uploaded to the cloud where I would live forever.” (What does that remind you of?) But, if humanity stay on the right path, I might be the last generation to die. But seems I’m going to miss out on that one.

I however have a larger view of existence. We live in a universe where stars evolve into astronomers, and since we are all created by the universe what we do is what part of the universe is doing. We are the physical mechanism where self awareness and contemplation lives. “I think therefore I am.” However some 3.5 billion years ago something in the bottom of the ocean started dividing and formed life and we are all that organism still dividing and evolving. And although we are all individuals, in a greater sense we are all a single biological organism as well. But views are true, the only different is perspective and scale.

Much of what we know we know collectively. We are tightly integrated into a society more closely integrated than a hive of bees. The very words we use to think our own thoughts with are words invented by other people. And humanity explores the universe collectively. But since we are the universe, when we look back through the Hubble Telescope, the universe is looking at baby pictures of itself. As Carl Sagan says, we are the mechanism through which the universe contemplates it’s own existence.

Although I feel the impending loss of my own existence, in the greater sense I am more like a single cell in a greater organism who is created, lives for a time, and passes on. And although my story will end, my story will become part of the story of humanity, which is part of the story of life, and part of the story of the universe. And because of technology much more of who I am will survive as I upload what’s left of me to my digital afterlife. My hardware will return to dust, but some of my software will live on. And I’m hoping that I will achieve a meaningful level of immortality in that the values and wisdom I leave behind represent the essence of who I am (was) as a person. And that part is the part that has real value.

Still, this is all very difficult, I’m still have some denial of what’s happening to me. And I’m hoping that I die well. And the process of disassembling my personal existence is scary. Although what I write sounds very brave to read, there is a lot of fear inspiring it.

And although it sounds like I’m giving up, I am going to put up a fight. I’m going to MD Anderson which is the best cancer hospital in the nation. My life is a casino right now, but they are the casino with the best odds. If I get 2 years that would be a win. But I understand the probability spectrum way too well to not plan for a fatal outcome. I suppose I need to get around to writing a will.

I can ramble on forever, and forever isn’t as long as it used to be.

Feel free to distribute this or to publish this as well if you want to. I also do great interviews. Might be useful to other people facing their own mortality.

Marc Perkel

Insurance Companies Aetna and Humana should not be allowed to merge

Letter to the Editor

In a move to intimidate the Justice Department insurance giant Aetna threatened to pull out of Obamacare if government regulators interfered with its merger with Humana. The health insurance merger should not be allowed to continue.

The reason that the government regulates the super corporation is to prevent one company from having so much leverage that they can bully America into doing what they want. Aetna, in making this threat is displaying the very behavior that the monopoly laws are designed to prevent. If Aetna is threatening America now, how much more will they threaten America when they merge and become even bigger?

As someone who has lung cancer I want to make sure that the insurance companies are not in a position to take my money for years and then throw me out on the street without care to increase their corporate profits. I think there was a missed opportunity in 2010 to eliminate the insurance companies altogether and pass single payer health care and eliminate these parasites from American society. But if the Justice Department can’t stand up to bullies when they are smaller, how are they going to stand up to them when they get bigger? We are already paying the price of letting the banks grow to “too big to fail”. Why would we let the insurance industry do the same thing?

John McCain does not deserve reelection

Letter to the Editor

Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, has endorsed Donald Trump in spite of the fact that Trump has advocated the use of torture on prisoners. Trump has also disparaged prisoners of war like McCain calling him and all POWs losers because they were captured. And Trump jokes about soldiers who get Purple Hearts and families who lost sons in battle.

I’m beginning to wonder about McCain’s POW story because what kind of person allows Trump to say those things and still endorse him. McCain in his endorsement of Trump throws himself and every other soldier who has sacrificed under the bus. It as if McCain no longer remembers the years he spent in captivity. And if McCain has forgotten he loyalties as a soldier I think it’s time we forget about McCain. Perhaps Trump is right about McCain being a loser.

Wow! Do I ever miss Bill Clinton

Letter to the Editor

After seeing Bill Clinton speak tonight I no longer care if Hillary is lying about whatever. I want Bill Clinton back in the White House!

I was expecting Trump to grow up

Letter to the Editor

I watched Trump’s acceptance speech at the convention and his behavior since and he’s is acting like a brat. I’m talking about this ongoing feud between Trump and Cruz. In the primary it was amusing. It was refreshing to get some unfiltered opinions, no matter how weird they may be.

But the primary is over and now it’s time to pivot to the issue of “What are you going to be like as a president?” issue. So I was expecting Mr. Trump to be inspirational and adult, and I’m not seeing that. Trump is focused on this personal grudge match to get even with Ted Cruz. This is what ill behaved children do. Does it really matter if “Ted Cruz’s father hung with Lee Harvey Oswald” after the primary is over?

Donald – you won. You beat Cruz. Declare victory and move on. I have to ask the question, “Are you going to at least grow up and act like an adult?” It’s time for Trump to start acting like a president. Donald, show me your presidential side.

Clinton picks Big Bank Advocate for VP

Letter to the Editor

It is very unfortunate that Hillary Clinton picked a VP running mate who is advocating for the deregulation of banks just 8 years after deregulation caused a economic collapse and added some 10 trillion dollars to the national debt. While the big banks got bailed out, the American people got royally screwed. Tim Kaine is the exact opposite of consumer advocate Elisabeth Warren.

Trump’s accusation that Clinton is just a puppet of Wall Street appears to be true. In 2008 big banks crashed the economy and they got away with it because of Obama’s “too rich to jail” policy where none of the bankers who ripped America off were punished.. I had thought Hillary was the lesser of two evils. Now I don’t know who is worse. All I know for sure is that the next president is going to be really really bad.

Republicans have already lost the Presidential Election

Letter to the Editor

The Republican Party is slowly grasping the reality that they have already lost the presidential election. I’m not saying that Trump isn’t going to win. I’m saying that Trump is not, never was, and never will be a Republican. The Republican voters chose a non-Republican over 16 other Republicans. And I think the Republican Party deserves it.

The Republican Party have been in a downward spiral for decades. It had degraded to where candidates were just puppets of special interests and crazy billionaires. This time Republican chose to go with the crazy billionaire instead of the puppet and I can’t say I blame them. In fact, as someone who votes Democrat as the lesser of 2 evils I find myself just a little be envious. And isn’t that just more than a little bit sad,

Why can’t Americans see the last 28 pages?

Letter to the Editor

After America was attacked on 9/11 there was an investigation and a report was issued. However the last 28 pages of the 9/11 report remain secret, classified by the Bush administration. Apparently the 28 pages are not something that Saudi Arabia wants released and they have threatened to sell off some 750 billion in American assets if the information is revealed. The information is thought to indicate involvement of the Saudi Royal Family in the 9/11 attack.

Now the Obama administration and the Republican leaders have caved into Saudi demands and Obama has threatened to veto legislation that would make the 28 pages public. So after America is attacked American’s are denied the right to know who did it because of Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Saudi Royal Family come before the interests of the American People. It would appear that we are not a nation of the People, by the People, and for the People. America is owned by the Arab oil cartels, and isn’t that more than just a little bit sad.

Are we really having a primary election?

Letter to the Editor

I used to think America was a Democracy where the People elected the politicians and our votes counted. But that doesn’t seem to be the case in this year’s election. This year the Democrats and Republicans have rigged their primaries. And that’s neither Democratic, nor the American Way.

In a Democracy the person with the most votes wins the election. On the Republican side that person, at this point is Donald Trump. Personally I despise Trump but if he wins he wins. But what I’m hearing is that party insiders want to give the election, not to Trump, not even to Cruz, but to some unknown person that the party insiders will choose themselves. Maybe someone who hasn’t even run or has already dropped out of the race.

On the Democrat side you have a race in Wyoming where Bernie Sanders slaughters Hillary Clinton by 56 to 44. You would think that Bernie would get more delegates than Hillary, but you would be wrong. When Bernie wins he doesn’t win. Both get half. why is that? Because the Democrat Party rigged the election in favor of Hillary and made the super delegates vote last year before the primary season began. Super delegates politicians electing politicians usurping the vote of the People.

These parties make up the rules and the rules are that the vote of the People doesn’t matter. They are merely giving us the illusion of voting when the elections are rigged from the start. And I’m refusing to participate in a general election that is rigged against Sander and Trump. The people are rising up. We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore. We have had enough of presidents like Bush and Obama and we are telling the party insiders we want someone else. And we are not going to stand by and allow our elections in America to be conducted by the same rules used by the Communists and third world dictatorships.

Denying Supreme Court Numinee a Hearing

Letter to the Editor

There is a Constitutional question I’ve been wondering about. The President shall have the power to justices of the Supreme Court “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate”. But what happens if the Senate refuses to participate in the process as they are doing now with Judge Garland.

If the Senate refuses to advise and consent (as opposed to denying consent) could that be construed as a waiver of their rights and the nomination is not blocked? The question is if they have an affirmative duty to confirm rather than a right to deny. Is “not voting” mean a required “yes” is denied, or and optional “no” is not asserted? I think the phrase “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate” mean that the Senate can participate and can block a nominee by voting to deny. But I also think that when the Senate says that they are refusing to advise and consent then they are waiving their option to participate, So when the Senate says they refuse to vote, as they have said, then the nominee becomes the next justice.

I think someone should look into this.

I’m tired of Billionaires controlling the election

Letter to the Editor

America has had terrible presidents for the last 16 years. First we had Bush who crashed the economy and got us into wars in the middle east. Then we had Obama who passed out trillions of dollars to the super rich and let the bankers get away with it. No bankers were prosecuted because Obama decided they were “too rich to jail”.

Now we have candidates on both sides that are either billionaires or the puppets of billionaires. Donald Trump wants to sell of 16 trillion in America’s assets, our assets, to pay the same super rich people who we bailed out in 2009. There is just one candidate who is standing up to the oligarchy that now controls American politics, and that one candidate is Bernie Sanders. That’s why I’m supporting Bernie. If he doesn’t win then Democracy itself might die out.

Trump being honest about Abortion

Letter to the Editor

People on the left and right are criticizing Trump for saying the if you make abortion illegal that women who get abortions would go to jail. After all, that is what the word illegal means. When people oppose abortion they don’t think things through. That’s why we need to keep abortion legal so that we can choose to have children when we want to, not when the government throws women in jail for not having babies.

Violence at Trump Rallies is Trumps Fault

Letter to the Editor

Donald Trump started this and what happened Friday in Chicago was Donald Trump’s fault. Trump started it by encourage violence at his political rallies. Trump said about a protester “I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you that,” and offered to pay the legal expenses of those who commit violent acts against those who don’t agree with him. He also reminisced about the “good old days” when protesters were taken out on stretchers.

This is America and when you are a political candidate who threatens violence against protesters you get violence. Trump might be able to intimidate his fellow Republican candidates but if he thinks that the electorate is going to allow him to incite a riot then Americans are going to stop him. I’m surprise that Trump wasn’t arrested for the things he’s said because it’s illegal for him to get up in front of an audience and tell the crowd to go beat people up. So as far as I’m concerned if Trump doesn’t do a total reversal on his violent rhetoric then I support what the good people of Chicago did to shut him down.

Money does Influence Politics

Letter to the Editor

Like Secretary Clinton, President Obama took Wall Street money and look at what happened. None of the bankers who ripped us all off went to jail. In the 1980s President Reagan sent 700 bankers to jail. So I have to agree with Senator Sanders that money corrupts. Under Sanders there will be no “too rich to jail”.

I have to agree with Sanders about wanting to hear the $200,000 speech Clinton made to Wall Street. I feel like the super rich really ripped off everyone and got away with it and I would like to know what she is saying to them behind closed doors. I can’t vote for someone who tells me one thing but secretly is selling us out in the back room. If she has nothing to hide then why is she hiding it from us?

Hillary’s Email Problem

Letter to the Editor

A lot of people are arguing about Hillary Clinton’s email problem. Is it a big deal or is it a big deal over nothing? But I think people are missing the real point here. The government goes to a lot of trouble to make sure that the Secretary of State has a secure email system so that when the Secretary of State gets email about things like helping Egypt overthrow their president, support for Syrian rebels, or when we are going in to kill bin Laden, that no one else gets to intercept these communications.

The bottom line is that if Hillary had just followed the rules and used the State Department email system like she was supposed to we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Hillary chose to ignore the rules and have someone on her campaign staff set up an email server at her home instead. When you’re the Secretary of State you just can’t be that sloppy with national security. Quite frankly, I’m somewhat amazed that the Obama Administration let her get away with that.

Difference between Clinton and Sanders is …

Letter to the Editor

I think there’s really one defining difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in this presidential race. Bernie’s message is “Yes we Can” and Hillary’s message is “No we Can’t” on issues like single payer heath care and free college tuition. It reminds me of the 2012 election when Bill Clinton won against poppy Bush who didn’t have “The Vision Thing”. I can’t get behind someone who starts out believing that progress isn’t possible. I supported Hillary in 2008 and my favorite president ever is Bill Clinton, but this year I’m feeling the Bern.

Does Obama want Trump to be the Republican Candidate?

Letter to the Editor

President Obama did a press conference today where he said, “I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president”. I believe he’s sincere about that but it makes me wonder if Obama realizes that he has effectively endorsed Trump for Republican nominee. If you’re Republican and you don’t know who to vote for – then the easy choice is to vote for the guy who Obama doesn’t want you to vote for. So – either Obama wants Trump to be the nominee or Obama didn’t think things through very well. Either way – it’s disturbing.

Republicans challenge the President of Scalia

Letter to the Editor

Now that there is an opening on the Supreme Court the Republicans are saying that they will refuse to process and appointments that President Obama will make. That they will refuse to allow Obama to make the choice even though he is still president. It makes me wonder if they would take that same stance if it were the last year of a Republican presidency. The Republicans are challenging the authority of the presidency because they think Obama is weak. It will be interesting to see if President Obama will have the guts to stand up and do what the President is supposed to do.

People are tired of Republicans and Democrats

Letter to the Editor

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have something in common. Donald Trump isn’t a real Republican and Bernie Sanders isn’t a real Democrat, and that’s why I think they are so popular right now. People are tired of Republicans and Democrats. First we had 8 years of Bush who collapsed the economy. Then we had 7 years of Obama who taught us that Hope and Change is really Nope and Same. Americans on the Left and on the Right have had it with them and now we want someone else. We’re mad as Hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.

In the case of Trump, the other Republican candidates are just puppets of their crazy billionaire sponsors. Trump is his own crazy billionaire. He’s no one’s puppet. Bernie Sanders has a long history of saying what he means and meaning what he say. Some people may not like his positions but everyone knows where he stands. I have always been a big fan of Bill Clinton but Hillary is no Bill Clinton. She’ll say anything to get elected.

With Sanders and Trump drawing crowds of 10s of thousands America is telling the parties that the insanity has to end. So let’s have a contest between people who aren’t just more of the same kind of political hacks we are tired of.

Clinton Email Very Disturbing

Letter to the Editor

People are wondering if Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is something to worry about and the short answer is – yes it is. She was the Secretary of State and in that role she had access to top secret information that only the top people in government knew. For example – when we are moving in to kill Osama bin Laden Hillary is pictured in the room with Obama watching it all unfold. She was involved with Iran nuclear weapons talks,  the wars in Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. When you are dealing with these kinds of important issues, you don’t do that on a home server that is filtered through a commercial spam filtering service.

I’m somewhat amazed that the Obama administration and the State Department let her get away with it. They all had to have known because her email address wasn’t @state.gov, it was @clintonemail.com, So the other people in the Obama administration knew what she was doing and just let her do it. As an email professional myself I sit here with my mouth open in utter amazement as to why they let her get away with that. Her email setup was less secure than if she had used her personal Yahoo account.

SpaceX makes history!

Letter to the Editor

I want to congratulate Elon Musk and SpaceX for making history today by landing the first stage of a rocket back on Earth (in one piece this time) after deploying a payload into space. This is an historic event because the cost of getting stuff into space just got at least 3 times cheaper.

In a world where news is dominated by ISIS, mass shootings, and Donald Trump it’s time the smart people get the spotlight and we have good news to report. This event is another milestone representing the progress of humanity on a road that will eventually lead to the human colonization of the planet Mars. All of humanity rejoices tonight at this great accomplishment. Thank you Elon and the team at SpaceX.

Ben Carson not a threat to “progressive secular movement”

Letter to the Editor

Ben Carson says that the reason that people are looking into his past is that he’s a threat to the “progressive secular movement”. I think he’s more of a threat to religion than he is to us heathen atheists. Religious people are supposed to be inspired by God to tell the truth and as someone who claims to be a religious person Ben Carson’s behavior represents what he really believes. So if he’s lying and trying to blame non-believers then he’s really no threat to us. Carson is a threat to religious people.

When someone cloaks himself in the Word of God and uses that to lie, then what that says is that he really doesn’t believe in God. Ben Carson is an atheist just like us. I think if someone is going to lie they should take personal responsibility for their actions and not try to hide behind Jesus and point fingers at non-believers for his personal sins. If I were a Christian Carson would be an embarrassment.

I have no idea who Ben Carson really is, but he’s doing a really bad job of pretending he’s something that he’s not. Trump might be a lunatic, but he’s genuine.

Candidates should be asked about NSA Spying

Letter to the Editor

Whether you are a tree hugging liberal or from the Ku Klux Klan conservative one thing we all have in common is that we don’t like the government spying on us. Now we are in the debate season to determine who is going to be president and those who question the candidates are not asking the tough questions. Where do they stand on NSA spying? Where do they stand on Edward Snowden? Those are the questions I want to see asked in the debates.

Jailing Clerk over Gay Marriage is right thing to do

Letter to the Editor

I think the jailing of Kim Davis, the Kentucky Clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples was the right thing for the judge to do. Like many older Americans I think gay marriage is “a little weird”. But this is America where people have the freedom to be a little weird. That’s what living in a free country is all about.

Likewise as a Christian Kim Davis talks to invisible people, which is also “a little weird”. But if a gay clerk refused to issue her a marriage license because she was strange – well – that would be wrong. Just like Seventh Day Adventists who don’t take jobs where they are required to work on Saturday, if Kim Davis can’t do what she is required to do because of her religion, she should get a job that is compatible with her beliefs

Pope moves in right direction on Abortion

Letter to the Editor

I find myself again praising Pope Francis, His latest change on abortion is a step in the right direction. As a non-catholic I didn’t know abortion was an unforgivable sin and that it was just upgraded to forgivable.

I personally don’t think abortion is a sin at all. In fact – there are already too many people on the planet and people shouldn’t have one till they they are ready to do it right. Global warming is really caused by too many people and when you have a finite sized planet and a growing population you have a disaster waiting to happen.

So – thumbs up to the Pope for moving in the right direction.

Media suckered by Trump for President again

Letter to the Editor

“Trump for President” reminds me of the old Peanuts cartoons where Charlie Brown is trying to kick the football and Lucy promises over and over not to pull it away – but she always does. Trump has run, or almost run, for president in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and not he’s doing it again in 2016 and the news media is falling for it yet again.

Never mind his “Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers” nonsense. The real question is, “Are we really stupid enough to believe The Donald is actually running?” Does anyone really think that by the end of this year Trump won’t become bored with his little political stunt and crawl back to his casinos to find something else to amuse him? Are we that dumb? Apparently – yes we are. And isn’t that just a little sad?

It’s time to put an end to racism in America

150 years ago brave Americans under President Abraham Lincoln fought and died in a bloody war so that all people can be free and equal. We won that war – so why is it that in the 21st century black people are still neither free or equal?

This last week a gunman walked into a black church and killed 9 good people. His intent as he stated it was to cause a race war, Maybe he’s right – that it is time to have a race war because the Civil War might have officially freed the slaves, but the State of South Carolina still flies the flag of the rebellion that fought to keep black people oppressed. This is the 21st century and it’s time to end state sponsored hate speech. The Confederate Flag is a message that says the nigg__s better stay in their place, and that’s fundamentally wrong.

Imaging someone making the argument that Germany should keep the Nazi Flag as a way to preserve their history and culture? How ridiculous would that be? The Confederate Flag is to black people what the Nazi Flag is to the Jews. It’s a symbol of slavery and oppression and for the government to fly the flag is to spit in the face of our Civil War veterans who fought and died so that all people of all races can freely and equally enjoy the freedoms and liberties granted by our Constitution.

The basis for racism itself is rather ridiculous. Every person on the planet is the descendants of black people in Africa. We’re all nigg__s. So the only difference between us is the frequencies of light reflected off the surface of our skin. In the 21st century we are going to judge people on that? Makes me question if this planet has intelligent life on it.

Racism takes it’s toll on America. People who are raised black in America learn that the system is rigged against them and that they don’t have a fair shot at living a good life. This leads to poverty and crime and the very kinds of behaviors that perpetuates the cycle of racism. If we ended that then crime would go down and black people could get jobs and be productive members of society and not be in jails at the taxpayer’s expense.

Fortunately there is a new tool to fight against state sponsored hate speech like the Confederate Flag that South Carolina and other state cling to. On June 18th the United Stats Supreme Court in the case of Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans ruled that the State of Texas could say no to a group of people who wanted custom license plates with the Confederate Flag on it. The court ruled that because Texas’s specialty license plate designs constitute government speech, it was entitled to reject a proposal for plates featuring a Confederate battle flag. The court ruled that the government can’t promote hate speech.

If I were a resident of South Carolina or any other state where the state itself flies the Confederate Flag I would sue the state based on this Supreme Court decision to get a court to order the take down of symbols of oppression that are government sponsored. We as private citizens can still do and say what we want but the government can not engage in the promotion of racism, and we as a society here in the 21st century should not allow it. So I would encourage South Carolina lawyers to take this opportunity to file law suits and take a step towards full equality. Let’s give the concept that all people are created equal to pursue life, liberty, and happiness the true meaning it deserves.

Reference:

Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-144_758b.pdf

 

Time for the Confederate Flag to go!

Letter to the Editor

150 years ago brave Americans under President Abraham Lincoln fought and died in a bloody war so that all people can be free and equal. We won that war – so why is it that in the 21st century that the South still hasn’t got the message?

The Confederate Flag is to black people what the Nazi flag is to Jews. It sends a message that blacks aren’t really free and equal members of society. For 150 years we have been pretending black people are free and equal while the truth is that we still have white supremacist states and a white supremacist culture where we allow the symbols of hate to be the symbols of government. When South Caroline flies the Confederate flag they are sending the message that the niggers better stay in their place.

But there is a new tool in place to fight the racist culture. On June 18th in the case of Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans that vehical license plates were government speech and the government should not be demeaning black people. Based on this decision it’s time to start suing states over the use of the Confederate flag and at least get rid of what is clearly government sponsored racism.

Pope should focus on overpopulation

Letter to the Editor

While I applaud Pope Francis for his interest in the environment the problem that’s driving climate change isn’t unsustainable consumption – it’s unsustainable population growth. If we don’t stop world wide population growth then no amount of austerity or technology is going to save us. We need birth control.

It’s simple math. If we cut our resource usage in half and the population doubles we have gained nothing. We live on a finite sized planet with a growing population. That isn’t sustainable.

One of the leading causes of population growth is the Catholic Church’s opposition to birth control. If the Pope is truly interested in climate change he should reverse this church policy. The Pope is in a unique position to impact the climate and it is irresponsible for him not to act. If the Pope reversed on birth control and asked families to limit themselves to 2 children he would have more impact on climate change than anything the United Nations can do.

Reality based community applauds Pope on Climate Change

I want to express my appreciation for Pope Francis taking a positive stand on environmental issues and putting the focus on this world and how we as humans are going to live on this planet in a sustainable way. I think in many ways this Pope has set a positive example of what a religious leader should be doing, which includes leading people to live in harmony with the natural world.

But although I appreciate the Pope’s concern about what we can do to improve life on this planet for future generations, there is one big thing that would make a huge difference that the Pope isn’t addressing – and that is global population control. Without population control no amount of lifestyle change or green technology will save us.

We don’t actually have a global warming problem, what we have is a population problem with a global warming symptom. Global warming is just one of many problems we have to face and most all of these problems are caused by too many people.

We live on a rock that is 24,000 mile around at the equator and it’s not getting any bigger. The rock – the Earth – is our space ship. It’s a big space ship and it’s easy to forget that this planet is a lifeboat in an otherwise hostile universe. If we were living on the International Space Station we would have a more direct understanding of conserving resources knowing that just on the other side of the wall is the vacuum of space and temperatures 450 below zero. Air and water are as precious here as they are up there.

Anyone with grade school level mathematics knows that if you have a finite amount of space and the population is increasing then overpopulation is inevitable. No matter how many people you think the Earth can sustain – pick and number – if the population keeps increasing we will hit that number. I believe that we are already over the limit and that if we could reduce the world population to 2 billion we would be better off.

Humanity is on track to go from 7 billion people to 11 billion by the end of the century making the population problem even worse. During this period we need to get away from getting our energy from burning stuff and move to wind and solar power. However, if we cut down all the trees and black top out farmland to build cities it will become increasingly difficult to live. Imaging every road with twice as many cars. That’s the world our children will live in if we don’t do something about it.

Although the Pope is calling on other people to act to address the environment, it is really the Pope himself who can personally make the most difference. The Catholic Church has been against birth control for centuries. Being against birth control might have made sense 1000 years ago when you had to have 6 kids so that 2 would live, and the average life span was less than 30. But we now live in a world with less infant mortality and life spans of 80 and what made sense 1000 years ago no longer applies to the Reality we live in today.

So as the Pope calls on the United Nations to address global warming – I call on the Pope to set an example for change. I call on the Pope to help stop global warming by reversing the Catholic Church’s opposition to birth control and to call on Catholic families to limit the number of children to two. Without stopping population growth we are just delaying environmental Armageddon, not preventing it.