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.

Anti-science Senate making big mistake cutting NASA Budget

The Republican controlled Senate Appropriations Committee has made a huge mistake in voting to cut $300 million from NASAs budget. This cut will result in delaying America’s manned space flight capabilities at least another 2 years during which time we will pay the Russians more than the $500 million dollars a year to carry our astronauts to space.

In 2011 America lost the ability to launch humans into space when the Space Shuttle program was retired. Since then all our astronauts have been dependent on hitching rides in the International Space Station (ISS) on Russian made Soyuz rockets at a price of $70 million dollars a seat. So the Senate has decided not to build our own space capability for the cost of just over 4 rides to space with the Russians. Is that crazy or what? Why should America keep paying the Russian $500 million a year when we could be doing it ourselves?

To add insult to injury our relationship with the Russians has not been good lately. In response to America pressuring Russia over the Ukraine, Russia has said to NASA that if America imposes sanctions that we can use a trampoline to get into space. So American foreign policy is limited because in the year 2015 America has less capabilities to deliver humans to space than we had in the year 1960.

I don’t know what it is about Republicans being hostile to science as if science is our enemy but being anti-science is a huge mistake. Science and technology is a huge part of America’s advantage in the world and if we lose that then – well – we are at the mercy of the more technically sophisticated Russians and Chinese; and isn’t that just a little bit sad and embarrassing to accept.

America has national security interests at stake and being dependent of other countries, especially countries like Russia and China put us under their thumb. And for what? What do we gain by doing this? The only reason that I can tell is that this move is part of the “culture wars” where Republicans are angry at NASA for studying climate change and wants to punish NASA for launching too make rockets to study Earth’s climate to see if we are heating up the planet.

Oddly enough even that is a bad strategy. If Republicans don’t believe climate change is real the best way for them to disprove it is to let NASA launch these weather satellites and get the data. Then if the data disproves global warming the Republicans can say, “told ya so!” But to not know what’s happening and decide that you can just believe the truth away is just not the way Reality works. In this world Reality is God and we want to make Reality our friend – not our enemy. In this Reality bad choices have consequences and if America is going to thrive we have to make good decisions that we don’t have to pay for later.

Not only that but Americans of all political and religious groups like what we have been doing with new technology. We like seeing SpaceX launching impressive rockets and working towards colonizing Mars. We like driving Tesla electric cars and want better batteries, greater range, and more affordability. We like our smart phones with GPS navigation that comes from space based location systems, We like getting free clean power directly from the Sun with solar panels instead of burning coal and oil. If Congress takes a position against what Americans want then we will have to replace then next year with people who are running on a Reality friendly platform.

This Thursday the Senate is scheduled to debate an amendment to restore NASA funding. I strongly urge them to pass it. And I warn every member of Congress that we are tracking you and we will remember how you voted when you ask for out votes next election.

Jeb would invade Iraq again?

Letter to the Editor

I would think that if I were Jeb Bush and I was running for president that I would distance myself from my brother George W as far as possible. But he’s doing the opposite and embracing all of Dubya’s mistakes. America barely survived the last Bush and we are going to vote back in a clone the worst president ever? If we do that then America is unworthy of survival if we are really that stupid.

US Trade Deals should not be in Secret

Letter to the Editor

Should America enter into the Trans Pacific Partnership or not? I have no way of knowing if I’m for it or against it because the deal is secret. We the People have no way of knowing what’s in it. Even members of Congress can’t have their staff review it because of the secrecy. And whatever they read they can’t discuss.

That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. This is supposed to be an open democracy with government transparency so that The People who the government serves knows what the government is doing. So on the basis that they don’t want us to know, I am strongly opposed to it. If The People can’t know what’s in a treaty then it shouldn’t pass. The process itself defies the core values of what America was founded on.

NSA spying violates the Constitution and Religious Freedom

Op Ed

On June 1st the authorization for the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on Americans expires. Congress is scrambling to reauthorize the massive spying that was revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013 for another 5 years. This spying is a violation of religious freedom, privacy, free speech, and is fundamentally a crime against humanity.

The spying started in 2001 after the 9/11 attack. Congress in their haste to protect America passed the “Patriot Act” that created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court commonly referred to as the FISA court. Unlike other courts FISA is a secret court under the control of the Supreme Court and supposedly reports to Congress on it’s activities. This court is a kind of emergency court structure that operates outside of constitutional authority for the purpose of dealing with issues of national secrecy in times of war. FISA is best described as a Black Ops court for covert operations.

Black Ops courts don’t have the same rules as regular constitutional courts that have rules and operate openly in the light of day. They can literally do anything they want and you can’t challenge what they do because any case against them is dismissed on the grounds that national security secrets would be revealed if a challenge were heard in public courts.

Under the authority of the FISA court the Bush Administration initiated a massive spying campaign against the american people. They track our phone calls, read our emails, track where we go, who we associate with, and how we spend our money. Everything about us is tracked by the government. Think of it as a freinds and family plan if it were run by Adolf Hitler.

When Obama took over he greatly expanded the spying after he ran on the platform to end it. Only after Edward Snowden revealed what was really happening did the general public become aware of the abuses. In fact apparently Congress, who was supposedly overseeing the operation, had no idea what was going on. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted lying to Congress about what was going on.

I was raised barely Jewish. Most of the Judaism didn’t stick but I do remember when I was a child seeing people with numbers tattooed on their arm from when they were in concentration camps. I remember the story of Anne Frank who lived in her family in hiding for years until they were eventually found and executed by the Nazis in the early 1940s. So the idea of the government rounding up people for execution was a concept I was raised with as a child. I can just imagine what rounding up people would be like if Hitler had the technology we have today.

America was founded as a free society where the government was “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. The government isn’t supposed to spy on the people, the people are supposed to spy on the government. We are a constitutional form of government with 3 branches forming a checks and balance system so that if one branch does something they aren’t supposed to do then the other branches would put them in their place. But if a mere six people conspire to undermine our freedoms then we become a nation of secret courts and secret laws. And those six people are, President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Senate minority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House John Boehnor, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts. 3 Democrats, 3 Republicans.

Under the Patriot Act the government can send me a national security letter to turn over information and I am required by law to lie about it. A nation that requires lying and prohibits the truth, as Edward Snowden has revealed, is morally offensive to not only all religions, but atheists as well. As a Realist it goes against the very core of what I believe in.

We would like to think that our government isn’t going become Nasis but if they were going to do that gathering this kind of information is the first step. I can imagine George Orwell (Author of Animal Farm, Big Brother is watching you) is spinning in his grave. And who would we round up? It could be the Muslims, the Christians, the Jews, the Mormons, the Atheists, or Seventh Day Adventists. Or they could round up intellectuals and activists. If the Patriot Act is extended the Osama bin Laden wins.

Would this actually happen? I hope not. But if it’s not then why should the government be getting the information to do it in the first place? We are not a nation of secret courts and secret laws. If we are a free nation, that has to mean something. Freedom can not be just a marketing label, it has to be real. This land is your land, this land is my land. From Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party Patriots. From the Christian Conservatives to the Hard Core Atheists. This land was made for you and me.