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.

Indiana anti-gay laws suck

Letter to the Editor

I’m somewhat disturbed by the rash of anti-gay laws coming from states like Indiana as well as laws in the works in North Carolina and Arkansas. As someone who is not a Christian I think that when a people has to put down other people for the purpose of feeling superior, that should be a sin. Ego self gratification at the expense of others isn’t something that going to lead anyone to Jesus.

I think it’s time that we put an end to the culture wars that divide this country. We go for the cheap thrill without any concern for the long term consequences of what it’s doing to America as a country and us as a people. I could take a cheap shot in response and say something like, “Thank God I’m an Atheist”, but I know that those politicians who exploit us through the culture wars do not represent the typical religious American. Those who define Christians as haters through immoral legislation designed to oppress do religion a disservice.

So let us all take a step back and reach out our hand instead of our fist and give up gratifying ourselves with negativity so that we might all prosper. Let us reject that passing laws that discriminate and belittle members of our society is the way civilized people behave.

Isn’t it time for America to Grow Up?

Now that Ted Cruz has officially thrown his hat in as the first presidential candidate for the 2016 election I have to ask myself, “Isn’t it time for America to grow up and get past the petty religious culture wars?”

Ted Cruz started off his campaign at Liberty University where he was welcomed by hundreds of religious students who were required, under threat of being fined, to be there. The very setting was setting the stage where Ted was going to champion his brand of religion and lead a crusade of morally superior Christians in a holy war for the hearts and minds of the American people. But in all of Ted Cruz’s bluster not once did he reference Reality. What I want to know is – what is his relationship with this world – the world that we actually live in?

Reality is a very important issue and it isn’t getting talked about enough in the political arena. What is Reality? I like Phillip K. Dick’s definition of Reality. Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

During the Bush administration, who like Ted Cruz also emphasized his Christianity, America turned its back on Reality, even scoffed at Reality. Carl Rove is attributed as saying in regards to the Iraq invasion,

… that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

When you sin against Reality, Reality will strike you down. Not only were Bush’s wars a disaster, but instead of spreading Christianity in Iraq Bush managed to get most all the Christians there killed except for those few who fled. We are now mired in national debt, still fighting Bush’s wars, recovering from the 2008 economic collapse, all gaining Bush the well deserved infamous title, “Worst President Ever!” A fitting punishment for his blasphemy!

As the founder of the Church of Reality – a religion based on Reverence for Reality – I have to ask these questions, “Wouldn’t we honor America if in this election we came together as one nation, one people, and we worked together for the common good of all people instead of engaging in petty sinful culture wars? Shouldn’t we make this presidential election about The Real Truth? Shouldn’t we ask our candidates to explain to us what their relationship is to The Real World?” The last thing we need is for Ted Cruz to be the next George W. Bush.

In the Church of Reality what we do matters. It is our Moral Duty to take Personal Responsibility for what happens in the real world. We are the Stewards of the Future which is a Sacred Duty to us Realists.  Our world view is that The Future is Calling us to Greatness and that the Story of America will be a Blessing to the Story of the Universe.

I therefore challenge Ted Cruz and all the presidential candidates to make this election about this world and how we is going to affect our children and grandchildren. We need to make Reality our friend and not our enemy. We need to see our Home Planet as something Holy and learn to Honor and Respect Creation. If America turns its back on Reality, then Reality will turn its back on us, and that’s something we don’t want to have happen – again.

Is America Ready for a Canadian Born President

Letter to the Editor

Now that Ted Cruz is running for president Americans needs to ask ourselves if it is ready for a Canadian born commander in chief. I for one am calling for Ted Cruz to release his birth certificate and to explain why he waited till 2013 to renounce his Canadian citizenship. We Americans need to understand how it is that he even qualifies to run for president as someone who has only been exclusively an American citizen for only 2 years.

Not Buying Hillary’s Email Story

Letter to the Editor

I have to say as a long time supporter of the Clintons (mostly Bill) that I am not buying Hillary’s email story. She keeps saying that she didn’t want to use 2 phones to support her 2 email accounts. But it’s very easy to configure one phone to access 2 email accounts. I also don’t like the mass email deletions as they remind me of Oliver North shredding documents during Iran-Contra in the 1980s. I think someone should ask the question “are there any backups of her email server or did she destroy them as well?” I am very much not happy about this.

Iran hard liners call Republicans brothers

Letter to the Editor

It appears that Israel, Republicans, and Iranian hard line Islamists all have something in common. they all want war. Radical Islam now calls the Republican Senators who wrote a letter on March 9th to undermine the peace process “brothers”, War is easy – peace takes work. But in the long run peace is the better idea, always. If peace talks break down then Iran is definitely going to want to develop the bomb. I would think that when the Revolutionary Islamic Council calls the Republican Congress “brothers” that should be a clue that you are on the wrong track.

Tech Giant CEOs snub Obama at Cybersecurity Summit

Letter to the Editor

Facebook Chairman Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt snubbed President Obama’s invitation to his cybersecurity summit today because of Obama’s illegal NSA spying.

I think it’s amusing that a summit to stop hackers is being held by America’s Hacker in Chief. President Obama, who is the worlds most notorious cyber criminal, has ordered the NSA to track every person in America and uses secret courts and secret law to undermine the Constitution. So I want to thank Zuckerberg, Mayer, Page, and Schmidt for taking a principled stand but boycotting Obama’s sham summit.

Why do insurance companies have our Social Security number?

Letter to the Editor

The government issues Social Security numbers for one purpose, Social Security. So when I hear that giant insurance company Anthem had millions of Social Security numbers stolen I asked myself, “Why do they have our Social Security numbers in the first place?”

I think they should pass a law prohibiting anyone from using Social Security numbers for anything not related to Social Security.

Pope gets it right – then reverses

Letter to the Editor

This last week the Pope seemed to finally get it that world overpopulation is a serious problem when he said “being a good Catholic did not mean people should breed like rabbits.” For a fleeting moment I thought “Yes – the Pope finally gets it!” But then he took it back. So much for the infallibility of the Pope.

The Catholic Church, with it’s stand on breeding like rabbits is an environmental catastrophe in the making. Poverty, war, global warming are driven by too many people going after a finite amount of dwindling resources. While large families might have made sense in ancient times when the child mortality rate was 50%, in modern times with a global population of 7.2 billion, the problem of overpopulation is one of humanity’s biggest challenges. The Pope could help solve it, but he chooses to turn his back on reality. What a shame.

Terrorism is not Religious

Letter to the Editor

Any religion that has to resort to cutting people’s heads off to raise money doesn’t deserve to be called a religion. I disagree with the Pope, who took the unusual position of siding with the terrorists, that there is no limits on free speech when it comes to criticizing a religion over violent acts. If we are silent or we are censored then the terrorists win. Terrorists have no respect for our religion and our civilization so why should we respect their so called religious views.

 

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Congress votes to let banks steal again?

Letter to the Editor

In 2008 the banks almost collapsed the American economy when they took our money and gambled it away at the Wall Street casino trading derivatives. As part of the recovery Congress passed laws to prevent the banks from doing the same thing again. Now Citibank slipped a law into the budget package that allows banks to do it again.

Banks can now gamble with our deposits, our savings, our pensions, and if they lose the taxpayer is stuck with the bill. And this time they just legalized the stealing. America, as a nation, is on the verge of committing suicide. And we have to do this so members of Congress can be home for Christmas. Where is the outrage?

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ISIS was created out of torture

Letter to the Editor

For those of you who think torture is OK we may end up having to fight another war in Iraq because of it. The terrorists organization ISIS started in an American operated prison in Iraq where they were all tortured together by Americans under the Bush administration. Torture is not who we are and it’s not what we do.  Torture is pure evil and it’s a crime against not just those who are tortured but against humanity itself. We, as a nation, are now paying a very heavy prices for our sins. People need to go to jail for this.

Everyone exploiting a great man – Bill Cosby

Letter to the Editor

What a shame! What an injustice! Bill Cosby is a great man and opportunists and the news media are exploiting him all in the name of making a buck. Reminds me of how they did the same thing to Michael Jackson. Now his shows are being cancelled so the news industry can make a buck off it.

Democrats should not have supported NSA Spying

Letter to the Editor

Democrats like Nancy Pelosi made a serious mistake in supporting Obama on the NSA spying. The government spying on Americans without a warrant is criminal. It was criminal when Bush did it and it is criminal when Obama does it. The Dems failed to appreciate how serious Americans feel about the constitution and the Rule of Law. I therefore call on Pelosi to step down as the House minority leader and let someone take over who is going to put Americans ahead of covering up for Obama’s failures.

NASA should be funding modern American Technology

Letter to the Editor

On Tuesday private rocket company Orbital Science’s rocket, which was suppose to carry supplies to the International Space Station, blew up 6 seconds after lift off. They were using a refurbished Soviet era engine made by the Russians 40 years ago. In contrast companies like SpaceX are using their own American made rocket engines using the latest 21st century technology that makes us independent of the Russians.

I think that if NASA is going to contract out space missions they should be investing in new American made technology rather that recycled Russian rockets. That would be better use of the US taxpayer’s money.

Not all religions deserve respect

Letter to the Editor

As we see yet another Muslim terrorist attacking the Parliament of Canada I have to ask, when is enough enough? How long to we coddle Islam because it’s a religion when these people don’t get it that murdering people is wrong. I’m an Atheist and even I know that’s not what God wants you to do. This isn’t just “a few bad apples”. All my life we have been involved in some religious war where religious people are killing each other in the name of God, and I have had it! It’s not a religion. These are crazy people who what to murder people and it’s not ok. Why should the rest of us have to live in fear and go to wars in the Middle East because of religious freedom? Why is their freedom more important than mine?

Supreme Court helps Republicans Cheat

Letter to the Editor

The Supreme Court has again intervened in behalf of Republicans in Texas to use voter ID laws to prevent 600,000 blacks, latinos, students, and the elderly from voting. This is the last move in a string of decisions the court has made to fix elections for Republicans that started in 2000 when they appointed Bush president and continued on through declaring corporations are people. I don’t know how we can call America a democracy when the courts are helping Republicans cheat.

California Plastic Bag Ban is Wrong

Letter to the Editor

As a citizen of California I want to apologize to the rest of the nation for California’s misguided ban on single use plastic bags. Although passed with good intentions this ban is actually more harmful than good. If anything should have been banned – it’s paper – not plastic.

The paper process is actually many times as polluting as plastic. Plastic gets a bad rap because it is usually manufactured out of oil industry by products. But plastic can be made out of anything including extracting carbon dioxide out of the air. Plastic waste can either be recycled, used as fuel, or stored underground to permanently sequester carbon from the environment.

Also, the amount of plastic in the bag is orders of magnitude less plastic that any plastic in the product in the bag, A plastic bottle has 100 times as much plastic as the bag. A ban on bottled water, for example, would be 100 times as effective as a plastic bag ban if plastic were actually a problem.

I am for saving the environment. Earth is our space ship and we have to protect it so we can continue to live here long term. But we have to put science first and our plastic bag ban is not based on science. So I’m concerned that California’s bad judgement not be replicated in other states.

Tired of Lame Congress

Letter to the Editor

Here we are at the start of yet another Iraq war which will include Syria and Congress, who is supposed to authorize wars, isn’t even going to vote on it. So we are going to just blindly blunder into yet another war. However the Republican House is already planning yet another vote to shut down the government. So we do have time and money for political stunts. Really?

I suppose it’s our fault. After all, we are the ones who elected them. And isn’t that just a little bit pathetic?

How are we going to pay for war?

Letter to the Editor

I find it interesting that when it comes to going to war no one asks the question, “How are we going to pay for it?” or even mentions the national debt. Seems to me that we should at least discuss it.

Arming ISIS Rebels is the wrong solution

Letter to the Editor

Although I agree with President Obama that something needs to be done about ISIS terrorists cutting peoples heads off, I don’t agree that arming the “good rebels” is the solution. Quite frankly, there are no good rebels. Today’s good rebels are tomorrow’s bad rebels.

Today the Sunni Muslims are chopping off the heads of Shia Muslims. Tomorrow the Shia will be chopping off the heads of the Sunnis. When Reagan was president Osama bin Laden was his best buddy and we supported the Mujahideen freedom fighters who turned into the Taliban and Al Qaeda. All these people seem to want to do when they are free is kill each other, rape each other’s women, put women in black bags, and throw acid in the faces of little girls trying to go to school.

So I’m wondering if we are wrong spreading democracy to those who aren’t ready for it. It seems to me that the brutal dictator form of government is the best solution for them. They actually are far more civilized under a dictator than a democracy. I find myself longing for the days when Saddam Hussein was in charge. Iraq was far better off then than it is now. I think we should support Assad if we are going to take a side