Saturday, December 3, 2016

“Objective Truth trumps Personal Faith,” some thoughts

Since I keep going on about how “Objective Truth trumps Personal Faith” my gal pointed me to Trevor Noah’s recent commentary on Trump’s disregard for the truth.  “Adapting to Donald Trump's Lies” does a nice job of considering our Truth-Challenged president-elect.

It’s worth listening to, much sharper than the ‘white bread news’ that seems to be doing their best to lull Democrats back into their usual complacency, “give him a chance,” “lets wait to see what he actually does.”  Yeah right!  While the Alt-Right and Tea-partiers are busy lining up their targets and sharpening their knifes.  Since when should one willingly idle about waiting to get mauled?  Every day matters.  Yes, it is that serious.  Wake up.

Trump has been very clear about what he and the people around him want to do to USA’s government and the protections we’ve fought long and hard to achieve.  Trust Trump's promises, fear for the worst because without massive and effective opposition, you can be certain that the worst will happen!  This isn’t an idle game for them.  There are all too many good reasons to be scared right now.

Actually, much better than just scared is to be scared into action and involvement and learning how to communicate the rationalist's perspective in millions of discussions and communications with each other and our representatives and leaders across the country.  Time to get engaged in the government operations that dictate how we shall live. 

You know, here is where we must reaffirm the need for honesty and the need for observational fact-based decision making rather that self-certain Personal Faith turning the political landscape into a country of enemies, rather then members of the same team USA.
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Trevor Noah - Adapting to Donald Trump's Lies

Published on Nov 30, 2016 - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Even after Donald Trump's mendacious 2016 presidential campaign, 
the media is still grappling with how to report on the now-president-elect's blatant falsehoods.
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Then after my introduction there’s an 18 minute talk by James Hoggan, founder of the information blog DeSmogBlog.com who offers reflections on what he’s learned from studying the right-wing PR machine driven Climate Science Contrarian movement.  Which is followed by Richard Milne PhD, college level one hour twenty minute lecture for those who want to get into more depth: "Critical Thinking on Climate Change: Separating Skepticism from Denial." It's sad that it has taken Hoggan's YouTube nearly four years to break 500 views.  

Four years of general apathy while the Alt-Right was diligently generating and broadcasting the most outlandish slander and fabricating stories meant to shamelessly and maliciously sow fear and hatred in gullible, scared people’s hearts. 

ACLU to Trump: We Are Here !

Okay looks like I might be able to do some catching up over here today.  First, the ACLU placed a full page ad in The New York Times on Friday, November 11, 2016, that's worth reposting over here.  At the end I share links to the American Civil Liberties Union.

If you are concerned about your civil liberties under USA's new Russian Obligate CEO who keeps mesmerizing his supporters with hopes of returning our country to some mythical White Nation that never existed and never can be in today's real world.  The one that is multi-cultural, over-crowded, with resources depleted, and a home planet that we are warming up alarmingly, which in turn is, and will continue to, upend age old natural patterns that our society depends on for its survival.  But I digress.  The ACLU was letting the incoming US Administration know that they remain a force to be reckoned with.  

But, you know the Alt-Right is also a mighty force to be reckoned with, after all they have convinced themselves they are god's own warriors.  Keep in mind they just conned America out of its government, and the ACLU is going to need a hell of a lot more support, intellectual, money, and vocal proactive citizens defending their efforts through letters to editors and your Representatives on both sides of the fence.  


Complacency is our greatest enemy!  Can you help protect America?
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November 11, 2016 | American Civil Liberties Union


Dear President-elect Trump,

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has stood as this nation’s premier defender of freedom and justice for all.

As you assume the nation’s highest once, we must ask you now as president-elect to reconsider and change course on certain campaign promises you have made.

Specifically, you promised to:
- amass a deportation force to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants
- ban the entry of Muslims and institute aggressive surveillance programs targeting them
- restrict a woman’s right to abortion services
- reauthorize waterboarding and other forms of torture
- change our nation’s libel laws and restrict freedom of expression

These proposals are not simply un-American and wrong-headed. They are unlawful and unconstitutional, and would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, as well as other statutes and international treaties.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Profiles in Fraud - ExxonMobil - Climate Science


Considering who wrote this and what it was written for, I don’t even feel like this one is bootlegging, it’s important and fair use sharing, with added links, commentary and highlights.  The footnotes are also included.  This is another immensely important issue worth becoming familiar with, particularly since ExxonMobil has decided to counterattack in typical ruthless amoral fashion, and now they have Trump which is frightening.

Fundamentally, ethics and morality and a duty to arrive at objective facts are on trial.  Does the American public expect our leaders to respect observed down to Earth facts?

Is it okay for personal faith to trump observable facts?

I think rationalists need to start enunciating that there is a difference between Personal Truths and Universal Truths.  The need for humility and perspective.  Too much egomania going around these days.  But I digress, this is about the Self-destructive delusions deliberately manufactured by an avarice driven corporation, ExxonMobil.
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The Rockefeller Family Fund vs. Exxon

By Kaiser and Wasserman  |  December 8, 2016 ISSUE


by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway
Bloomsbury, 355 pp., $18.00 (paper)

by Steve Coll
Penguin, 685 pp., $19.00 (paper)

by Neela Banerjee, John H. Cushman Jr., David Hasemyer, and Lisa Song
InsideClimate News, 88 pp., $5.99 (paper)

an article by Sara Jerving, Katie Jennings, Masako Melissa Hirsch, and Susanne Rust
Los Angeles Times, October 9, 2015

an article by Katie Jennings, Dino Grandoni, and Susanne Rust
Los Angeles Times, October 23, 2015

an article by Amy Lieberman and Susanne Rust
Los Angeles Times, December 31, 2015

Archival Documents on Exxon’s Climate History
available at www.climatefiles.com

Smoke, Mirrors and Hot Air: How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco’s Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Science
a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, January 2007, available at www.ucsusa.org

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David Kaiser President of the Rockefeller Family Fund
Lee Wasserman Director of the Rockefeller Family Fund.

Earlier this year our organization, the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF), announced that it would divest its holdings in fossil fuel companies. We mean to do this gradually, but in a public statement we singled out ExxonMobil for immediate divestment because of its “morally reprehensible conduct.”1 For over a quarter-century the company tried to deceive policymakers and the public about the realities of climate change, protecting its profits at the cost of immense damage to life on this planet.

Our criticism carries a certain historical irony. John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil, and ExxonMobil is Standard Oil’s largest direct descendant. In a sense we were turning against the company where most of the Rockefeller family’s wealth was created. (Other members of the Rockefeller family have been trying to get ExxonMobil to change its behavior for over a decade.) 

Approached by some reporters for comment, an ExxonMobil spokesman replied, “It’s not surprising that they’re divesting from the company since they’re already funding a conspiracy against us.” 

5 Ways to be a Silent Trump Protestor - Patti Mulligan

Here's is Patti Mulligan's suggestions for those who aren't willing to go public with their opposition to our Russian Obligate President-Elect's plans to dismantle and vandalize of our US Government.  I follow up with some more pro-active suggestions.
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Operations Director at NC Democratic Party. 
Feminist, #DJTResistance fighter, Mama, Wife, Runner. 
Twitter @chachina | LinkedIn /pattimulligan
November 23, 2016


5 Ways to be a Silent Trump Protestor

The next four years are going to be a constant assault against all of the progress made in the past hundred years by women, minorities, LGBTQ folks, immigrants and democracy itself. Everyone who knows me knows exactly how I feel about the impending Trump Presidency, the NC GOP attempt to steal the Governor’s office and just about everything else. There are times (daily) when I feel bad about my constant posts & tweets about these things. Not bad enough to quit though! 
( CC:  Let's not forget the Republican willful disconnect from down to earth physical realities and the lessons that serious science has been learning about our planet and what we are doing to its near future habitability. 

Also, lets not forget the fundamental Republican attitude of elevating their personal faith to presumed universal facts that totally fly in the face of objective observations.  As reflected in their blind hatred for our Environmental Protection Agency, and the regulations that are intended to protect waterways and landscapes from poisoning.  Faith based greed and power-lust is all they seem capable of.

Do you want a government or a corporation of united states?  
Wake up America, it's your move! )


Not everyone can, or wants to be, this public about their political views.

“I’m an introvert and don’t feel comfortable putting myself out there.”
“Making my political views public will get me fired.”
“It’s not safe for me to talk about opposing Trump.”

Here are 5 concrete ways that you can actively, but privately, protest the Trump/Alt-Right/GOP takeover of America:

Monday, November 28, 2016

Profiles in Treason - Citizens United

I’m a very busy individual and there is simply too much to keep up with and though I am familiar with the basic outline of their democracy shattering court case Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission and how Right-wing activist Supreme Court Justices decided that it’s okay for corporate Oligarchs to buy US elections in our evolving Corporation of American.  I actually never visited their website to take a look myself until a couple days ago after another story about Bernie Sanders going after them.  I was surprised, nay, shocked, to say the least.  Their basic pitch starts:

Citizens United who We Are:
Citizens United is an organization dedicated to restoring our government to citizens' control. Through a combination of education, advocacy, and grass roots organization, Citizens United seeks to reassert the traditional American values of limited government, freedom of enterprise, strong families, and national sovereignty and security. Citizens United's goal is to restore the founding fathers' vision of a free nation, guided by the honesty, common sense, and good will of its citizens.

Officers and Board of Directors
Burtonsville, Maryland

Manassas, Virginia

Brian Berry, Director
Media Consultant
Austin, Texas

Ron Robinson, Director
President, Young America's Foundation
Reston, Virginia

John Bliss, Director
Attorney
Denver, Colorado

Kirby Wilbur, Director and Treasurer
Duvall, Washington

All that sounds reasonable enough, in a contrived sort of way.  At least, it’s rational words linked together.  One would hope it offers a basis for dialogue with ideological ‘opponents’.

Except, I know from other conversations that when they use the word “honesty” it means: their own self-certain opinions - it has nothing to do with an objective evaluation of facts.

They make it really simple, everything that doesn’t conform with their perspective is a lie (period!) and anyone opposed to their notions are enemies.  Fellow Americans, don’t exist in their universe, it’s us vs them. 

Okay that’s looking at the words, now try to view their blog at http://www.citizensunited.org.  I had no idea that Citizens United was actually a blatant hate group that seems to be dedicated to fomenting a civil war amongst Americans.  

It was hideously shocking, then as the surprise wore off, it was deeply frightening to realize many fellow Americans have become so saturated with blind hatred and misplaced anger.  These people don’t want to reform our government, they want to destroy it !  Cut off your nose and poke out your eyes, to spite your face is what it sounds like to me.  

Wake up America, this is not a drill!  Democracy use it or lose it!

Most Americans are totally unaware that Citizens United is actually Koch's Bullies.  Ironically there’s every indication that Russian Oligarchs have had a heavy hand in this election - and I tell you what, take a look at those videos and tell me that Citizens United website sure don't look more like a vintage Russian Propaganda review than anything we could have imagined coming out of our United State of America?    

Americans, it’s your move!
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Citizens United (organization)
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Co-sponsor a constitutional amendment to
OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED
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OpenSecrets.org - Center for Responsive Government

The Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission helped unleash unprecedented amounts of outside spending in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. The case, along with other legal developments, spawned the creation of super PACs, which can accept unlimited contributions from corporate and union treasuries, as well as from individuals; these groups spent more than $600 million in the 2012 election cycle. It also triggered a boom in political activity by tax-exempt "dark money" organizations that don't have to disclose their donors. Learn more here about how the Supreme Court transformed the campaign finance landscape with this decision, and how it is now affecting U.S. politics. ...

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Leaked 'John Doe' Docs Offer Stark Look at Post-Citizens United Landscape

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Help Monitor the Impact of Trump on Science

Yup, I know I'm saturating this place with posts, but these are extraordinary times, even if most haven't figured it out yet!  I believe one of the future looking things that must be started immediately is to thoroughly document Trump's coming War on Science and Earth Stewardship concerns.  In my last post I highlighted John Dupuis' noteworthy effort in that direction at ScienceBlogs.com.  

Here I want to highlight another effort to track Trump's impact on actual scientists and their work, while encouraging a broader awareness, discussion and engagement of citizens with our political system.  As ScienceDebate.org explains it:  "We are seeking to rapidly gather your concerns and to document any changes you may be experiencing. We need to move from rumors to a set of case studies to help inform what we need to monitor and respond to."

Can you help? 

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Monitoring the Impact of the Trump Presidency on Science

http://questions.sciencedebate.org/forums/562990-monitoring-the-impact-of-the-trump-presidency-on-s

What impacts have you seen or concerns have you voiced over science under president Trump?  
Go to http://questions.sciencedebate.org/forums/562990-monitoring-the-impact-of-the-trump-presidency-on-shttp://  where there's a text box you can use to describe your concern.  You can also join the discussion under other commentaries.

Dupuis - Documenting Trump's War on Science

This speaks for itself, written by John Dupuis at ScienceBlogs.com it's a partial compilation documenting Trump's War On Science.  I myself believe we (that would be, the science respecting fact-over-faith crowd) need something more, a dedicated website that has the space to document, categorize, catalogue, fact check and followup on the multi-frontal assaults serious science is going to be weathering, or folding to, these next years.    But, this is a good start and hopefully an inspiration for some others to pick up the ball and run with it.  One person can only do so much.  Although for these early days John has put together a pretty collection of important information.

Wake up America, this is not a drill!  The oligarchs want it all and they couldn't care less about you and your needs.  America, it's your move.


By John Dupuis on November 11, 2016, at http://scienceblogs.com

… This time around, I’m going to start a project about science in the new Donald Trump administration. I believe Trump will be terrible for science, technology, the environment and public health. And I intend to document that here. 

Of course, Trump won’t be terrible for science in exactly the same way that Harper was in Canada. For example, he may not target research funding in the same way. On the other hand, the environment may fare much worse and ultimately muzzling may also prove to be a problem. It’s only over the course of the next couple of years that we’ll really and truly get a sense of the implications.

But why wait until we see the share of how exactly Trump is bad for science to start keeping track?