Wednesday, March 28, 2018

EPA Tells Employees to Lie About Climate Change

Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a memo to its employees instructing them on how to talk about Climate Change.  When asked about human activity as a possible cause of Climate Change, EPA employees are being told to say:

Human activity impacts our changing climate in some manner. The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue.

While there has been extensive research and a host of published reports on climate change, clear gaps remain including our understanding of the role of human activity and what we can do about it.
Read the EPA Talking Points email in full here:

THE TRUTH—These EPA Talking Points are a LIE

All of the following American Scientific Societies have issued statements that directly contradict the  the EPA memo:

American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Chemical Society
American Geophysical Union
American Medical Association
American Meteorological Society
American Physical Society
The Geological Society of America
U.S. National Academy of Sciences
U.S. Global Change Research Program
NASA
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Additionally, nearly 200 scientific organizations worldwide have issued statements agreeing with their American counterparts that climate change is real and that it is primarily caused by human action.

97% of all scientist who have published research on Climate Change agree that Climate Change is real and extremely likely due to human activity.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Armed Teachers and Security Guards Aren't the Answer to School Murders Like Packland

Parkland Had an Armed Security Guard-He Couldn’t Stop the Massacre

The Republican solution to mass murder in our schools is to have more armed security guards and armed teachers in our schools.  The solution they propose to gun violence in schools is MORE GUNS IN SCHOOLS.  But, is that the solution?

How much time would armed security guards and/or armed teachers have to respond to an unexpected attack?  Here is what we learned at Parkland.

According to the Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, Parkland High School had an armed security guard.  It did not help.   Kids still died.

 “He was on campus and he was armed,” Israel said. “At this point, the only thing I can tell you definitively is he never encountered Cruz.”

Here is the timeline of what happened at Parkland according to Time

2:21 p.m.

The shooter allegedly enters the school and takes his AR-15 out of a case. He begins shooting into three classrooms, returning to two of them, shot into another classroom, then shot into two more classrooms before dropping his rifle.

2:28 p.m.

The suspect is believed to have run outside, mixing in with students who were running away from the scene.


Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and wounded 14 in JUST 7 MINUTES.

According to Quora, the average owner of an AR15 uses a 30-round magazine.

“For an average shooter, you’re talking about a top speed of about two shots per second, which means you’re emptying a mag in 15 seconds. Reloading takes maybe four seconds, so it’s 19 seconds to empty a mag and recharge. So the effective rate is about 90 rounds per minute, not counting the time it takes to aim.”


Cruz easily could have fired 630 rounds (90 x 7 minutes) in the time he was in Parkland.  AND, the security guard at Parkland with a gun had no warning a mass murderer was about to enter the school. 


Bottom Line: No matter how many “good guys with guns” were in Parkland that day, the chances are they would not have had time to stop Cruz. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Republicans Are About to Turn Banks Free to Cause Another Great Recession

Hot on the heels of their 2.2 Trillion giveaway to the super rich and corporations, Republicans now are going to turn some of the biggest banks in the country lose to mismanage the economy right back into another 2008 recession.  Here it comes again.  Maybe I should say, here they go again.

You remember the Great Recession of 2008 don’t you.  Lax regulation made it possible for large banks to make a lot of money with risky loans.  When the bubble they created burst, American taxpayers were on the hook for well over $100 billion.  Worse, the unemployment rate rose from 5% to 10% in just over a year.  8 million Americans lost their jobs.  Housing prices fell 30% and stock prices fell 57%.  Many Americans ended upside down in their mortgages and lost their homes.  Others lost most, if not all, of their retirement savings. Working Americans lost $15 trillion in net worth or 22% of all they had struggled to create.  The Great Recession was the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

This misery was almost completely the result of the failure of U.S. and other governments to properly regulate large banks.  Given the freedom to gamble with other peoples money, the big banks did just that.  Bankers and hedge fund managers got super rich.  When their house of cards tumbled down, they got a bailout and working Americans paid the bill.

After 2008, Congress adopted banking rules and regulations designed to prevent or at least make a 2008 banking crisis less likely.

Republicans want to roll back those regulations and set 30 of the 38 largest U.S. banks free to engage in the same kind of speculative behavior that led to the 2008 crisis.  These banks hold $5.3 trillion in assets, 25% of banking sector assets in the U.S. These banks received $65 billion in a taxpayer-funded bailout the last time they screwed up.  They are confident American taxpayers will have no choice but to bail them out the next time.  There will be a next time if Republicans give them the freedom to gamble that they are seeking.

Republicans say these banks that are are bigly profitable and sitting on hoards of cash, need relief from the rules and regulations that require capital and stress tests to insure that their banking and lending practices are sound.  These banks argue they can make so much more money if they can just once again gamble with the assets of working Americans.

Read more at the links below.  Be sure to read the statement by Congresswoman Maxine Waters about the risk Republicans want to take with your money and why the so-called relief these big bankers want is not at all wise or necessary.

WRITE CONGRESS—SAY “NO” TO BANK DE-REGULATION

Here are some links where you can learn more about the risk Republicans want to take with YOUR MONEY:







Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Republican Tax Bill: A Lump of Toxic Coal for the Middle Class and Seniors

The Republicans are set to pass their tax bill.  It will be a shiny Christmas present for the rich and for corporations.  The Middle class and poor get a lump of coal, and a small lump of coal at that, one that will be taken away in a few years.  Here is the truth about what the Republican tax bill will do to our country.

13 million Americans will lose their health insurance so that Republicans can partially pay for their gift to the rich and corporations.  The % uninsured among the non-elderly will rise rapidly from 11% to 16% or more over the next few years.  See:  https://www.cbpp.org/research/health/republicans-considering-increasing-number-of-uninsured-by-millions-raising-premiums

Seniors receiving Social Security will see a benefit CUT to help pay for tax cuts for the rich and corporations that will start in 2018 and get bigger each passing year due to change in the way the inflation rate will be calculated by moving from the Cost of Living (COLA) to a Chained CPI.  Republicans argue that seniors can get by with less since they can just substitute a lower-cost item for the “luxury” goods they are currently purchasing.  For example, instead of eating steak every night, seniors can substitute dog food a few times a week.  See: https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/info-03-2013/five-reasons-chained-cpi-hurts-seniors.html

The Republican tax bill will add $2.2 trillion to the U.S. deficit between 2018 and 2027 by most estimates even though the Republicans use an accounting gimmick to make $2.2 trillion look like ONLY $1.5 trillion.  See: https://www.cbpp.org/blog/tax-bills-cost-could-hit-22-trillion-over-next-decade

The Republicans justify the suffering their bill will bring to seniors and the middle class by arguing that the tax gifts to corporations contained in the bill will result in:

1. Corporations expanded production capacity they do’t need
2. Corporations hiring workers they don’t’ use
3. Corporations increasing average wage rates because it is “the right thing to do.”

We are assured that corporations will not use the tax savings to pay CEOs higher salaries, provide greater dividends to their stockholders and/or to buyback their stock, which is what they have always done in the past.  See my previous post: Illogic on the Republican Tax Plan.

Republican tax bill—Bad for the middle class.  Bad for America.
Republicans in general—Bad for the middle class.  Bad for America.

It is too late to stop the Republicans from what they are doing to our country with this tax bill.  It is NOT for Democrats to mobilize to take back the House and Senate next year and the Presidency in 2020.  But, Democrats need your help if America is going to be made a Great Progressive Country again.

MAKE AMERICA PROGRESSIVE AGAIN.

Caps are for sale.



Friday, December 15, 2017

You will pay dearly for the repeal of Net Neutrality

The FCC has just repealed Obama-era Net Neutrality rules that insured that once you paid an Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and so on a fee, they had to give you free access to ALL legal content on the internet.  They could not charge you an access fee to stream a movie on Netflix or stream a ball game on ESPN.  Additionally, they could not charge content providers such as Netflix, ESPN, and so on a fee to have their content accessible over the ISP’s network.  That just changed.

The FCC, by resending what was called Net Neutrality, will now allow large ISP companies to charge whatever they want, not just for access to the Internet in general but to specific content.

As a result of this ruling, in the future you may have to pay a premium fee above and beyond what you are now paying to be able to access your favorite Internet sites.  Your ISP may say if you want to be able to reach some popular sites through their network then you have to pay them an extra fee on top of what you are currently paying to access that site.  Alternatively, your ISP may tell the sites that you want to reach that they have to pay the ISP a fee to use the ISP’s network to distribute their content.  Either way, your Internet bill is going up—maybe way up. 

This new FCC ruling is going to allow ISPs to operate much like cable companies.  You pay a basic fee and get access to a lot of channels/sites that you are not interested in but have to pay a premium to access the most popular sites.  You want to stream a movie from Netflix or Amazon Video, pay up.  You want to watch the Georgia Bulldogs defeat Oklahoma over the Internet, pay up.

It get’s worse.  Because of this new FCC ruling, your ISP has NO legal requirement to let you access ANY site.  They can block sites that are perfectly legal for any reason—the site owners didn’t pay a fee, the CEO of the ISP doesn’t like the site’s content, the ISP has its own competing shopping service and wants to make you use their service and not Amazon.  Maybe your ISP doesn’t completely block a site they dislike.  They just slow it down (throttle it back) to the point you get so frustrated, you sign off.

It gets even worse.  The Internet has thrived because it allowed every guy and gal with a new idea for a new service or product, every person who had something to say, every person with an interest to learn, an inexpensive platform to make their voice heard and to realize their dream.  For a small sum, you can go online and create a company that can reach millions.  You can go online and voice your opinion and recruit others to support your ideas.  I know.  I write this blog.  I know.  My wife and I run a online training company that would have been impossible for us to create if not for a free, open and un-controlled Internet.

Opponents of Net Neutrality say they want to keep the Internet free of government interference.  What we are getting with the end of Net Neutrality is an Internet that is CONTROLLED by some of the largest corporations in the world.  Net Neutrality DID NOT put the Federal government in control of the Internet.  Quite the opposite.  Net Neutrality insured that NO ONE, no company, no government, no person no matter how rich or powerful would control access to the Internet.  Net Neutrality insured that every American when he or she signed up for Internet service, would have access to the entire Internet, not just the sites that some powerful corporation or rich CEO wanted them to see.

ISPs say they would never do what I suggest they will do in this article.  Do you believe them?  Ronald Reagan said “Trust, but verify.”  I don’t normally agree with Reagan but this time he is right.  We need verification to keep big ISPs honest.  We lost that with the latest FCC ruling.

The Republicans on the FCC didn’t set the Internet free.  They locked it in a prison controlled and operated by a few large corporations with a “Bigly” interest in making a whole lot of money by controlling who and how we have access to that prison and the Internet within.  Worse, some individuals who control these large corporations now have the ability to use that control to forever alter the direction of our country by pushing their ideas and preventing those with opposing views from presenting theirs.  If I control your access to information, I control you.

Net Neutrality was a GOOD IDEA, A NECESSARY IDEA.  Ending it puts all of us in danger.


Write Congress.  Say YES to Net Neutrality.  Say YES to a FREE Internet.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Republican Tax Cut—An Unconsidered Danger

There has been a lot of discussion about the wisdom of the huge tax cut that Republicans have planned at a time when the stock market is performing at record levels, corporate revenues are at similar record levels, and the country is at or near full employment.  Without a doubt, the Republican tax cut will lead to higher deficits, perhaps amounting to an additional $2 trillion even by their own estimates.  Additionally, most of the benefits will flow to large corporations and wealthy individuals.  Republican wildly optimistic claims about their tax cuts helping the middle class are just that-wildly optimistic.

What few are discussing is a real unconsidered danger.  Many economists are worried that the U.S. and world economies are on track for a 2008-type recession.  Many of the conditions that led to that recession exist today.  In 2009, the Obama administration responded to the great Recession with a $831 billion stimulus package designed to get the economy moving again and to prevent the Great Recession from becoming a second Great Depression which it was on track to become.  The stimulus is widely credited with preventing an economic disaster.  The only criticism is that it was much less than the economic conditions of the time demanded.  With a larger stimulus or second stimulus the recovery with have been much faster and the suffering of most Americans would have been much less.

The Republican tax cut package will make a future stimulus even of the “less than adequate” size of the Obama stimulus next to impossible.  Thanks to the unnecessary Republican tax cut, the next time our economy goes south—which it very likely will—Americans can expect little relief.  The next Great Recession this time may become a decade-long Depression like that of the 1930s.  All because Republicans wanted to pass a foolish and risky tax cut that helps the few and puts the many at great risk.


You read it here.  You were warned.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How to contact your Senator and Representative.

I often ask you to contact your Senator and Representative in Congress in regard to an issue.  Here is an easy way to do that.

To contact the member of the House of Representatives for your Congressional District, go here and enter your zip code.  Then complete the form with what you want to say:

https://ziplook.house.gov/htbin/findrep_house?ZIP=305/ 

To Contact your Senators, go here:


Please:

A.  Bookmark these links.

B.  Use them. FREQUENTLY

C.  Give these links to everyone you know, particularly liberal/progressives.  Encourage them to use these links to let Congress know what they think.

YOU HAVE A VOICE BUT IT IS USELESS UNLESS YOU USE IT.

Don't complain about the direction of our country if you don't participate in trying to guide that direction.

It's your right to voice your opinion.  Correct that.  It's your job as an American citizen.