The new head of the EPA, appointed by President Donald Trump, is Scott Pruitt. Pruitt has said that he doesn’t believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to the global warming we see. His view is in direct contradiction with mainstream climate science including NASA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the EPA itself. NASA, NOAA and EPA have many top-flight scientists in their organizations who know quite well that he is simply wrong in this statement.
So what are Pruitt’s qualifications to make such a statement? He got a bachelor’s degree in political science and communications in 1990 and a law degree in 1993. In another words, he’s a common lawyer, whose closest brush with science is political science! Before entering politics he worked in private practice, where he specialized in constitutional law, contracts, insurance law and labor law, litigation and appeals. This technical lightweight apparently is ignorant to climate science.
Unfortunately, his boss Trump (who said even worse: “Global warming is a Chinese hoax”) and apparently the Republicans in Congress who supported his nomination are also ignorant to climate science. This man is an embarrassment to the EPA. His knowledge of climate science is appalling. I am truly saddened for this country that there is such climate science incompetence in such high and powerful places. A political party can make a statement about science, but that doesn’t change the real science nor make their politically motivated statements true.
I am a Vietnam-era veteran with no political party preference; since 1972 I’ve voted for Democrats, Republicans and Independents. My presidential choice didn’t always win, but I consistently tried to show respect. Until now, no president in my lifetime possessed qualities and attributes that would prevent him from being president. At times it was difficult to support these presidents, but free speech gave me the right to question the direction of our country without reprisal
I am at a crossroads. I cannot find it in my heart, my mind or my conscience to unequivocally support the current president. I don’t enjoy this. But the leader of this (already) great country must be honest, trustworthy and ethical — and support the best interests of all ethnicities, races and religions. Sadly, our president does not come anywhere near this description.
Frankly, I wish I didn’t have to make this decision. But the continual misleading statements and validated lies, sophomoric and crude behavior, disparaging remarks about women, minorities, immigrants and the handicapped, and critical and insulting remarks about our closest and enduring allies leave me little choice. Combine this with the president’s positive statements about Russian President Vladimir Putin, and I just shake my head in wonderment and angst.
Why are rational Americans tolerating this boorish, foolish behavior? Don’t Americans recognize a selfish, self-serving bully who criticizes anyone who disagrees with him? My father — a patriot, World War II veteran and the greatest man I have ever known — would be appalled at our president’s lack of integrity, empathy and compassion.
My dad told me, “You will never reach higher ground if you are always pushing others down.” The president should heed my father’s advice. Continuing his behavior will divide our country, alienate our strongest allies and create the real possibility of a major multi-national war.
Many of my friends tell me they are worried about terrorism. I’m not! Am I suicidal? No, I’m not!
Here are a few facts: From Sept. 12, 2001 to Dec. 31, 2015, there were 104 people killed by terrorists in the US. That is about 7.5 per year. Of those, 24 were killed by foreign born terrorists. That is about 1.7 per year. The others ( 80 people) were killed by American-born terrorists. According to the National Weather Service, in the last 10 years the number of deaths in the U.S. due to lightning is about 31 per year. So, it is clear that in the last 10 years we were at least 10 times more likely to be killed by lightning than a foreign-born terrorist. Are we so worried about being killed by lightning? I don’t think so. I hope I have made my point.
So why do we have this onerous immigration ban in effect? I suspect it is a combination of an ignorant Donald Trump and his unwitting accomplices, the television business. Television knows that sensationalism sells. And Trump is just riding the wave of public sentiment to bolster his popularity.
Understand that I strongly believe that the U.S. government should continue to devote resources to screening immigrants and foreigners for terrorism or other threats. Kudos to the CIA, the FBI, Homeland Security and all those that keep us safe – but the facts do not warrant changes in immigration policy. You can check my facts and get many others from the report “Terrorism and Immigration, a risk analysis”, published September 2016 by Alex Nowrasteh from the CATO Institute. It is available on the internet for free.
By: Robert Piejak
If we gave out spin awards it would have to go to Donald Trump. This guy is not even in the White House yet but he keeps trying to take credit for jobs being added in America under President Obamas leadership. So far Trump wanted credit for keeping Carrier jobs in America and inflated that number of jobs saved. Now he wants credit for 5000 jobs by Sprint and another 3000 by OneWeb. Read the story here….
A recent contributor defended the Electoral College on the basis that, if not for this Colonial-era device, the larger, heavily populated coastal states would dominate the more rural states in national elections. It’s evident that, at least at the macro level, the Electoral College ensures that a vote in sparsely populated West Virginia is worth more than a vote in densely populated California. Otherwise the popular vote would prevail and Hillary Clinton would be the president-elect.
I expect that in the writer’s view, and that of other conservatives, if we relied solely on that pesky popular vote, as does every other democracy on earth, we’d keep electing Democratic presidents. Thus, the Electoral College is a handy weapon to use against liberal-leaning voters that are heavily concentrated in the larger, more cosmopolitan and culturally diverse areas. You know, lots of minorities.
So, the critical question remains: Does the Electoral College, once designed to protect the political power of the wealthy, negate the promise of “one person, one vote”? And most egregious, does it inadvertently ensure that white voters count slightly more than non-whites? Is this why conservatives defend it so fervently?
It’s time to open the debate about how our “democracy” really works.