The American Way of Birth: Why Do Republicans Hate It? –

The American Way of Birth: Why Do Republicans Hate It? –

I think Lawrence Downes is off on the wrong rampage supporting the 14th amendment, to put it politely. The 14th amendment says any child born here is automatically a citizen. It was important after the Civil War, to protect ex-slaves.

World population has grown since the end of WW II from 2 Billion to 7 Billion. The US needs a much better safety net, but not for all the unemployed of the earth. We need to close our borders, and reduce income inequality, create jobs for the poor and minorities, strapped with police records and jail time. But other countries should take care of their own over population problem. The US should help other nations with sustainable development as much as we can. It is weird and improper, that Chinese fly to Los Angeles to have their babies, and then fly back to China. I am not a right wing quack, I am a moderate Independent, who is quacking harder and harder about climate change,  sustainability and what is now called the 6th great extinction of species, which is caused by an over abundance of humans.

Nichholas Kristof in NYT: When Baltimore Burned

Saint Nich:”We’ve had months of police incidents touching on a delicate subtext of race, but it’s not clear that we’re learning lessons. Once again, I suggest that it’s time for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to step back and explore racial inequity in America.

The real crisis isn’t one night of young men in the street rioting. It’s something perhaps even more inexcusable — our own complacency at the systematic long-term denial of equal opportunity to people based on their skin color and ZIP code.”

The real crisis isn’t one night of young men in the street rioting, it’s our long-term denial of equal opportunity to people based on their skin color and ZIP code.|By Nicholas Kristof

Charles Blow on Violence in Baltimore

Charles Blow in the NYT: “We can’t rush to label violent protesters as “thugs” while reserving judgment about the violence of police killings until a full investigation has been completed and all the facts are in.”

You could argue that the rage was misdirected, and you would be right. But misdirected rage is not necessarily illegitimate rage.|By Charles M. Blow

“Last Days in Vietnam,” Great documentary film, very painful, and yet uplifting.

Last night, I watched again the movie, Last Days in Vietnam, which I’d just seen two weeks earlier at a Yale South East Asia Association viewing. Great documentary film, very painful, and yet uplifting. The North Vietnamese communists won, but as this piece below reflects, now they have to govern, and keep the hearts and minds of a new generation, while the population of Vietnam, like much of the world, has quadrupled. Vietnam has grown in population from 20 million to 80 million in just forty years.

While the government talks of its victory in 1975, the Vietnamese people talk of its failures today.|By Nguyen Qui Duc

Tom Friedman: On Trade: Obama Right, Critics Wrong

I am still looking for a synopsis of the new Pacific Trade agreement, but it is significant that Tom Friedman supprorts it. He writes:”With rising disorder in the Middle East and Africa — and with China and Russia trying to tug the world their way — there has never been a more important time for the coalition of free-market democracies and democratizing states that are the core of the World of Order to come together and establish the best rules for global integration for the 21st century, including appropriate trade, labor and environmental standards. These agreements would both strengthen and more closely integrate the market-based, rule-of-law-based democratic and democratizing nations that form the backbone of the World of Order.”

President Obama’s trade agreements can enhance our national security as much as our economic security.|By Thomas L. Friedman

NYT: California Governor Orders New Target for Emissions Cuts

NYT:”Under Mr. Brown’s order, by 2030, emission levels will have to be reduced by 40 percent compared with 1990.”

Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order Wednesday dramatically ramping up the state’s already ambitious program aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.|By ADAM NAGOURNEY

Pope Francis is about to publish his Encyclical on Climate Change!

Pope Francis is about to publish his Encyclical on Climate Change!
Here’s the opening section (from the final draft):

Unsustainable consumption coupled with a record human population and the uses of inappropriate technologies are causally linked with the destruction of the world’s sustainability and resilience. Widening inequalities of wealth and income, the world-wide disruption of the physical climate system and the loss of millions of species that sustain life are the grossest manifestations of unsustainability. The continued extraction of coal, oil and gas following the “business-as-usual mode” will soon create grave existential risks for the poorest three billion, and for generations yet unborn. Climate change resulting largely from unsustainable consumption by about 15% of the world’s population has become a dominant moral and ethical issue for society. There is still time to mitigate unmanageable climate changes and repair ecosystem damages, provided we reorient our attitude toward nature and, thereby, toward ourselves. Climate change is a global problem whose solution will depend on our stepping beyond national affiliations and coming together for the common good. Such transformational changes in attitudes would help foster the necessary institutional reforms and technological innovations for providing the energy sources that have negligible effect on global climate, atmospheric pollution and eco-systems, thus protecting generations yet to be born. Religious institutions can and should take the lead in bringing about that change in attitude towards Creation.

The Catholic Church, working with the leadership of other religions, can now take a decisive role by mobilizing public opinion and public funds to meet the energy needs of the poorest 3 billion people, thus allowing them to prepare for the challenges of unavoidable climate and eco-system changes.

On Tuesday, the Vatican takes another step toward the release of Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate, energy, ecology and equity.|By Andrew C. Revkin

GOD SQUAD: You can thank Aristotle for the concept of the soul’s life after death

The stuff on Aristotle is fascinating. Howerever, GOD SQUAD: You can thank Aristotle for the concept of the soul’s life afterdeath. ends with another question about Heaven, which I loved.

“Q: Something has been irking me for some time, although fortunately it’s not my situation (at least not yet). Here are two scenarios: In the first, Husband A is married to Wife A for 35 years, then Husband A dies. After three years, Wife A meets and marries Husband B. Who does Husband A get to be with in heaven, since Wife A is no longer his spouse? Is he outcast? In the second scenario, Husband A and Wife A get divorced after 35 years. Wife A then marries Husband C, but Husband A never remarries. Now, who does Husband A get to be with in heaven? What happens to any children Husband A and Wife A had when the children pass away? Does Husband A get to be with them? — J., via cyberspace

A: I was never that good at heavenly symbolic logic. I think the answer is, A equals B-C squared. Seriously, I would hope that in heaven the first thing our enlightened and materially unencumbered and purified souls would learn is that there’s always something to love in the people we’ve married.

Since procreation or sex is not an issue in heaven, I believe all souls will have the opportunity to learn the deepest meaning of love while basking in the light of God’s love.”

This gave me a huge laugh. I’ve known about this problem personally, since my mother died in 2004. The nurse pulled me aside, and said, don’t feel bad, I prayed with your mother before she died, and now she is in heaven with all her loved ones. As I walked to my car, I had to see the humor in any idea of a physical heaven. She was not close to her own mother. My parents went through a weird divorce after over 25 years of marriage, and there was a second wife who managed to inherit most of his money. I’m with the Rabbi Marc Gellman on this one.

Q: I’ve always thought that in the last few hundred years of the Old Testament, those of the Jewish faith recognized the resurrection and afterlife of the soul. I can’t refer to…

NYT today: New Study Links Weather Extremes to Global Warming

Justin Gillis quotes Dr. Eric Fischer: “If efforts to control emissions are unsuccessful, and temperatures by the end of the century rise as much as some experts fear, both heat and precipitation extremes will skyrocket, with human-caused global warming likely to be responsible for half the precipitation extremes and perhaps 90 percent of the heat extremes in that climate, the researchers found.

The change being seen today in precipitation patterns was predicted decades ago, based on the elementary fact that warmer air can hold more moisture. Other researchers have found that the increase is leading to heavier rainstorms across large parts of the United States, with the biggest effect occurring in the Northeast. At the same time, warmer temperatures are worsening the effects of droughts when they do occur, as in California over the last few years.

“The bottom line is that things are not that complicated,” Dr. Knutti said. “You make the world a degree or two warmer, and there will be more hot days. There will be more moisture in the atmosphere, so that must come down somewhere.” ”

Human emissions are responsible for about 75 percent of especially hot days and 18 percent of unusually heavy precipitation, according to a new report.|By JUSTIN GILLIS