Amy McGrath on Climate Change from her website – amymcgrathforcongress.com

Damn. Amy McGrath’s Website doesn’t have a FB share button. But she knows as much about climate change as I do. She has the global and national perspective, as well as the Kentucky perspective.  Her issues page on Climate Change goes like this:

“CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change isn’t a theory. It’s a fact.

And it’s not just scientists around the world who know it. The United States military recognizes it – and realizes that it poses a serious challenge to our national security. That’s why our military is already testing, researching, and adapting operations to succeed in these rapidly changing environments.

A changing climate has had and will continue to have hugely disruptive effects not only on the environment, but also on migration patterns, economies, disease vectors, and political unrest around the world. All of these dramatically affect our country’s safety, security and well-being.

We are already experiencing these effects: The Earth is getting warmer. Eight of the last ten summers have each been the hottest in history, and last summer was the hottest ever recorded. Sea levels are rising. This will affect massive numbers of people who live on the world’s coastlines, creating climate refugees, economic challenges, epidemics and pandemics, and geopolitical upheavals on a scale never before seen. Climate change is coming and we can’t afford to look the other way.

Our naval bases around the globe are seeing the consequences now. Ten times a year, floods cripple our Norfolk Naval Base. Key West Naval Air Station – where I learned to air-to-air dogfight in the F/A-18 – will be almost completely under water in the next 70 years. Weather patterns are creating hurricanes, floods, and fires in ways we’ve never seen before and that will both affect and in some cases demand military responses.

Large parts of the world, including the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia, are undergoing dramatic desertification at an alarming rate, meaning less food will be produced and large migrations will occur as people will be forced out of the lands they occupy today. In the 20th century, we fought wars over values or economic conflicts; in the 21st century, it will be over food, water and resources.

Another reason climate change is a national security concern is its huge impact on our economy. Rising sea levels will alter global shipping patterns, severe weather will affect the ability of goods to be produced and transported, and markets, particularly for energy, are shifting as nations work to address and mitigate these changes.

All of this is why the Trump Administration’s decision to slash research on sustainable, clean sources of energy is so wrong-headed and concerns me – and should concern every patriotic American.

Both from a security and an economic standpoint, we need to invest in renewable energy. Our military is already one of the biggest proponents of renewable energy research. Why? Because it saves lives – and makes more strategic sense – if forward operating bases overseas do not have to be constantly refueled with traditional forms of energy like petroleum, which require vulnerable ground supply lines and are subject to potentially volatile markets.

Both militarily and economically, the US must be a world leader in renewables investment or we will cede the future energy industry – and our national security – to China, which is developing in this area at a rapid pace.

America should be leading the world in responding to climate change, not running away. The Paris Climate Accords is a global agreement to recognize climate change and pursue a call to action to mitigate its detrimental effects. When President Trump pulled out of the agreement, he not only made an irresponsible move given the trajectory of the global climate, but also severely lessened our power in world leadership. He signified a lack of responsibility and seriousness in protecting our world.

Simply put, “America first” doesn’t work regarding climate change because we don’t live in a bubble. By removing ourselves from the Paris Agreement, we not only turn our back on the rest of the world, but we are turning our back on our own people. We owe it to our fellow Americans to take every measure possible in mitigating the effects of climate change.

But renewable energy research isn’t just something we need to do to respond to a threat – whether security, economic, or environmental – it’s something we should invest in as an opportunity. Renewable energy is both cleaner and more economical in the long-run, and that’s why it has tremendous potential for economic growth and job opportunities across America.

This is especially true for Kentucky. As I discuss in detail in my forthcoming economic plan, Kentucky’s energy future need not be an either/or choice between coal and sustainable sources. We can provide support for our coal communities and boost coal consumption here in Kentucky by using local coal-generated electricity for electric vehicles while we work to transition the energy infrastructure and expertise that we already have to renewables like wind and solar.

Furthermore, renewable energy represents an opportunity not a threat for our state: Kentucky can become a leader in expanding solar and wind production, which will both reduce electricity costs for our families and bring energy-related jobs back to Central Kentucky. We can achieve this in part by leveraging our military bases as national hubs for renewables research, and expanding – not cutting – federal investment in this research.

Because of our location, Central Kentucky can also continue to be a leader in the budding logistics industry by investing in needed electric-vehicle infrastructure, which will itself help produce additional jobs in vehicle manufacturing and energy provision. Such strategies will help contribute to the mitigation of climate change – but they, just as importantly, will help grow our economy and create jobs: not jobs somewhere far away, jobs right here in Kentucky.

In sum, we have the tools right here in Central Kentucky to be leaders not only in the coal economy of the 20th Century, but also in the renewable energy economy of the 21st Century. Renewables research is an opportunity for Kentucky, and we need someone to go to Washington and fight so that when the future economy comes, our district will be its home, just as it was for the energy economy of the past.

The environment shouldn’t be a partisan, political issue. This is a global issue, an American issue, and an issue for Kentucky. It’s about the future of our planet for our children and generations to come. We need leaders that get it.”

https://amymcgrathforcongress.com/

AMYMCGRATHFORCONGRESS.COM
Amy McGrath Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) Donate
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Opinion | The Hacking of America – – NYT

“That radio fulfilled this promise for as long as it did is the result of decisions made by Mr. Hoover, a Republican who believed that the government had a role to play in overseeing the airwaves by issuing licenses for frequencies to broadcasting companies and regulating their use. “The ether is a public medium,” he insisted, “and its use must be for the public benefit.” He pressed for passage of the Radio Act of 1927, one of the most consequential and underappreciated acts of Progressive reform — insisting that programmers had to answer to the public interest. That commitment was extended to television in 1949 when the Federal Communications Commission, the successor to the Federal Radio Commission, established the Fairness Doctrine, a standard for television news that required a “reasonably balanced presentation” of different political views.”

“. . . .   All of this history was forgotten or ignored by the people who wrote the rules of the internet and who peer out upon the world from their offices in Silicon Valley and boast of their disdain for the past. But the building of a new machinery of communications began even before the opening of the internet. In the 1980s, conservatives campaigned to end the Fairness Doctrine in favor of a public-interest-based rule for broadcasters, a market-based rule: If people liked it, broadcasters could broadcast it.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan finally succeeded in repealing the Fairness Doctrine — and he also vetoed a congressional effort to block the repeal. The repeal, which relieved licensed broadcasters of a public-interest obligation to represent opposing points of view, made possible a new kind of partisan talk radio. In 1987, there were some 240 talk radio stations in the country; by 1992, there were 900. Partisan cable television followed, as the repeal led also to the rise of MSNBC and Fox News in 1996.”

Legalize Addictive Drugs – By David Lindsay Jr

If we legalize and regulate addictive drugs, much of these enormous profits from the illegal drug business would decrease dramatically. When alcohol was re-legalized after prohibition, armed gangs were disbanded and killings decreased greatly.

Many economists, at least privately, admit that we should legalize addictive drugs to ameliorate the negative effects. Herbert Stein and Milton Friedman are two famous right of center economists who have called for legalization.

   Legalization would allow us win the war on illegal drug trafficking, and it is probably the only way to win the war on drug trafficking.

It would not be simple. There would need to be investment and resources into drug addiction rehabilitation programs, jobs programs, support systems. We would need severe financial penalties and long jail sentences for  businesses and individuals that push addictive drugs onto non-addicts. The law has to be severe with people who turn citizens or patients into addicts.

Decriminalization would be an immediate place to begin, to get tens of thousands of petty drug users and sellers out of our jails.

We have a heroin epidemic in New England and the rest of the country right now. Much of the heroin is bad, and kills people. If heroin was legal and regulated, doses would be bad for you, but wouldn’t stop your heart. Countless young people, including my son Austin, would be alive after experimenting with the drug. It is the illegality of these drugs that make them unregulated. Bad batches kill people, like my son Austin. The huge illegal profits are destabilizing whole countries, and police forces, prosecutors and judges.

 

originally posted on Facebook.

Here is the same comment, cut to under 1500 words, to become a comment at the NYT today, after an article by Jessica Bruder, “The Worst Drug Crisis in American History”

If we legalize and regulate addictive drugs, much of these enormous profits from the illegal drug business would decrease dramatically. When alcohol was re-legalized after prohibition, armed gangs were disbanded and killings decreased greatly. Many economists, at least privately, admit that we should legalize addictive drugs to ameliorate the negative effects. Herbert Stein and Milton Friedman are two famous right of center economists who have called for legalization. There would need to be investment and resources into drug addiction rehabilitation programs, jobs programs, support systems. We would need severe financial penalties and long jail sentences for  businesses and individuals that push addictive drugs onto non-addicts. The law has to be severe with people who turn citizens or patients into addicts. Decriminalization would be an immediate place to begin, to get tens of thousands of petty drug users and sellers out of our jails. We have a heroin epidemic in New England and the rest of the country right now. Much of the heroin is bad, and kills people. If heroin was legal and regulated, doses would be bad for you, but wouldn’t stop your heart. Countless young people, including my son Austin, would be alive after experimenting with the drug. It is the illegality of these drugs that make them unregulated. Bad batches kill people, like my son Austin. The huge illegal profits are destabilizing whole countries, and police forces, prosecutors and judges.

Small Idea for the New York Times Paper Edition – by David Lindsay

To  the editors of the New York Times

I recently realized an idea that could help the survival  of the New York Times Paper Edition for several more centuries. Perhaps I exaggerate, but it is unlikely you will be around to know.

We read the New York Times paper edition religiously Friday through Sunday, and there is always an awkward and embarrassing conflict. We can not comfortably share the first section. While I am reading the front page and its leads into the depths of section one,  my fabulous lady cannot read the editorial page and op-ed page, since they are attached umbilicallly to the front page and page three, and vice a versa.

Alas, this conflict has disturbed the wa, or peace and harmony, of our household.

The solution is so simple. Just move the editorial page and op-ed page to the center of section one, as a two sheaf, with 4 printed paged Pullout, so one member of a household can read the front page, and the contents of section one, while another member of the household can read the editorials and op–ed.  

The only possible improvement to this simple idea, would be to cut the center sheaf  into two separate pages,  so that one could pull out both the editorial page and op-ed page separately, so that three people could enjoy starting with section one at the same time.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam, which came out this September, and blogs at The TaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNewsWorldwide.wordpress.com

Opinion | The Law Is Coming- President Trump – by David Leonhardt – NYT

“There are a good number of lawyers who don’t love their jobs. Sure, the pay is often good. But the hours can be long and the work narrow, leaving many people without much sense of a mission.The lawyers who work for the Department of Justice, however, tend to feel quite differently about their work.

I’ve known and interviewed many over the years, and they have some of the highest job satisfaction of any group of people I can think of. “You get to do good for a living, and in the name of your country,” as James Comey said in a 2005 speech to Justice Department employees (the same speech I highlighted in my column earlier this week). “If that doesn’t motivate you to work hard, nothing will.”

To many Justice Department lawyers, doing good means pursuing equality under the law. They see themselves as representing some of the highest American ideals: Every citizen deserves the protection of the law, and no citizen is above the law.Donald Trump does not share the view that the United States has a fundamental set of rules that apply alike to rich and poor, powerful and powerless. “Trump isn’t someone who played close to the line a time or two, or once did a shady deal. He may well be the single most corrupt major business figure in the United States of America,” The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman wrote yesterday. Waldman then listed Trump’s scams: Trump University, bankrupt casinos, illegal labor, stiffed vendors and on and on and on.

He has often figured out how to stop shy of outright illegality or, in other cases, to violate the law in ways that bring only minor sanctions. He has rarely faced big consequences for his misbehavior. But Trump now finds himself in a very different situation.”

Robert Kennedy’s eulogy for Martin Luther King

David Margolick wrote in an op-ed in the NYT today, that the eulogy below might well be the best speech Robert Kennedy ever delivered. There was no hyper-link to the speech, so I went and found it.

“For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: “In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”

 

The following text is taken from a news release version of Robert F. Kennedy’s statement. For more information please contact Kennedy.Library@nara.gov or 617.514.1629.
JFKLIBRARY.ORG

How $225000 Can Help Secure a Pollution Loophole at Trump’s E.P.A. – The New York Times

“CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — The gravel parking lot at the Fitzgerald family’s truck dealership here in central Tennessee was packed last week with shiny new Peterbilt and Freightliner trucks, as well as a steady stream of buyers from across the country.But there is something unusual about the big rigs sold by the Fitzgeralds: They are equipped with rebuilt diesel engines that do not need to comply with rules on modern emissions controls. That makes them cheaper to operate, but means that they spew 40 to 55 times the air pollution of other new trucks, according to federal estimates, including toxins blamed for asthma, lung cancer and a range of other ailments.

The special treatment for the Fitzgerald trucks is made possible by a loophole in federal law that the Obama administration tried to close, and the Trump administration is now championing. The trucks, originally intended as a way to reuse a relatively new engine and other parts after an accident, became attractive for their ability to evade modern emissions standards and other regulations.The survival of this loophole is a story of money, politics and suspected academic misconduct, according to interviews and government and private documents, and has been facilitated by Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, who has staked out positions in environmental fights that benefit the Trump administration’s corporate backers.”

Source: How $225,000 Can Help Secure a Pollution Loophole at Trump’s E.P.A. – The New York Times

WHAT A REAL PRESIDENT WAS LIKE – By Bill Moyers – Washington Post -1988

This amazing piece by Bill Moyers in 1988, was a hypertext link in the comment by Socrates regarding the Charles Blow piece on racism posted just before this post. This is the great nugget of them all.

WHILE Lyndon Baines Johnson was a man of time and place, he felt the bitter paradox of both. I was a young man on his staff in 1960 when he gave me a vivid account of that southern schizophrenia he understood and feared. We were in Tennessee. During the…
washingtonpost.com

Pulling Back on the Barbaric Use of Solitary Confinement – The New York Times

“The Justice Department took a farsighted step last year when it banned the use of solitary confinement for young people in federal prisons. The decision — based on research showing that isolation promotes mental illness and self-harm — followed the widely publicized suicide of Kalief Browder, a young man who had been unjustly accused of a minor crime and sent to New York’s infamous Rikers Island jail complex, where he spent two traumatic years in solitary confinement.

The Justice Department ban has pushed several states to place new limits on their use of punitive isolation for young people. Federal courts have also started to weigh in, pressing states and counties to roll back extreme isolation measures.”

How Stephen Colbert Finally Found His Elusive Groove – NYT

Mr. Colbert has done what was unthinkable a year ago: turned “The Late Show” into the most viewed show in late night. And President Trump is not the only reason.
NYTIMES.COM
David Lindsay Mr. Colbert’s election night special on Showtime attracted only 238,000 viewers, fewer than a tenth of his usual viewership.

But in the final minutes of the show, Mr. Colbert scrapped a prepared closing monologue about the importance of coming together after a polarizing election, and went off script. He was personal, and he discussed, bluntly, the searing divides in the country.

In the article, “off script” is a link to the yourtube video of the end of the turn around show, on election night. also at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT4MZLl0v_c