Tag Archives: March for Science

March for Science 2017

It was a wet and gloomy day in Washington DC yesterday, the appointed time for the mothership of the global March for Science, but it had little, if any, effect on the size or enthusiasm of the crowd which had to be in the tens of thousands in DC alone. By the latest count, more than 500 satellite marches were scheduled in all 50 states and around the world. A report and some pictures of the DC march can be found here: http://bit.ly/2pLoSgV

The march will be followed by the Climate March in Washington DC on April 29. Satellite marches will be held around the country and in Canada (and perhaps elsewhere). See https://peoplesclimate.org/

In keeping with his unbroken history, Not-My-President Donald Trump issued a tweet demonstrating his total cluelessness and venality regarding science and the environment:

“Today on Earth Day, we celebrate our beautiful forests, lakes and land. We stand committed to preserving the natural beauty of our nation.”

That statement must be intended solely for his infatuant base since all informed people will recognize that Trump’s actions as President are directly contrary to the interests of science and the environment that sustains us. More on that another time. The turnout for this march shows pretty clearly that the people are not going to stand by idly while the administration wrecks the planet.

For now, I have set out below a few photos I took. It was hard to see much because of the umbrellas and the absence of high ground but these will convey the general gist.

 

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Science – Who Needs It? Everybody

The attached video by Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of our contemporary geniuses and a true polymath, should be seen by everyone. It is especially appropriate since the March for Science is happening this Saturday. In addition to the main march in Washington DC, there are now 517 “satellite marches” around the world. See https://www.marchforscience.com/ People who believe in science are about to make a powerful statement.

There is nothing meaningful I can add to the video, so, uncharacteristically, I’m going to just put the Facebook link in here and urge everyone to view it. It’s only four minutes long.

https://www.facebook.com/neildegrassetyson/videos/10155195888806613/

Tax March DC 2017

Yesterday tens of thousands of Americans gathered in cities across the country to demand that the sitting President of the United States release his tax returns so that the country can decide for itself whether there are concerning ties to Russia, whether and where lie his continuing conflicts of interest resulting from failure to divorce himself fully from his business interests and how he and his family may benefit from changes in the federal tax code now being considered.

There are also many questions whether he has lied about his charitable giving, the scale of his earnings and others. Trump first said he would release his returns when the audits were finished. That excuse fails on multiple grounds. He signed the returns when they were filed and, as we all do, vouched for their accuracy and completeness. The audit may reveal issues with those criteria, or other failings, but the audit, which Trump could and likely would contest for years, is no excuse for withholding the returns from public scrutiny. As many of the signs at yesterday’s march stated: what is Trump hiding? T

he same question arises due to the Trump decision to withhold from public view the visitor logs to the White House. The proposed excuses for this latest example of secret government are security and privacy. The security question can easily be handled by time delaying the release or by masking names where there is a legitimate security reason for not disclosing a visitor to the White House. In an open democracy those should be few and far between. The privacy rationale is ludicrous coming from an administration that supports letting Internet providers sell the browsing records of their users.

For those interested but couldn’t attend a march personally, I have attached 116 images from the march in the District of Columbia which was massive. The photos from ground level do not fully reveal the size of the event nor, of course, the sounds.

Next up is the March for Science on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22. I urge you to join this march to convey to the administration that the people of this country are not going to accept the dismantling of the environmental protections that have been put in place to protect our life-essential air, water, bio-diversity and other natural elements critical to life on the one planet on which we can live. See this site for information:  https://www.marchforscience.com/

When You Rest on Your Laurels, You Become a Stationary Target

The defeat of the Republican-sponsored American Health Care Act (AHCA) was a great victory for the people.  Thanks go to the organizing leaders at, in alpha order: ACLU/PeoplePower.org), Grassroots Alexandria, Indivisible (and its many local arms), MoveOn.org, Women’s March, plus the many other national and local groups whose names I don’t even know and, of course, to the individuals who called, wrote, marched, protested, demonstrated and rallied against the atrocity of the AHCA. And thanks also to AARP, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Planned Parenthood, among others.

I have noted that some people feel that we have somehow “won the war” with this victory and that they can now either step back or at least “move on to something else.” This is an understandable response to what has happened. At the same time, we must not become complacent about the Trump administration. The AHCA could be brought back by the Republican majority at any time. So by all means celebrate, relish the feeling of a huge and, I must say it, improbable achievement. Then prepare to fight the enemy in our front.

But also post guards on the flanks and in the rear. Trump blames the loss of the ACHA on Democrats and, of course, he would. It is certain as the sunrise, however, that Trump never expected any Democrat to vote for the bill. Blaming Democrats is just another head-fake. Remember, as someone (not Thomas Jefferson) famously said, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” This is particularly true now. Trump and Ryan are humiliated and angry and they have shown that they do not grasp what “the welfare of the people” really means.

Moreover, Trump has tweeted that the way forward is this: “ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!” That tweet has been “liked” over 91,000 times. As suggested by Deepak Gupta and others, what does this say about Trump’s constitutional obligation to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed?” U.S. Constitution, Art. II, sec. 3. Trump appears to believe that the Take Care obligation is part of the “fake Constitution” and does not apply to him. Wrong again.

What comes next is not clear. It could be “tax reform” or something else. Or multiple things. We already know that the Trump administration, through executive orders and Cabinet appointments, has declared war on the environment. Many more craven acts of legislative and regulatory vandalism are coming. But the March for Science is also coming – on April 22 in Washington and elsewhere … and many other demonstrations of the peoples’ commitment to resisting the destructive agenda of the Trump administration. It is critically important to show Trump that the people do not accept his assault on the air they breathe and the water they drink, that the people do not accept his attempt to shift the burden of taxation toward the population sector already suffering economic hardship or worse and that the people will not accept his effort to turn the country into “fortress America” with border walls and distrust of everyone who does not fit his narrow concept of what it means to be an American.

The Resistance must remain constant, relentless and ubiquitous so the administration sees that there are no weak spots to be exploited. Resistance is the only course left to stop the right-wing idealogues from undermining American values. In this regard, finally, it is important to make clear to Democratic lawmakers at every level that supporting the Republican agenda in any respect is unacceptable.

We have seen what the Republican agenda is prepared to do to achieve its imaginary wonderland of the “free market” in all things: just consider that the leadership was prepared to strip from the Affordable Car Act replacement legislation most of the “essential benefits” in order to appease the Freedom Caucus and secure their votes. Fortunately for the country, enough of the extremist demands of the Freedom Caucus were rejected to stop them from supporting the legislation. While Trump’s oft-touted-but-never-demonstrated negotiating skills failed him in this instance, we have seen the price the leadership was willing to pay to achieve their ideological ends, regardless of the consequences to the people who need those “essential benefits” the most. We cannot afford to take chances with a group that is willing to drive the country off a cliff to prove a point.

Trump Administration Climate Science Deniers Are Risking Crimes Against Humanity

As the affronts to science, human dignity, and the very viability of the planet continue to multiply, through climate change denial and evisceration of the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, the question naturally arises: when and how will those responsible be held accountable for the damage they are doing, or facilitating, to the Earth? For surely the day of reckoning is coming and possibly sooner than many people think. When rising sea levels, crop failures, unprecedentedly destructive storms and other natural disasters begin to impair the water supply and food supply of the “comfortable countries,” like the United States and much of Western Europe, against whom will the public turn? And what punishment will they demand as they face the realization that the science deniers have fooled them into believing a false idea that has led to the destruction of their world? Will it even matter at that point?

A few things seem somewhat clear. While it is within reason to interpret “climate change denial” policy actions as a “crime against humanity” under existing usages of that term (specifically, the “extermination” of an entire population), the United States has never ratified the Rome Statute of The International Criminal Court and thus there is no international body with plausible jurisdiction to punish the leaders of the United States for what they are inflicting on the rest of the world by, for example, denying that carbon dioxide is a meaningful contributor to global warming. http://wapo.st/2mRiia3.

Given the Trump administration’s determined effort to gut the EPA, it will remain to the American people to punish those who, by willful ignorance or worse, have traded away the health and well-being of future generations for a few pieces of silver. Of all the crimes likely being committed by the Trump administration, including blatant conflicts of interest to interfering with the reasoned development of regulations that, properly understood, are “protections” for the people, the undermining of work to manage climate change is the most serious. The consequences of unchecked climate change will at some point become irreversible. That outcome will be directly traceable to the decisions of this administration to unleash the forces of pollution and environmental degradation without meaningful restraint or even requirements to report on what the industries are doing that negatively affects the environment.

If any of my readers doubt the certainty of what I am saying, I can only urge you to read some of the respected works on the subject that are readily available. The Sixth Extinction is a good example. There is no more important issue because the very existence of life on the planet depends on it. The actions being taken by the Trump administration are occurring without the benefit of public hearings or other meaningful input. Trump and his ideologues already know everything they want to know, no matter how inadequate.

The March for Science is on Earth Day, April 22. The Peoples’ Climate Movement March is April 29. If you care about this issue, you should add your body and those of your family to this mass demonstration in support of science and in support of the air you breath and the water you drink. Take to the streets with the masses of others who will be there to protest, peacefully but loudly, against the Trump administration’s crimes against humanity.