DACA Hysteria

Many, including CEO’s of large corporations, just don’t get it. DACA was an illegal executive order promulgated by then President Barack Obama when he could not get Congress to act. It was never legal and Obama knew it. He said this himself publicly many times. It was an order that violated existing immigration law from inception and violated the Presidential oath of office. In case you don’t know enough about the Constitution of the United States of America, the Executive branch (i.e. that branch headed by the President) does not make law. It only has the power to enforce law passed by the Congress of the United States.

So, the whining, crying, and gnashing of teeth by those affected and the executives of companies complaining about the ending of DACA need to direct their venom at Congress, not at the President. President Trump took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution and law, not make law or violate it. To make law unilaterally, as did President Obama, he/she would need to be dictator or king; neither of which we have in this country, however much so Obama thought.

The fact under existing law is the “Dreamers” are in the United States illegally regardless of how young they were upon arrival. Their parents are or were in this country illegally as well. Those are the bald facts.

If the “Dreamers” are to be treated differently, it is up to Congress to pass legislation that would change their status. Simple.

Whether or not to do so, there are facts to be considered. The 800,000 or so people who are “Dreamers” in large part have jobs or are in the educational system somewhere. One has to wonder what United States citizens don’t hold those jobs now occupied by or have educational and tax paid social benefits used by the “Dreamers”.

There are over 90 million US citizens currently unemployed. There are tens of thousands of United States citizens who have graduated from colleges and universities burdened with tens of thousands of debt but unable to find a job. Should they bow to the wants and needs of the “Dreamers”? If so, something is seriously amiss.

If Congress is to consider a special status for individuals who were brought illegally into the United States by their parents or otherwise, it must proceed carefully. Congress would be derelict of duty and in violation of their oath of office if “Dreamers” were put ahead of or given preference over young United States of America citizens.

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Charlottesville Revisited

The shame, mayhem, injuries, and death in Charlottesville belong squarely in the laps of Governor Terry McAuliffe, Mayor Michael Signer, and Police Chief Al S. Thomas Jr.. They, collectively, are guilty of dereliction of duty. They did not protect the citizens of Charlottesville. Those three knew weeks in advance trouble was coming to Charlottesville. They had more than enough time to plan; they didn’t. Charlottesville had even granted the White Nationalist Rally a march permit which had been advertised nationally for months ahead of march day.

Even an idiot would know that the KKK, White Nationalists, Neo-Nazis, Black Lives Matter, AntiFa, and more in the same town at the same time spell big trouble. Even an idiot would know agreed-to arrangements and a march route would be resisted. Even an idiot knows potentially violent opposing groups must be kept apart. They were not. Riot, injury, and death resulted. The Governor, Mayor, and Police Chief are to blame. They had the power to prevent what happened and chose not to.

Let’s be clear: the KKK, White Nationalists, and Neo-Nazis are despicable racists. They have no place in society but under the Constitution do have the right to peacefully demonstrate and speak. On the other side we have Black Lives Matter and the AntiFa, now a designated domestic terrorist group. They have the same rights. Both groups came to fight with clubs, sprays, and fists. Parts of one group were dressed in the garb of the Ku Klux Klan. Parts of the other were dressed in the black hoods, shirts, and pants like those that trashed the Berkeley campus, keep conservative speakers from various events, turn over cars, and burn buildings. All of these folks are despicable and have no place as true Americans.

Charlottesville is near the same population size as Kokomo. Years ago, Kokomo had a KKK march around the courthouse square. No one wanted the KKK to come to town, but respected their right to peacefully march and speak. What Kokomo did was what Charlottesville should have done and did not. Kokomo police and the Indiana State Police kept the KKK marchers and those who opposed the KKK blocks apart. Local ministers well ahead of time spread the message for people to stay home. Many did. The march went off without incident and the KKK left town. The wanted trouble but were denied that by the good citizens of Kokomo and professional policing. Kokomo won. The police did their job in keeping the peace and order in our community. The opposite happen in Charlottesville.

President Donald Trump said and did all the right things. Both sides and those in government in Virginia are to blame for what happened there. Both sides were brewing for a fight that never should have been allowed to happen…..and a young woman died with many others seriously injured. Trump condemned what happened in no uncertain terms as facts unfolded. He was right, too, in saying there were some honest, peaceful people in Charlottesville who wanted historically markers to remain and others who were deeply offended by those markers being present. Both had the right to peacefully protest and speak out. No one had the right to violence. For damned sure, President Trump is not to blame.

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Final Silence

[I am working on an idea for a book. The idea has been hanging in my mind for years now. What is below is a Forward I have written for possible use. I thought I would share it in case the book does not get written.]

Astronomers tell us there are a billion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. They tell us there are a billion galaxies. These are numbers beyond human comprehension. We cannot conceive of where the ends and the beginnings are or if they are.

Yet, here we are on what astronauts have shown us to be a beautiful, blue water planet floating in the infinity of space and orbiting around our Sun somewhere near the edge of our galaxy. We have no idea whether life, as we know it, exists anywhere else in infinity. We only guess. As far as we now know, there is no place else for our species to go. We, and the millions of other species that live with us and beside us, call Earth our home.

If we believe in God, then we must believe our home is a sacred place and a blessed gift from the Divine. It really does not matter whether we believe the Universe and Earth were created in seven days or in billions of years. Here we are. Here is now.

A curious thought crosses my mind. This is there is no sound in space. The gigantic explosions and nebulae we see with our visual or radio telescopes are silent. On Earth, we know the beauty of sound in rustling leaves blown by the breezes, in the call of birds on wing, the rolling of waves on the beach, and the crunching of dried leaves under our feet in the autumn, the sound of a water fall, of music, of voices and even of whales in the ocean. I wonder whether this will always be or whether Earth will at some time become a part of the Final Silence.

The gift of Earth to us is precious, yet we go about our daily lives behaving as if it were indestructible and limitless of resources, wildlife, fertile lands for crops, and infinite space for concrete and asphalt. Our human mantra is “growth and development” at any cost. It is expansion and domination and control. Rachael Carson poignantly pointed out in “Silent Spring” that mankind is a part of the biosphere which is beyond our control. She talked about being in balance with Nature. Dr. Durward Allen, wildlife ecologist, taught conservation of all natural resources, living and non-living, for the greatest good for the most people for the longest time. John Muir and Henry David Thoreau and countless others described the wonder of it all.

It is our sacred duty to protect and defend planet Earth from harm whether it be from within or without. Our lives and the lives of those that follow depend upon this.

According to some, the Earth has nurtured our kind for over 2 million years. She has given water, shelter, and food to countless generations like a mother to her children. Now she grieves. In the race for technology and with burgeoning numbers, we have lost connection to the Earth in consciousness and spirit. We take and take and take. We create poisons and wastes we spread on the land and water and in air. We even now tamper with the very core of life in the race for more and more. We pass to the next generation a nature that is less than we inherited. For many species, we have already created the final silence. The pace quickens.

Man has come a long way since the beginning of existence to the present. But, we are at a time now of unprecedented population growth and resource consumption, both of which continue their upward paths toward a point where Earth resources cannot forever sustain life, particularly human life, at such levels. If overshoot is great enough and the Earth’s life support systems are fatally damaged, we will inevitably ourselves reach the Final Silence.

Scientists believe there is still time for the way back. It is through leaders willing to put planet over personal gain. It is through the few who now hear voices from the past with the message that all of Creation is sacred. It is for warriors who will not be intimidated, defeated, or silenced. If we do not listen……..

To Albert Schweitzer who said…..

Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the Earth” (a quote used in Silent Spring)

And Albert Einstein who said…….

“Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man.”

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GOP Do Nothing

The Republicans in Congress are a disgrace, especially in the failed Senate. The folks in “fly-over” country are getting damned mad at the lack of action on President Donald Trump’s agenda.

Take health insurance: the Republicans had seven years to be ready to move forward on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). What did they do? Nothing. People are hurting. People cannot afford the premiums and deductibles in many cases and in others they cannot even purchase insurance coverage. Now what do we hear: Congress is considering an extension of the Obama illegal bail out of the insurance companies; subsidies to them. Obama broke the law, said a federal court, when he took money from FNMA and Freddie Mac to support insurance companies [US House of Representatives v. Burwell 130 F. Supp. 3d 53, US District Court for the District of Columbia]. Now the GOP wants to put its blessing on taxpayer money for the same purpose. What is wrong? Inexcusable.

We learned Congress and Congressional staffers are covered by insurance subsidized by taxpayers. Congress does not live by the same rules everyone else does. They get special treatment. Again, what is wrong? It is reported President Trump has the power to end these Congressional subsidies. He should and quicker than you can blink an eye. They never should have existed in the first place. The Republicans had 7 years to correct this inequity and did nothing except feather their own nests. Inexcusable.

Now we learn the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are putting together a computer-based primary care allocation system for when private health insurance collapses. Looks like a single payer plan with “death panels”; all centralized in the federal government.

Then we have the slow boating of President Trump appointees. Movement has been seen recently, but the Republican Senate let Democrats rule. Senator Chuck Schumer wielded more power over how nominees were considered than did Majority Leader McConnell. It was clear who was in charge. It was not the Republicans.

And the restrictions in the Senate over the 60 vote rule; that should be abolished instantly. The Democrats abolished it over certain matters when they held control of the Senate. There is no requirement under the Constitution for a super majority vote to pass anything. The Republicans in the Senate could totally abolish this practice if they wanted to. It seems they don’t. The only reason possible is to provide cover and excuse for not dealing with legislation; then being held accountable. Cowards.

There is the situation with Russia. No collusion but to the continued delight of the Democrats, RINOs, and the deep state; the investigation continues to take time, energy, and, even worse, millions of taxpayer dollars. Again, inexcusable. Congress is even considering legislation that would restrict the President’s authority over the Special Prosecutor. The seriously flawed SP Mueller has conflicts of interests all over the place. The SP exists under the Department of Justice which is part of the Executive Branch, not the Congress. The CEO of the Executive Branch is the President. There is something called the separation of power under the Constitution.

Congress has passed legislation that restricts the President’s ability to make decisions about sanctions against Russia, North Korea, and Iran; all matters of foreign affairs that under the Constitution are Presidential purview and authority, not that of Congress. The President needs to be able to negotiate with other countries. The Constitution says so.

So, no skating on health care. It now has become a Republican albatross. Get Obamacare repealed and replaced as promised. Then on to tax reform and out of the business of the Executive Branch. Get these done or face the wrath of voters, particularly in the primaries, in 2018. It is that simple.

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Kokomo Population

The Kokomo Tribune July 27th page one headline: “Brainstorming ways to boost population”. I read that and thought, “Why?”.

The article said we are in for tough days ahead if our population does not grow. It said we are making less babies and then not keeping them. It said more people mean more income going to local retailers and services, and more tax revenue to fund local government. More… more… more!

I am wondering if anyone or any group has taken a step back to think about what an optimum population size for Kokomo and Howard County is? Or is the goal to grow population, housing, concrete, roads, sewers, schools, shopping centers, restaurants and more without any upper limit? Do we want Kokomo and Howard County to eventually be wall-to-wall people, concrete, and bricks and mortar? Has anyone thought about this?

I, for one, think Kokomo is just fine at its present number of people. I don’t want there to be more and more and more. I don’t want there to be loss of more and more of the richest farmland on the planet. I don’t want there to be loss of open space and country side. I don’t want there to be more and more traffic on roads.

What I do want is for Kokomo and Howard County to concentrate on improving the quality of life for people who do live here. I want higher paying jobs and education opportunities for Kokomo residents. I do want parks and open spaces and recreation opportunities and all the perks of life that are icing on the cake. I want no one to go hungry or be without a home. I want all our people to have access to good health care.

So, there are many worthwhile goals for our community without never ending population growth being one of them. Think about it.

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Sixth Mass Extinction

[Reprint of article by Dr. Paul R Ehrlich; 11 July 2017]

It’s simple. It’s us. The more people there are, the more habitats we destroy. Human civilization can only survive if the population begins to shrink.

One should not need to be a scientist to know that human population growth and the accompanying increase in human consumption are the root cause of the sixth mass extinction we’re currently seeing. All you need to know is that every living being has evolved to have a set of habitat requirements.

An organism can’t live where the temperature is too hot or too cold. If it lives in water, it requires not only an appropriate temperature range, but also appropriate salinity, acidity and other chemical characteristics. If it is a butterfly, it must have access to plants suitable for its caterpillars to eat. A lion requires plant-eaters to catch and devour. A tree needs a certain amount of sunlight and access to soil nutrients and water. A falciparum malaria parasite can’t survive and reproduce without Anopheles mosquitos in its habitat and a human bloodstream to infest.

The human population has grown so large that roughly 40% of the Earth’s land surface is now farmed to feed people — and none too well at that. Largely due to persistent problems with distribution, almost 800 million people to to bed hungry, and between one and two billion suffer from malnutrition. As a consequence of its booming population, Homo sapiens has taken much of the most fertile land to grow plants suitable for its own consumption. But guess what? That cropland is generally not rich in food plants suitable fo rthe caterpillars of the 15,000 butterfly species with which we share the planet. Few butterflies require the wheat, corn or rice on which humans largely depend. From the viewpoint of most of the Earth’s wildlife, farming can be viewed as “habitat destruction”. And, unsurprisingly, few species of wildlife have evolved to live on highways, or in strip malls, office buildings, kitchens or sewers — unless you count Norway rats, house mice, European starlings and German roaches. Virtually everything humanity constructs provides an example of habitat destruction.

The more people there are, the more products of nature they demand to meet their needs and wants: timber, seafood, meat, gas, oil, metal ores, rare earths and rare animals to eat or to use for medicinal purposes. Human demands cause both habitat destruction and outright extermination of wildlife. So when you watch the expansion of the human enterprise; when you see buildings springing up; when you settle down to dinner at home or in a restaurant; you are observing (and often participating in) the sixth mass extinction.

The expanding human population not only outright destroys habitats, it also alters them to the detriment of wildlife (and often of people themselves). The more people there are, the more greenhouse gases flow into the atmosphere, and the greater the impacts on wildlife that require specific temperature ranges.

And the more people there are, the more cities, roads, farm fields, fences and other barriers preventing wildlife from moving to areas of more favorable temperature or humidity in a rapidly changing climate. Less recognized, but perhaps even more dangerous to both people and wildlife, is the increasing toxification of the entire planet with synthetic chemicals. Growing populations want myriad more items of plastic that often leak toxic chemicals: more cosmetics, cleansing compounds, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives and industrial chemicals. Many of these novel chemicals mimic natural hormones, and in tiny quantities can alter the development of animals or human children, with potentially catastrophic consequences. As with climate disruption, this is one more case of human overpopulation threatening civilization.

So we don’t really need the evidence meticulously gathered and analyzed by the scientific community showing the unusual and accelerating extermination of wildlife populations — and ultimately, species — to know that human population growth is a major and growing driver of the sixth mass extinction, just as it is with the related accelerating climate disruption. It will take a long time to humanely stop that growth and start the gradual shrinkage of the human population that is required if civilization is to persist. All the more reason we should have started a half a century ago, when the problem first came to public attention.

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Obama’s Travels

News Flash to B.H. Obama: you are no longer President. You are an ordinary citizen!

Citizen Obama should follow the lead of former President George H. Bush and other US Presidents before him. But, no, he is paddling around the globe, shadowing President Trump, with his nose in where it does not belong. This following a statement by Obama himself months ago saying, “There is only one President at a time.”, when he thought then nominee Donald Trump might meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

That is the Logan Act language passed by Congress in 1799; an act intended to stop any except official representatives of the President of the United States government from conducting foreign affairs with foreign governments.

In the Supreme Court case of the United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp in 1936, the Court observed the following: “The President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation. He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude; and Congress itself is powerless to invade it. As Marshall said in his great argument of March 7, 1800, in the House of Representatives, ‘The President is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign nations.’”

Barack Obama; how guilty can you get? For example, one day after President Trump met with the leader of South Korea, President Moon Jae-in, Obama arranged a meeting with the Korean leader. If Obama discussed any topics related to US policy which do not agree with President Tump’s policies, Obama broke the law.

Then there was the meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Obama met with Merkel on the same day she later encountered President Donald Trump at the NATO summit meeting. What did Merkel and Obama talk about? Cannot imagine, but if anything about the relationship between Germany and the United States was discussed, it was in violation of the Logan Act.

One more: in early June, Obama met in Canada and had dinner with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. News reports have it they discussed policy goals. If so, another violation of the Logan Act.

Obama said, “I try to make it a rule not to meddle in other people’s politics” before reeling off a dripping tribute to Merkel. “If I were here and I were German, and I had a vote, I might support her. But I don’t know whether that hurts or helps.” Meddling? You decide.

Obama does not understand he is now an ordinary citizen of the United States; not the President or a representative of the President. He is a “has been”, not an “is”. If he does not stop his meddling with foreign affairs, he should be prosecuted. Maybe he should be even now.

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