Friday, April 7, 2017

A Sad and Horrible Day in Trump's America

Gorsuch could do a lot of damage, as Scalia did. If we are to be a society committed to equality, diversity, universal justice and openness as well as a resolve to not let our elections be dominated by money, then Justice Gorsuch is going to have to relax his habitual absolutism and some more time listening to the voice of his conscience and become more sensitive to the needs of the poor and vulnerable.

Trump's “indefensible budget cuts” of the EPA threaten the Earth

When Mike Cox quit, he did so with gusto.

After 25 years, he retired last week from the Environmental Protection Agency with a tough message for the boss, Administrator Scott Pruitt.

“I, along with many EPA staff, are becoming increasing alarmed about the direction of EPA under your leadership … ” Cox said in a letter to Pruitt. “The policies this Administration is advancing are contrary to what the majority of the American people, who pay our salaries, want EPA to accomplish, which are to ensure the air their children breath is safe; the land they live, play, and hunt on to be free of toxic chemicals; and the water they drink, the lakes they swim in, and the rivers they fish in to be clean.”

Cox was a climate change adviser for EPA’s Region 10, covering Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, he’s been very involved in Bainbridge, Wash., coaching youth sports and serving on local boards and commissions. For two decades, the fit 60-year-old rode his bike eight miles to the ferry, then uphill to his Seattle office.

He can get away with being so blunt because he sent the letter on his last day on the job. Yet his views reflect the disgust and frustration among the agency employees he left behind. Interviews with staffers point to a workforce demoralized by President Trump’s and Pruitt’s statements that conflict with science. They are worried about a new, backward direction for the agency and nervous about proposed, drastic budget cuts.

They are also fearful.

Twice during an hour of interviews for this column, EPA workers in different parts of the country asked to communicate with me by using encryption software. All who spoke feared retaliation and would not allow their names to be used.

“It is pretty bleak,” one staffer, an environmental engineer, said about employee morale.
“It’s in the dumps,” said another.

“Pretty much everybody is updating their resumes. It’s grim,” added a third.

They and their colleagues are dedicated to EPA’s mission to “protect human health and the environment.” They fear that Trump administration policies will do the opposite.

Like Cox, they are upset with an administrator casting doubt on the central role carbon dioxide plays in climate change. “You will continue to undermine your credibility and integrity with EPA staff, and the majority of the public, if you continue to question this basic science of climate change,” Cox wrote.

Of course, Pruitt’s position is no surprise for a man who was appointed by a president who called climate change a hoax.

To see the effects of climate change, Cox invited Pruitt to “visit the Pacific Northwest and see where the streams are too warm for our salmon to survive in the summer; visit the oyster farmers in Puget Sound whose stocks are being altered from the oceans becoming more acidic; talk to the ski area operators who are seeing less snowpack and worrying about their future; and talk to the farmers in Eastern Washington who are struggling to have enough water to grow their crops and water their cattle.  The changes I am referencing are not impacts projected for the future, but are happening now.”

Trump’s proposed EPA budget is the vehicle for his science-doubting policies.

His 31 percent budget decrease would be the largest among agencies not eliminated. It would result in layoffs for 25 percent of the staff and cuts to 50 EPA programs, The Washington Post reported Sunday. Lost would be more than half the positions in the division testing automaker fuel efficiency claims.

An EPA environmental engineer is “almost hopeful” for a partial government shutdown, which could happen after April 28 if Congress doesn’t approve a spending measure, because “it’s better than getting axed right away.”

Cox challenged the “indefensible budget cuts,” asking Pruitt “why resources for Alaska Native Villages are being reduced when they are presented with some of the most difficult conditions in the country; why you would eliminate funds for the protection and restoration of the Puget Sound ecosystem which provides thousands of jobs and revenue for Washington State; and why you would reduce funds for a program that retrofits school buses to reduce diesel emission exhaust inhaled by our most vulnerable population — children.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/04/07/epa-staffer-leaves-with-a-bang-blasting-agency-policies-under-trump/?utm_term=.d530a5dab4a2

Putin is trying to help Trump steal Merrick Garland's seat on the Supreme Court

Putin gave Trump permission to do this to provide a distraction from all the troubles Trump is in. Trump is hoping he can illegally sneak in Gorsuch and steal Merrick Garland's seat on the Supreme Court.

These are serious things. Trump is a puppet of Putin who interfered with the election and helped to steal it from President-elect Clinton. Trump is trying to steal Merrick Garlands seat on the Supreme Court. Trump is waging war on the environment.

Don't let Trump steal Merrick Garland's seat on the Supreme Court!

Trump and right-wing Republicans are trying steal Merrick Garland's seat on the Supreme Court and illegally replace him with Gorsuch.

Act.

Resist

And stay strong!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A new age of resistance: People are taking political action for first time in their lives

Wonderful article in the Seattle Times:  A new age of resistance: People are taking political action for first time in their lives


“Wow. Crazy,” one woman said when she walked into the Montlake Community Center the other day.

The room was packed. Middle-aged people, younger folks squeezed onto couches, a couple of mothers with babes in arms, all making time on a Saturday afternoon to watch a live stream of a Miami-based, nationwide “Resistance Training” put on by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Someone called for quiet, and Eve Warmflash stepped to the front of the room to introduce herself. She had rented the room for $45 an hour out of her own pocket, set up her laptop, a projector and a screen so complete strangers could gather, connect and learn the legal art of revolt.

“I’m just one of those people who decided to get involved,” she said, “because … I had to.” The room broke out in knowing applause.

We may have had 400 days of rain the last two months, but we are clearly in the midst of what some are calling a “Liberal Spring,” when people are taking to the streets to urge the protection of First Amendment free speech, religious freedom rights, civil and reproductive rights, immigration. Pick your passion.



“You gotta do something,” said Jude Rosenberg, 66. “You can’t just sit around and say, ‘Somebody ought to do something.’ It’s time to step up.”

All over the region, and all over the country, people are coming out of their comfort zones, liberal comas — whatever you want to call it — and taking action for the first time in decades, or ever.

What would President Lara Spenzak do? Enact the Diversity and Fairness Act

One of the first things I would do as President would be to sign into the law the Diversity and Fairness Act (DAFA).

The Diversity and Fairness Act (DAFA) would officially make Diversity a legally protected human right and protect and respect the rights of all people.

Remember the protest we had against the movie Avatar a few years ago?  If DAFA was the law, that film would not have produced and released to the public as it did.  Instead of exclusive message of heterosexual relationship and narrow gender definitions, the film would have been more inclusive to include gay, trans, intersex or any other relationship or sexual status.

DAFA would compel businesses and individuals not deny service simply because they are gay.  DAFA would also make our civic laws and traditional holidays more respectful and inclusive.

Friday, January 27, 2017

I may run for president in 2020 to stop Trump

Hello all.

First, I want to apologize for not being active on this blog for quite some time.  As my close friends know I have been dealing with some issues that have taken much of my free time.  Much of that has been resolved and I want to thank you all for your support and love!

The events of few months have been difficult for us all.  We seem to be in a state of depression while dealing with scary news that seems to come every day now.   I miss President Obama so much, I miss his intelligence, his smile, everything!   Oh, please come back, Mr. President!

I have been sad, depressed, nervous and scared since November. I have been physically sick. I do not want to spend the next four years like this.

My friends have done all they can to encourage me and to give me hope. One theme from their support has been to take action and to focus on something important. What is more important in protecting our rights, the environment and Diversity?
 
I have been a social activist for some time now and I am giving serious thought to starting a campaign for president in 2020. I want to be there on the stage with Trump and to tell him and the world why he is wrong and why I am there to stop him.

At this point, I am doing research and investigating the necessary steps to make this happen. In the meantime, I would love to get your feedback and suggestions.

Let me know what you think.  I am not accepting money at this time for a campaign but I want your ideas, suggestions and hopes for a better world.   As always, you can email me at leftwingandbrave@gmail.com

I am also back on Facebook.

I thank you for your support and I love you.

Together, we can do this.

- Lara Spenzak