Category Archives: politics

Scenes from DC #MarchforScience

My photos from DC Women’s March

For more photos of signs, check out My favorite signs at the Women’s March on Washington from The Washington Post.

One day more of American pride

All my life I’ve been proud to be an American. I’m worried that those days are ending.

To all the nations of the world, let me say: I’m sorry that we’re letting you down. I’m so embarrassed. I can barely express my anguish.

Please don’t give up on us. Maybe this is temporary insanity. Maybe we’ll renew our belief in the true American dream—freedom—that our true leaders have shared with the world.

We still have one day more to dream.

World more black than white?

On this holiday in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., pause for a moment to think about the world’s population by race. Things are not black and white.

The majority is Asian, with nearly two-thirds of the world’s 7+ billion people living in the region shared by India and China.

As the world’s second most populated continent, Africa has more than 1 billion people, which is larger than North and South America combined. Combine Europe and North America, based on these Wikipedia numbers, and it reaches 1.4 billion. But it’s unclear if the world is more “white” than “black.”

Here’s a map that tries to visualize nations by their population instead of their geography alone:

worldmapperpopulationcartogram2011

This map shows how the world’s population is distributed (note how much Canada and Australia shrink).

If the world’s most populated continents could be represented by a classroom of about 25 students, you would expect to see this approximation: 15 students from Asia, 5 from Europe and North America, 4 from Africa, and 1 from South America.

This worldview may be disturbing to people who want to think they live in the center of the universe (I’m talking to you, New Yorkers). It may be disturbing to those who think their survival depends on being a part of the majority. Yes, there is a certain truth behind the saying of “safety in numbers.”

But you are a minority. Whether by race, or religion, or sexual orientation, or economic status, you are a minority. In one way or another, everyone falls into minority status. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Diversity is reality.

you are a minority. 

Does that scare you? Does than make you unsafe or weak? That is for you to decide. MLK Jr. says it could make you better.

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Today, you could make the world better. But first, it may require you to accept the fact that you, yes you, are a minority.

 

Make Fun Poems with Trump Tweets

Here’s a fun way to make very timely poems. Simply reorder Trump’s published words by following these rules:

  1. Select a week of Trump Tweets.
  2. Use 1 phrase/word per line, including punctuation as provided in the Tweet. No alteration, repetition, or additional punctuation allowed.
  3. You may provide an original title to poem.

Here’s an example to help you get started.

"Patsy Cline" 

Very strange!
People
extremely dangerous people
must ask for Federal help!
Julian
Jackie
Bill
was so careless
The "Intelligence" briefing
is record setting
so-called "Russian hacking"
was delayed until Friday, perhaps
Some people just don't understand the "Movement"
onto the battlefield.
Assange
Clinton
(Arizona)
shooting victims
build a case.
General Motors
must remember that
If the Mayor can't do it
"a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta"
or pay big border tax!
Mexican made
album sales have skyrocketed after announcing
it is not affordable -
There should be no further releases
"CRAZY"

(created from Trump Tweets, first week of January 2017)

 

 

Decency is Dead. There’s a Casket for That.

img_3693Donald Trump has the foulest mouth and the dirtiest mind of anyone elected president.

Decency is dead.

Since his election, protesters have been chanting “Fu** Trump.”

Decency is dead.

At least the anger of the protesters makes sense. They are so shocked and so angry that they are seeking the most violent words possible. Violent words are less harmful than violent actions.

For me, the only reaction right now that makes sense is No Words. A Blackout on social media, #NoWords. Silence and Mourning. No arguing, no explanations, no justifications. No Words.

Obviously I’m breaking my own rule by writing these words right now. I want to get beyond the period of mourning, the wake of silence, and find a voice. You have to start somewhere. But my gut reaction for now remains No Words.

“If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it.” No Words.

“The next president of the United States of America is…” No Words.

“Mommy, what’s an immigrant?” No Words.

Someday soon I’ll find some words to place on my black sign. I’m waiting until they can be decent.

Action Number One

On Veteran’s Day, I rode my bike into central Washington, D.C. and walked around with my black sign with No Words. I tried to hear what the great presidents and the great monuments were trying to say. They gave me No Words.

I kept walking.

Sitting outside the new Trump International Hotel, just two blocks from the White House, I still felt too heavy to speak. But I did find an action.

I took my black sign with No Words and I walked around the hotel. In the back I found a construction area with a large dumpster. I took a photo of my sign, and then I tossed it into the dumpster.

I dumped my silence, my shock, my lack of words into one of Donald Trump’s very own trash cans. Now he owns it.

Trump will have to pay to have it removed. It’s the decent thing to do.

Goodbye beach, goodbye reef

We have to let go of so many things in this lifetime, and one of those many things is living in Florida.

The new February issue of National Geographic magazine spells it clearly in the feature article Climate Change Economics. If you can only stomach one more article about climate change, read this one. Check out the excellent maps and graphics.

Treading Water – Photo Gallery – National Geographic Magazine.

It states:

“Many coastal places are at risk, but Florida is one of the most vulnerable. While government leaders around the world, in Washington, and even in Florida’s statehouse in Tallahassee dither over climate change, here on Florida’s southern tip more than a few civic leaders are preparing. Florida’s future will be defined by a noisy, contentious public debate over taxes, zoning, public works projects, and property rights—a debate forced by rising waters.”

On Monday, I spoke to the Miami-Dade County Delegation at a public hearing in Miami, and I sent this message about sea level rise: “STOP DITHERING.”

The noise and anti-dithering should extend to coral reefs, and National Geographic knows that too. Its video alongside the article, “A Stressful Time,” provides glimmers of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation for the world’s coral reefs.

Treading Water – Video: A Stressful Time – National Geographic Magazine.

Goodbye Florida. Goodbye house. Goodbye Florida Reef. Goodbye Everglades. Goodbye South Beach, and so on, and so on, and so on . . .

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