The Fight for Full LGBTQ Rights and Acceptance Continues

   2023 has arrived and despite the fact that we are well into the 21st century, it is all too tragically apparent that we LGBTQs still have a long way to go for full acceptance, especially when you consider everything that has been going on of late. Think about it. Conservatives around the country are pushing anti-LGBTQ policies and laws despite the fact these hurt a great number of the population. We’ve seen far too many assaults and murders of people just because they were queer. A large number of LGBTQ minors live in homes that are not queer affirming, and things can get so bad that some run away while there are others who get kicked out even when they have nowhere else to go. Many LGBTQ people (like transgender, genderfluid, nonbinary, genderqueer, bisexual+) find dating extremely difficult to near impossible because of lack of acceptance. For many, it’s so bad that they are facing the hard reality that they will probably never find someone special.
   So what can we do about it? I know it can feel insurmountable at times. But there are things we can do to try to improve LGBTQ lives and acceptance.
   One is to speak up and make our voices heard. I realize that many LGBTQ people are not comfortable being out, and that’s okay. A person should only come out if they want to and choose to. But for those who are out and are comfortable and safe speaking up, making our voices heard can make a difference. There are a variety of ways to do this. One example is using social media to speak up and to share important information. And please remember that it’s important to be as accurate as possible when doing this because spreading bad information is counterproductive as well as just plain wrong. Day to day interactions with non-LGBTQ friends and acquaintances also help so that they realize that we LGBTQs are decent human beings who deserve respect and human rights as well.
   Something else we can do is encourage greater and more accurate LGBTQ representation in movies, TV shows, books, video games and so on. Supporting examples that succeed in accomplishing this is one way. Another is to contact the creators themselves (such as authors, directors, etc) via social media, websites, and so on to tell them what we want. When doing this, it’s important to say thank you to those who provide good LGBTQ representation as well as challenging those who do not.
   Another thing we can do is to support businesses which are pro-LGBTQ, try to avoid those which are not, and speak up about what we are doing. And when a business is especially anti-LGBTQ, we can encourage as many people as possible to avoid that business and even boycott it.
   And vote! Get out and vote for elected officials who support and will promote LGBTQ rights. Remember that every vote counts, and that absolutely includes yours!
   In terms of LGBTQ rights and acceptance, we have come a quite a ways, especially when you consider what it was like 20 or 30 years ago. But we still have a long way to go, and if we make an effort, we can continue forward in our quest for full rights and acceptance. And that will make the world a better place for everyone.

Undemocratic, Closeminded Efforts By Republicans Threaten US Democracy

October 30, 2022
   I’m going to begin this by telling you that I’m an Independent politically. I don’t belong to any political party.  That said, I’m also going to tell you that this country cannot afford Republican control over governments at any level. Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you.
   In many ways, the Republican Party is now the party of Trump, a party that is willingly following a narcissistic, lying authoritarian figure. Despite the fact that overwhelming evidence shows the 2020 election was fair and that Joe Biden legitimately won, the majority of Republicans believe Trump’s lies instead. And a significant percentage are actively promoting those lies. Many Republicans have gone so far as to push for laws and policies that are clearly undemocratic. Want some examples? Here you go: In several states, Republicans have proposed bills that would allow state legislatures to overturn election results and allot electoral votes themselves, literally ignoring the will of the voters. There are also proposals by Republicans that would make it very difficult for election officials to deal with partisan poll watchers who are intimidating and interfering with voters and election workers. Republicans in numerous states are also trying to get Trump following election deniers into positions (like secretary of state) where they would oversee future elections, thus increasing their ability to interfere with (and possibly overturn) legitimate election results they don’t like. These are not exaggerations. Republicans around the nation are also trying to make voting more difficult because they are afraid high voter turnout may increase the chances of Democrats winning. Tactics include things like making voter registration much more difficult, enacting stricter voter ID laws, and trying to limit or eliminate early voting as well as mail in voting. What’s especially disturbing is how these efforts are particularly targeting people (such as African Americans) who are more likely to vote for Democrats. Again, I’m not exaggerating here. I wish I was, but I’m not. This is really happening.
   Also consider this. The Jan 6th, 2021 assault on the US Capitol Building was a terrible event that was caused by outrageous, dangerous, false rhetoric being spread by numerous people. Whatever one’s political beliefs, understanding what happened and why it happened is vitally important. Yet most Republicans oppose Congress investigating the events and are continuing to blindly follow the dangerous rhetoric that led to the assault in the first place.
   Want some more examples of why we can’t afford Republican control over governments these days? Here you go. Republicans are actively attacking female reproductive rights despite the fact that most Americans are pro choice. Some Republicans even want to ban abortion nationwide. Around the country, Republicans are also pushing for very anti-LGBTQ policies and laws that blatantly discriminate against Queer people. The “don’t say gay” laws being promoted in states around the country are examples of this. Such laws are targeting LGBTQ youth, individuals who already have to deal with far too much intolerance and prejudice from others. Many LGBTQ minors live in homes where they face discrimination from their own parents. This is why it’s common for many Queer students to turn to teachers and school counselors for support and help. But this important resource is being taken away from many due to “don’t say gay” laws. With these laws, many teachers and counselors will be unable or too afraid to help. This in turn will increase the suicide rates of LGBTQ youth.
   The behavior of much of the Republican Party is the sort of thing that leads to authoritarianism and even full blown dictatorships. History is full of examples. Look at what happened in Germany during the 1920s and 30s when people chose to ignore facts, evidence, and even decency in order to blindly follow a brutal, narcissistic dictator instead.
   Whatever your political beliefs or party affiliation, people need to speak out against the lies spread by Trump and others. It’s time to stand up for democracy, honesty, decency, tolerance, kindness, open-mindedness, and the United States Constitution. We must vote in elected officials who do the same because if people don’t, future historians may look back on this time as the beginning of the end of American democracy.

Human Caused Climate Change Is Here And Must Be Battled Now

10-4-22
   Human Caused Climate Change is here!
   It’s too late to prevent it.
   It’s here whether we like it or not! And worse yet is that human activity brought this on.
   That’s right, it’s our fault.
   Human activity, particularly the extensive use of fossil fuels for energy on top of widespread destruction of forests, has resulted in rising CO2 levels in the Earth’s atmosphere. In 1850, the CO2 level was 280 ppm (parts per million) while in November, 2020, it was 415 ppm. That is a major increase in atmospheric CO2, which along with other gases, has created a greenhouse effect that is warming the planet.
   What makes the situation even more tragic is that scientists have been warning everyone about this for decades. But most people ignored it.
   Well, it can’t be ignored any longer!
   The effects of Climate Change are affecting us now.
   For example, glaciers and the polar ice caps are melting at an alarmingly rapid rate, thus raising ocean levels, which in turn leads to more coastal flooding (especially when big storms come through). Many mountain snowpacks are getting smaller in winter (and often melting sooner), in large part due to the fact that more precipitation is falling as rain (especially at lower elevations) instead of snow for more of the year. This means that water problems will likely worsen for areas that rely heavily on the spring melt for their drinking water and agriculture, places like California and India.
   Climate Change is also affecting weather patterns, the result of which is that some areas are experiencing greater numbers of more intense storms while others are getting significantly drier (so that drought conditions are occurring more frequently and often with increased severity in these regions). This is why we are seeing worsening wildfire problems in various parts of the world such as California and Australia. Both of these places were already prone to wildfires, but as these regions become hotter and drier, they are experiencing wildfires that are greater in terms of number and intensity.
   Climate Change is also affecting tropical coral reefs around the world. Increasing air temperatures are warming the oceans’ water. When the water gets too warm, coral expels algae that was living in its tissues. This turns the coral white in color (also known as coral bleaching). In this state, the coral is under stress and at greater risk of dying.
   Now consider the following: as the conditions of the planet continue to be adversely altered (by human actions), there is a greater chance of more animal species going extinct.
   Because of us humans.
   These are just some of the effects we are seeing from Human Caused Climate Change.
   Now, it’s up to all of us to work together in battling it to try to minimize the damage.
Each one of us must make changes in our daily lives to be more pro-environment. Examples include using public transportation, carpooling, driving vehicles with better fuel efficiency, recycling, decreasing use of plastic (take permanent reusable bags to the grocery store, and if you use plastic bags, take them back to the store for recycling (plastic bags can’t be put in curbside recycling in most places)), and educate yourself. Spread the word. Put pressure on businesses, governments, and organizations to become more pro-environment.
   In addition to these, vote!
   Vote for elected officials who acknowledge Human Caused Climate Change and are taking action to fight it.
   Vote out Climate Change deniers.
   If we all take action, we can slow Climate Change down and minimize the damage.
   But we must act now! 

https://climate.nasa.gov/

http://ocean.si.edu/through-time/ancient-seas/sea-level-rise

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_bleach.html#:~:text=When%20water%20is%20too%20warm,and%20are%20subject%20to%20mortality.

The Milgram Experiment Has Ramifications Today

12-8-21
   Ever hear of the Milgram Experiment?
   It was a study conducted in the 1960s at Yale University by psychologist Stanley Milgram. The purpose was to see how far people would go in obeying an authority figure, and it’s results were frightening.
   Participants were selected via an ad that was put out in a newspaper looking for volunteers to be part of a study that they were told involved learning. They were all men between the ages of 20 and 50 whose jobs ranged from unskilled labor to professional. They did not realize the real purpose of the experiment was to see how obedient they would be to an authority figure.
   The set up was as follows. There was an experimenter who would wear a white lab coat and two other individuals. One of these was the volunteer and the other actually working for Stanley Milgram but was pretending to be a volunteer. These two individuals drew straws to decide who would be the teacher and who would be the learner (this was rigged so that the volunteer would always be the teacher). The volunteer was told that the learner had been given word pairs to remember. As the teacher, he would then be expected to say a word to which the learner was supposed to choose the correct match out of four choices. Furthermore, every time the learner made a mistake, the volunteer was to administer an electric shock and that every time the learner made a mistake, the shock would increase by 15 volts. There were two rooms that were connected via microphone. In one was the experimenter and the volunteer (the teacher) while in the other room was the learner. The experimenter was sitting at a desk while wearing his white lab coat, and the volunteer was at another desk that held the device which he believed would deliver the shocks to the learner. The first switch said 15 volts, and each of the following switches increased by 15 so that the last switch said 450 volts. The volunteer had been told that each switch would send a shock of electricity to the learner whom the volunteer believed was sitting in a chair with electrodes attached. In reality, the learner had no such electrodes.
   Once a session started, the learner purposely made lots of mistakes and had a prearranged script that he would use as the voltage increased. If the volunteer questioned the experimenter about what he was doing, the experimenter would prod him to continue up to 4 times.
   Prod 1: Please continue.
   Prod 2: The experiment requires you to continue.
   Prod 3: It is absolutely essential that you continue.
   Prod 4: You have no other choice but to continue.
   At 75 volts, the learner would start the scream in pain. From 150 to 330 volts, the learner would protest with increasing intensity and complain of his heart bothering him. At 330 volts, the learner would refuse to go on, and after 330, he would go silent.
   The results were truly frightening. All the volunteers continued up to 300 volts, and 65% of them went all the way to 450 volts. Think about that. After the learner went silent, the volunteers would have no idea whether the learner was unconscious or possibly even dead, yet 65% of the participants continued asking questions and inflicting shocks up until the maximum 450 because the authority figure in the form of the experimenter told them to.
   Combining the strong tendency many people have to follow authority figures with devotion that has gone too far frequently leads people to go along with and contribute to distortions, misinformation, and wrongs to a dangerous degree. Authoritarian leaders have relied on this throughout history, often adding fear into the mix as well.
   In the United States today, Donald Trump is an example of someone using these types of tactics in his quest to hold as much power as he can get away with. Many people have shown a willingness to a severe degree to follow his authority, even when he is outrageously in the wrong. The evidence that Trump lost the 2020 election is beyond overwhelming. He lost fair and square. Yet millions of Americans and numerous Republican politicians continue to go along with and even spread Trump’s lies about the outcome. A number of individuals who were in the mob that stormed the United States Capitol Building on January 6th, 2021 have openly said they did so because they believed Donald Trump wanted them to. While Trump doesn’t use fear to the severe degree that people like Joseph Stalin did, he does use it in ways such as trying to make his followers afraid of immigrants and of those who disagree with him politically. A number of Republican politicians continue going along with him because they fear Trump will turn on them and get his followers to vote them out of office.
   It’s scary to see these tendencies going on in the 21st century, but unfortunately they are. People need to open their minds and think for themselves. They should get information from a variety of different, independent, reputable sources and not just from those that tell them what they want to hear. People should strive to learn about what a leader is really trying to do so that they can make informed decisions about whether they agree with that political leader or not.

Much Of The Republican Party Is Going Down A Dark, Undemocratic Path

   Liz Cheney’s defeat in the Wyoming Republican primary is yet another example of the dark, undemocratic path much of the Republican Party is going down. And what’s worse is that this trend is threatening American democracy itself.
   In terms of policy and how she voted in Congress, Liz Cheney and I would disagree on a great many things, but I admire the fact she put defending American democracy and the United States Constitution above her political career or loyalty to a political party. She is one of the few Republicans willing to stand up to Trump and fight back against his lies and threats to our democratic values. She realizes the importance of democracy and the Constitution. So the fact that Republicans in Wyoming would vote so strongly against her reveals yet again how dark and twisted much of the Republican Party has become.
   In many ways, the Republican Party is now the party of Trump, a party that is willingly following a narcissistic, lying authoritarian figure. Despite the fact that overwhelming evidence shows the 2020 election was fair and that Joe Biden legitimately won, the majority of Republicans believe Trump’s lies instead. And a significant percentage are actively promoting those lies. Many Republicans have gone so far as to push for laws and policies that are clearly undemocratic. Want some examples? Here you go: In several states, Republicans have proposed bills that would allow state legislatures to overturn election results and allot electoral votes themselves, literally ignoring the will of the voters. There are also proposals by Republicans that would make it very difficult for election officials to deal with partisan poll watchers who are intimidating and interfering with voters and election workers. Republicans in numerous states are also trying to get Trump following election deniers into positions (like secretary of state) where they would oversee future elections, thus increasing their ability to interfere with (and possibly overturn) legitimate election results they don’t like. These are not exaggerations. Mail in voting is another target Republicans are aiming at despite the fact that it has been shown to be very secure and effective. The blunt reality is that Republicans are going after it because Democrats were the main ones who used mail in voting in the 2020 election. Again, I’m not exaggerating here. I wish I was, but I’m not. This is really happening.
   Much of the Republican Party is actively threatening American democracy, and this is a big reason why we can’t afford Republican control over governments (at any level) these days.
   Whatever your political beliefs or party affiliation, people need to speak out against the lies spread by Trump and others. It’s time to stand up for democracy and the United States Constitution and vote in elected officials who do the same because if people don’t, future historians may look back on this time as the beginning of the end of American democracy.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2022/05/19/voter-subversion-trump-republicans-push-laws-change-elections/9824186002/

Much of the Republican Party is on a Dark, Twisted Path

August 17, 2022
   Liz Cheney’s defeat in the Wyoming Republican primary is yet another example of the dark, undemocratic path much of the Republican Party is going down. And what’s worse is that this trend is threatening American democracy itself.
   In terms of policy and how she voted in Congress, Liz Cheney and I would disagree on a great many things, but I admire the fact she has put defending American democracy and the United States Constitution above her political career and loyalty to a political party. She is one of the few Republicans willing to stand up to Trump and fight back against his lies and threats to our democratic values. She realizes the importance of democracy and the Constitution. So the fact that Republicans in Wyoming would vote so strongly against her reveals yet again how dark and twisted so much of the Republican Party has become.
   In many ways, the Republican Party is now the party of Trump, a party that is willingly following a narcissistic, lying authoritarian figure. Despite the fact that overwhelming evidence shows the 2020 election was fair and that Joe Biden legitimately won, the majority of Republicans believe Trump’s lies instead. And many are actively promoting those lies. Republicans in multiple states are pushing for laws that would make voting more difficult for many Americans, and it’s no coincidence that those being targeted are usually individuals who vote for Democrats. This is no exaggeration. Mail in voting has been shown to be quite secure and effective, yet Republicans are going after it because Democrats are the main ones who used it in the last election. Republicans are also trying to put Trump followers in official positions where they could interfere with state election results. Some are even pushing for policies where Republican controlled legislatures would be able to overturn election results if they didn’t like the way the population voted. Again, I’m not exaggerating here. I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. This is really happening.
   Whatever your political beliefs or party affiliation, people need to speak out against the lies spread by Trump and others. It’s time to stand up for democracy and the United States Constitution and vote in elected officials who do the same because if people don’t, future historians may look back on this time as the beginning of the end of American democracy.

Millions Still Blindly Follow Trump No Matter How Wrong His Behavior Is

August 16, 2022
   Many people in this country need to take a good hard look at themselves with regards to why they continue to blindly follow Donald Trump no matter how wrong, inappropriate, undemocratic, or dangerous his statements and actions are. We’ve seen this pattern continuing for years now, and it’s beyond disturbing. It’s dangerous. I say dangerous because history has shown that when people blindly follow an authoritarian leader, dictatorship often is the result. Yet despite this, millions of Americans (in this case Republicans) continue down this dark path.
   Let’s consider the fact that the FBI, using a legal search warrant, removed 11 sets of classified documents from Trump’s possession at Mar-A-Lago. 3 of these were Confidential (which is the lowest level of classified). 3 were rated as Secret (which is the next step up), and 4 sets were Top Secret. The 11th set of documents was Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI). TS/SCI documents are so secret that they are supposed to only be accessed in specific, secured locations. Yet all of these documents were at Mar-A-Lago after Trump had left office. Why would he have documents such as these at his home. No former president is supposed to have such classified materials in their personal residences. What’s even more disturbing is that the federal government had been trying for months to get Trump to turn over classified materials he was not supposed to have, yet clearly Trump had not returned all of them. As to why he had these documents, Trump’s story has changed multiple times, which is suspicious in itself.
   According to the Presidential Records Act, when a president leaves office, documents (that “includes any documentary materials relating to the political activities of the President or members of the President’s staff, but only if such activities relate to or have a direct effect upon the carrying out of constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President,”) must be turned over to the National Archives because they belong to the United States government. Officials at the National Archives go through the documents to see what can be made public and what is classified. If a former president wants to display some records in their library, they must get permission from the National Archives to do so.
   Remember that the US government had been trying for months to get materials from Trump that he wasn’t supposed to have. The Department of Justice is still investigating the situation, so we don’t have all the answers at this time. But I find it extremely troubling that Trump had these classified documents (documents that it sure sounds like he was not supposed to have). There are reports that at least one of the document sets may have been in regards to nuclear weapons, and while this has not been confirmed, if true, would be beyond troubling. Because why would a former president have deeply classified documents with regards to nuclear weapons? Hopefully the DOJ’s investigation will supply us with some answers. And what makes the situation so much worse is how it’s just the latest in a long history of Trump’s lies, exaggerations, and inappropriate comments, actions, and behavior.
   Trump lost the 2020 election. The evidence for this is beyond overwhelming, yet Trump continues to spew out his outrageous claims and lies about it. It’s also clear that his false claims instigated the assault on the United States Capitol Building that occurred on January 6th, 2021. He repeatedly insulted our allies during his presidency, seriously weakened the NATO alliance, and even questioned the necessity for the alliance to exist at all. He mocked people with physical disabilities and grossly mishandled the COVID pandemic. And these are just a few examples of Trump’s inappropriate behavior.
   Yet despite all of this, millions of Americans continue to blindly follow Trump no matter what. They won’t admit when he is out of line and totally wrong. Blindly following a leader no matter what is exceedingly dangerous and undermines democracy. It’s the sort of behavior that dictators use to seize and hold power. History is full of examples. Yet millions of Republicans keep right on doing this.
   It’s scary.
   People need to open their minds and quit being blind followers. They need to get news and information from a variety of independent sources and learn different points of view. They need to think critically and independently.
   But will they do it?
That’s the big question.

Republicans Have Gone Too Far.

July 3, 2022
   Republicans have gone too far. This fact is plain as day.
   Look at what they’re doing. I mean take a good, hard look. They are taking away female reproductive rights from millions of women, are pushing anti-LGBTQ laws in numerous states (which will increase the number of LGBTQ suicides, especially among LGBTQ youth), have gutted the EPA’s ability to properly regulate power plant pollution (which will in turn worsen Human Caused Climate Change), and are literally undermining American democracy by promoting Trump’s lies about the 2020 election and pushing new voter laws that make it more difficult for millions of Americans to vote (especially those who are likely to vote for Democrats).
   Think about what I’ve just said. It’s all true. Republicans are literally doing this. And what’s even scarier is that they are not done. Despite the fact that the majority of Americans support same gender marriage (recent polls show support at over 70%), there is a serious risk that Republicans are going to try overturn the Obergefell vs Hodges ruling to allow Republican states to ban same gender marriage. This would create a situation where some states would ban same gender marriage while others would support it. First and foremost, consenting adults should be able to marry other consenting adults whatever their gender. Banning same gender marriage is morally and ethically wrong. In addition, having same gender marriage banned in some the states would create all sorts of confusion in terms of taxes, insurance coverage, hospital stays/medical decisions (as to who is considered family), and more.
   Look at what is happening in terms of abortion rights with Roe vs Wade being overturned. We are quickly heading towards a situation where abortion will be banned (or severely limited) in roughly half the states while allowed in the other half. Many of the bans won’t even allow an early abortion in cases of rape. Think about this last part. A woman who has been brutally raped isn’t even allowed to have a morning after pill just in case. And these abortion bans in Republican states will particularly hit minorities and the poor very hard because many will not have the time and resources to travel to a state where abortion is legal. And what’s even scarier is that despite the fact that polls show that most Americans are in favor of a woman’s right to choose, there is a very strong chance that Republicans will ban abortion nationwide if they gain enough control over both Chambers of Congress and the White House.
   Republicans have gone too far. They are trying to legislate their own personal beliefs (that are often coming from their personal religious beliefs) upon the entire population even when the majority of that population disagrees with them. Think about that. For example, conservative Republicans’ hatred of women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights are prime examples because they see these things as sinful. In other words, socially conservative Republicans are essentially trying to pass laws based on the their own personal religious beliefs that affect the entire population. This is made even more disturbing when you consider that most Americans disagree with conservatives on these issues. Some Republicans even want to restrict access to contraceptives! Think about that one.
   The brutal reality is that we can’t afford Republican control over governments these days (local, state, or federal) because they are going too far as they try to legislate things (many of which come from their personal religious beliefs) upon the entire population even when the majority disagrees with them. They are literally attacking the rights of millions upon millions of people (such as with anti-LGBTQ laws and abortion bans) that will increase the suffering of many and will lead to a significantly increased number of tragic, unnecessary deaths (like from suicide of LGBTQ youth).
   People need to speak up and stand against what Republicans are trying to do right now. And even more importantly, people need to vote! Vote in overwhelming numbers against Republicans because we can’t afford Republican control over governments these days.

Troubling Times

May 1, 2022
   Damn, things seem really frustrating, disheartening, confusing, and downright scary these days. On the international news front, we’re witnessing terrible, heart-wrenching examples of death, suffering, and carnage being wrought by Vladimir Putin’s vicious, bloody, unwarranted invasion of Ukraine.  On the domestic side here in the United States, bitter divisions in politics and society have gotten so bad that it often seems virtually impossible to get anything done. Despite it being the 21st century, we’re seeing far too much intolerance, prejudice, ignorance, and hate throughout the nation, and what’s even more disturbing is how many social conservatives are pushing for policies that actually worsen these problems.
   Think about it. In numerous states, there are social conservatives trying to pass laws that knowingly hurt the LGBTQ (Queer) Community, a community that was already suffering. A 2021 survey conducted by the Trevor Project of nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth (ages 13 to 24) found that 42% had seriously considered suicide during the previous 12 months. That number rose to 52% for Transgender youth. Only one in three indicated that they lived in an LGBTQ affirming home. Yet despite evidence such as this, numerous Republicans are working hard to pass laws that would clearly hurt Queer kids instead of helping them. And what’s worse is that these laws will almost certainly increase LGBTQ suicide rates.
   There’s also been a move by many conservative Republicans to make a big deal about critical race theory and wanting to ban it from being discussed in schools. Well for one thing, it’s clear most of these individuals don’t even know (or don’t care) what critical race theory actually is because it’s a theory that is dealt with at the post graduate education level and not K through 12. But it seems that many Republicans are using the attack on this term to go after general discussions about race relations in American history classes. This effort by conservatives is extremely dangerous because in order to learn from past mistakes, people need to look at American history honestly (warts and all), and that clearly has to include race relations. There’s a lot of truth to the old adage: those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The brutal reality is that racism and other forms of prejudice (like that which is aimed at the LGBTQ Community) are still widely prevalent today, and as a result, it’s that much more important to include honest, frank discussions about such issues in school.
   So the thing is: we need to speak up and educate others about what is going on and what we can do to try to make things better. People should stand up for open-mindedness, tolerance, and be honest about America’s history and current situation, not stick their heads in sand ignoring the problems. We should all strive to make things better.

Earth Is In Serious Trouble If We Don’t Make Major Changes. Period.

   Earth is amazing when you think about it. The Universe is such a vast place with countless stars, planets, solar systems, and galaxies. It’s incredible to think about how so many things had to come together just right in order for life as we know it to form and evolve on this world. If Earth had been a little closer to the Sun or a little farther out, it wouldn’t have happened.
   So it’s really unfathomable how human beings, who are supposed to be the most intelligent species on the planet, are in the process of destroying the only home we have.
   Why are we doing this? Why are human beings devastating this beautiful world?
   Humans get so caught up in their daily lives that they often become thoughtless and short-sighted. They seem to only think about what will improve their own personal lives, families, careers, friends, and so on. People often lose sight of the bigger picture. Many don’t think about how their actions impact the world around them and as a whole. Plus, there are also humans who knowingly damage the environment out of pure greed. They don’t care. Companies and individuals that have willfully and illegally dumped toxic waste into lakes and rivers are classic examples.
   Most of the time I would say it’s a combination of these various factors. There are plenty of people who don’t necessarily want to be hurtful and greedy, yet to varying degrees become so as they pursue what they want and what they feel they need.
   The thing is: there is overwhelming evidence that human activity is causing serious damage to the only home we have, Earth. Ecosystems are being lost and too many species of animals and plants are on the verge of extinction because of human activity. CO2 levels continue to rise which is leading to dangerous increases in global temperatures and changes in the Earth’s climate. This in turn leads to more frequent extreme weather events, droughts, wildfires, water shortages, and more. Many scientists are genuinely concerned that if things don’t change very soon, there will be mass extinctions of many species of animals and plants.
   We can’t keep doing this to the only home we have.
   We all need to make changes in our lives, big and small, in order to take better care of Earth. People need to start educating themselves and seeing the bigger picture of what is going on and what we need to do.
   If we start making better choices and working to make this a better world, in a hundred years, Earth could be a beautiful place where humans and nature have found a balance and live in harmony.
   But if we continue down the destructive path that we are headed, in a 100 years, Earth will be a place that is grossly overpopulated, badly polluted, and where countless species of plants and animals have gone extinct.
   It’s time for all of us to make changes so that in a hundred years, the former will hopefully be true and not the latter.
  

http://ocean.si.edu/through-time/ancient-seas/sea-level-rise

https://climate.nasa.gov/

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24021772