The Republican Party Appears To Be Heading Down A Dangerous, Dark Path
Seems to me that the Republican Party is going down a seriously dangerous, dark path when you stop to consider what has been going on lately. Think about it. I’m not talking about tax rates or the like. No. I’m looking at the way too many members of the Republican Party are going along with disturbingly extremist influences that are terribly harmful to other people and undermining to our democratic values.
We saw this trend pick up steam during the Trump Administration when Donald Trump and others in the Republican Party did things like attacking the free press, encouraging xenophobia, denying science, and viciously going after the election process itself. On multiple occasions, Trump seemed to go out of his way to avoid criticizing white supremacists and other extremist elements, which in turn emboldened them to come out of the woodwork and spread their vile, disgraceful intolerance, bigotry, and hate more than they had in many years.
Trump’s unfounded, dangerous attacks on the 2020 election then exacerbated the boiling cauldron of intolerance, xenophobia, paranoia, and hate to the point where it exploded on January 6th when the entire world saw the angry mob of Trump supporters literally attack the United States Capitol Building. Even now with Trump out of office, he is still spreading despicable, dangerous lies about the election which is further encouraging these far-right extremists to the point where there is serious concern that they will conduct more domestic terror attacks upon our nation.
Despite all of this, a large percentage of the Republican Party is continuing to go along with (and even blindly follow) Donald Trump’s twisted, self serving, dangerous, narcissistic whims and lies. They are frequently denying science so that many refuse to wear masks or get vaccinated against COVID (thus worsening and prolonging the pandemic). A scary percentage still question the validity of the 2020 election despite the overwhelming evidence that it was free and fair. This in turn has led to efforts by many Republicans in numerous states to try to pass laws which would make it more difficult for many people to vote, which is clear voter suppression.
There are other disturbing trends emanating from the Republican Party. One is the way many Republicans continue to deny human-caused climate change and often promote the use of fossil fuels despite the fact that this worsens the climate change crisis the planet currently finds itself in. This is also very narrow-minded economically because the future is not in fossil fuels but in renewable energy instead. Another sickening trend is the way the Republican Party in many states is attacking the Transgender Community, particularly Transgender kids. These attacks are extremely harmful to innocent Transgender people and increase the likelihood that some may take their own lives.
How long will this go on? How many lives are going to be lost and how much damage will our country have to endure before these dangerous trends by the Republican Party finally abate.
Many Republicans see themselves as rugged individualists. But their behavior says otherwise. Instead, many have shown themselves to be blind followers who are unwilling to think for themselves, stand up for what is right, or speak out against what is clearly wrong.
March 7, 2022
The rise in petroleum prices that we are seeing these days reinforces the need for the United States and other countries to speed up the shift to renewable, clean energy. Supply chain issues, the COVID Pandemic, and now Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine are all playing roles in the current rise of gas prices (and inflation) which we’re seeing around the world.
Humanity started to increasingly rely on the use of fossil fuels in the 19th century with the use of coal to warm homes, power factories, and run railroads and steamships. With the invention of the combustion engine, fossil fuel use really exploded in the 20th century as more and more people relied on automobiles powered by petroleum products. Coal firing plants to supply energy to cities grew in size and number as did manufacturing facilities. The result of all this was a precipitous rise in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. According to NASA, during the last Ice Age, CO2 levels were around 185 ppm (parts per million)and rose to about 280 ppm by 1850. In January of 2022, it was up to 418. This dramatic increase since 1850 is clearly due to human activity (particularly from the use of fossil fuels). We know from exhaustive research that rising atmospheric CO2 levels causes average temperatures to go up as well, which in turn has created the Climate Change Crisis that the planet is experiencing today.
In order to combat Human Caused Climate Change, we need to lower atmospheric CO2 levels, and the best way to do that is to decrease the use of fossil fuels while increasing the use of renewable, clean energy sources. Another added benefit will be less reliance on having to import petroleum from other parts of the world because as we are currently seeing how regional and world events can lead to rising petroleum prices that we have to pay due to our reliance on fossil fuels.
With everything that is going on (including the likelihood of banning Russian petroleum exports), in the short term, other parts of the world will need to increase oil production in order to prevent gas prices from getting too exorbitantly high. But in the long run, we need to speed up the process of shifting away from fossil fuels and towards the use of renewable, clean energy because it will be better for the planet and also will likely allow the United States and other countries to become less reliant on the necessity to import such significant amounts of their energy needs.
The Border Between North And South Korea Is One Of The Most Tense And Heavily Fortified In The World
On May 3rd of this year (2020), North Korean soldiers fired across the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) towards a guard post on the southern side. South Korea says its soldiers then issued a warning broadcast and fired two shots back in return. No one on the southern side was injured.
Did you know that the Korean DMZ is probably the most heavily fortified border in the world?
The Demilitarized Zone was established in 1953 when the Korean War came to end and runs across the Korean peninsula separating the Communist North from the Democratic South. It’s approximately 150 miles long and 2.5 miles wide running along the 38th parallel. An estimated 2 million mines are dispersed in or near the DMZ which is in addition to all the guard posts, fences, barbed wire, tank traps, artillery, combat vehicles, and hundreds of thousands of troops that line the entire border area.
And guess what? This isn’t the first incident to occur there. Oh no. There have been scattered clashes occurring between the two sides since the end of the war which have included helicopters being shot down when they accidentally strayed across the border, engagements on water, and guard posts having firefights against each other.
Panmunjom is a village that straddles the border itself. Here, North Korean and South Korean soldiers stare at each other day in and day out, sometimes with just feet separating them. There are 5 one story buildings, 3 of which are painted United Nations blue, that stand directly on the border line so that half is in the South and half is in the North. These buildings are where delegates can sit down at a table (that is also bisected by the border) for talks. When South Korean soldiers open the door to the North, they do so in pairs. One opens the door while the second holds on to him. They do this because there is genuine fear that North Koreans might try to grab and abduct the first soldier. That is how tense things are.
Considering how dictatorial and ruthless the North Korean regime is, it doesn’t look like there will be any significant easing of tensions at the Korean DMZ anytime soon.