Worst Carl Sagan Day Ever

We needed you this year, Carl.

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Rarely have Sagan-esque musings been more poignant than today. Pale Blue Dotwas Sagan’s 1994 look at humanity from a distant vantage point. Really distant. Precisely where I wish I were just now. But no, I won’t quote THAT passage (“Look again at that dot…“); you can read it here. Those iconic words have overshadowed many other treasures in the glorious book, which once prompted me to pull together Pale Blue Dot‘s most timely excerpts. Some of them seem apropos to Day One of America’s new nightmare.

Above all, here’s Sagan’s seemingly unheard message to America:

Uncommon strength of character is needed to resist the blandishments of those who assure us that we have an obvious, even God-given, superiority over our fellows.

We’re going to have to figure out how to grow that uncommon strength in ourselves and more Americans in the coming days.

Sagan found it useful to imagine viewing Earth from space through the eyes of space-faring alien beings, so let’s begin… <snip>

When you consider the power of this viewpoint, it’s no surprise that Republicans have been been trying to defund NASA programs that study Earth from space. I think we know where that’s headed starting today. The last thing Trump will want, once he’s this Pale Blue Dot’s most powerful man, is for Earthlings to have any more Blue Marble epiphanies.

[Excerpt.  See full post at Patheos]

Jill Stein: Swing-State Voters Should Still Vote for Me Even If It Means Donald Trump Gets Elected

Jill Stein: Swing-State Voters Should Still Vote for Me Even If It Means Donald Trump Gets Elected

[Excerpt.  Read the full article at Patheos].

Al Jazeera’s UpFront host Mehdi Hasan confronted Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein last week about continuing her campaign knowing it could produce a Trump victory.

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Her responses seemed startlingly detached from reality, by

  • pretending she might win, despite polling at only 3-4%
  • denying that a progressive should be more alarmed by Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton
  • dismissing any personal responsibility to “get out of the way” of those working to stop Trump
  • rejecting the advice of prominent fellow Green Noam Chomsky to swing-state Greens to vote against Trump by voting for Clinton
  • immaturely insulting the man she asked to be her running mate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who now passionately urges voters to stand with Clinton, by suggesting he’s not acting on deeply held principles but rather that he’s someone who has “drunk the Kool-Aid.”

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Instead of Feeling ‘Blessed’ and ‘Praying for Haiti,’ Please Stop Voting to Make Their Storms Worse

Instead of Feeling ‘Blessed’ and ‘Praying for Haiti,’ Please Stop Voting to Make Their Storms Worse

The BBC reports that Hurricane Matthew has killed over 900 people; nearly wiped out whole towns; left tens of thousands of families homeless; destroyed crops, livestock and food supplies;  contaminated the drinking water; and released sewage that’s spreading disease.  The U.N. says “Haiti is facing the largest humanitarian event witnessed since the earthquake six years ago.”

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[A scene in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew, photo via the U.N.]

While the U.N. and other nations help Haiti rebuild, some missionaries have gone to take some supplies and most likely the opportunity to evangelize victims, like Franklin Graham’s Christian mission Samaritan’s Purse.  The charity is asking the public for donations and “prayers in Jesus’ name.”

But part of their work, at least for its CEO, Rev. Graham, is to ensure the situation only worsens for Haiti.  He must like the hurricane-relief business, since he’s also America’s leading Christian crusader for Donald Trump, going to all fifty states to get out the vote for him in his Decision America tour.  Trump, who says climate change is a hoax concocted by the Chinese, will almost certainly increase our CO2 emissions and threaten global climate treaties if elected.  Graham himself calls climate change treaty efforts “godless,” “frightening,” and leading toward “moral depravity:”

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