NASA’s satellite data

a recent interview with one of Trump’s top advisers has revealed a plan to make deep cuts to NASA’s funding, specifically targeting NASA’s climate research. Unbelievable though it is, he called this basic Earth observation research “politicized science.”

We can’t let this happen. Cutting off NASA’s satellite data would be devastating and send us back to the dark ages.

Without NASA’s research, it could be next to impossible to track changes in our climate. Large-scale research initiatives that countries around the world rely on too could disappear.

Can we count on you to stand up for science? A group of donors is tripling every contribution right now — that means even $5 is enough to help.

Yes, triple match my gift »

We need your immediate support, Arnulfo. We can’t let Trump steamroll over basic science because he doesn’t like the results. Since the election, thousands of people have pitched in — here’s what it all goes towards:

  • Funding a massive campaign that goes hard after every dangerous executive action, nominee, and vote in Congress, coordinating with allies in new ways so that nothing slips through the cracks.
  • Bolstering our allies in the Senate to stand strong, use their bully pulpit, and form a “green” firewall to beat back attacks on sound science, our cornerstone environmental laws, and critical recent progress.
  • Holding key elected officials accountable, especially in the Senate, for their votes, words and actions, and expose those who push Trump’s anti-science agenda.
  • Mobilizing hundreds of thousands of activists, activating our grassroots networks and standing in solidarity with allies across the progressive movement.
  • Making progress in the states, where our state partners are ready to seize policy opportunities to advance solar power, renewables, and other climate solutions.
  • Laying the groundwork for 2017 and 2018, where key Governor and Senate races are already unfolding.

We can’t let Trump undo decades of environmental safeguards, Arnulfo. Please — in this critical moment, stand up and be counted.

Donate today. Don’t let Trump dismantle NASA and the EPA without a fight. A group of donors is tripling every contribution right now to help resist Trump’s agenda — so even $5 is enough to help »

The next four years may be the hardest we’ve ever faced but giving up just isn’t an option. We’ll keep you posted on what comes next — thanks so much for standing with us.


Gene Karpinski

League of Conservation Voters

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Balladeer's Blog

amdearl002p1LELWANI – The goddess who ruled over the subterranean land of the dead and was thus answerable to Kumarbi, the deity who ruled over all of the undergound realms. Charnel houses and mausoleums were sacred to her.

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Standing Rock water protectors

On Sunday night, Water Protectors were met with water hoses in freezing temperatures, shot with rubber bullets, and sprayed with pepper spray. Over a hundred were injured, some seriously. It is more important than ever to stand with Standing Rock and denounce this violence against the peaceful Water Protectors.
The Water Protectors at Standing Rock need to know we’ve got their backs. Add your name »

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The London Times in 1936

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, lough, and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead—
For goodness sake don’t call it ‘deed’!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear;
And then there’s dose and rose and lose—
Just look them up—and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart—
Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I’d mastered it when I was five!

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DM: I want to be.
A: You lack focus, you´re a waste of time and energy.
DM: The creative part of the process of understanding is posing the right question.
A: There must be a systematic way to refine questions from disciplined work.
DM: Quantity as a source for quality
A: Not really, the praxis is the real teacher, not random ramblings by myself. Without interaction with reality, mental work is sterile. Even the greater minds are productive because of the interaction with reality.
DM: Well, yes but how do you connect perception with understanding? You need to connect with your inner self and brainstorming is maybe the only way.
A: Meditation and programmed sleep might be another better way. Brainstorming is noisy and understanding might drown among so much garbage.
DM: Relax my mean man. Until you relax, deep understanding will not come.
A: I see. But the idea is to concentrate in the process, regardless of consequences. Flow is a state of pure mind, one thing at a time.
DM: All these things you mention are necessary. It is a process. Some serendipity is essential, well, convenient, to find the right path in the darkness.
A: A good way to fall off a cliff.
DM: The end of life is always death. One must move forward to the end. Of course, a random walk might lead to oblivion, but most of the paths go forward.
A: Not true, empiric evidence is that most paths are paths of self-destruction.
DM: It is a matter of belief. You must trust your inner self; your inner strength, and wisdom. It is what you have and there is not use negating it.
A: You right. What about not getting distracted by what I think it should be vs what is?
DM: You must accept that at one point you would be wrong. You might or might not get a chance to recover and learn. Either way to play you cards is the objective of the game. Time is limited and you’re going to die whether you use your time to live or you sit to wait for time to be over.
A: Right. It is not a blind belief to always be right but the courage to act on what I have.

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Your internal writing critic, and one way to overcome it

Everything You Wanted to Know about Freelance Writing

Paul tackles the topics of your internal critic and creativity and writing in a number of his books. You can read about the books available online at

Writing is considered an art by most fiction writers, one that involves a great deal of creative thought. For the rest of us—those who write business documents, articles, case studies, media releases, blog posts, social media content, web content and even non-fiction books—writing is a craft. However, even crafts involve at least a modicum of creative thinking, some types of non-fiction writing more than others, admittedly. Technical competency and understanding the structure of the document you are producing are important; however, unless you are producing a price list, it is difficult to imagine writing without a degree of creative ability. But before we look at creativity and writing, let’s look at something that can interfere with creativity, or what I call…

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flour tortillas

I have eaten flour tortillas like that in two places, at home when I was a boy, and in Beeville. Beeville is the county seat of Bee County, Texas, with a population around thirteen thousand. It is the birthplace of my Grandmother Clara but I have never been there before. I was driving back home from Houston by Route 59 and then there it was, Beeville.
Beeville is one of those one-street towns but it has character beyond its size. Many of the stately homes, commercial buildings, and schools in the area, including the Bee County Courthouse, were designed by architect William Charles Stephenson, who came to Beeville in 1908 from Buffalo, New York. Beeville is a National Main Street City.
It was noon when we passed by Beeville and decided to have lunch in Grandma´s hometown. We stopped at El Charro, a Mexican restaurant, right on Route 59. Lunch came with flour tortillas wrapped in aluminum foil. I was taking back to Memory Lane when I saw the thick flatbreads, pita-bread like. I only had seen tortillas like these when my mother used to make them for supper.
Googling Beeville, I see that it has, to some accounts, the best German restaurant in Texas. I must try that one next time I am in town.

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no way to go

There’s no avoiding it, Donald Trump is our next President. How did Trump trump the political establishment for the presidency? The System beat itself. On the one hand, The Democratic Party shenanigans disenfranchised many people that would have voted for a democrat ticket, and on the other hand, the republicans only had a bible-belt demagogue as a viable option. Trump won because, for some, he was a hope of change; for others, Clinton was worst; and the rest just gave up on voting altogether.

To start with, voting turnout in the US is around fifty percent and declining. Comparing the 2012 presidential election with this one in 2016 there is a sharp decline in participation. In 2012 around sixty-six million people voted for Obama, and sixty-one for Romney. In 2016 fifty-nine million people voted for Clinton, for a loss of seven million. Trump did better, he only lost two million people, probably because he attracted people that did not vote before to compensate the loss of ordinary republicans. The steady decline in voting participation is a symptom of the disconnect between the citizenry and the power elite.

The sharp decline in citizen participation is more telling if one remembers, that at the time of the primaries, the candidacy of Trump was expected to generate higher than expected voting turnout. At that time, the election seemed a likely slam dunk for the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders was getting a lot of traction with young voters, and despite a socialist label, his poll numbers were impressive. What the Democratic Party did? Rig the Democratic Party primary in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Did Clinton reach out for Sanders´ base once she was nominated? No, she laughed out the dissidents and run on the slogan: I’m not Trump. That suited Trump just fine and the theme “I´m not Clinton” served him well. Now that the election is over, The Democratic Party, instead of accepting its faults, blames the FBI for a half-hearted attempt to do what the FBI is supposed to do. The political establishment must recognize that people are fed up with corruption and power plays and change or be changed.

Trump wants to dramatically expand the NSA to spy on each of us, he’s called for “closing parts of the Internet,” and he has a complete disdain for the most fundamental safeguard for an open Internet: Net Neutrality. Once inaugurated, Trump will inherit the power to severely harm our rights in the digital age. The results will be felt the hardest here at home. I fear what could happen to members of our society under an oppressive surveillance regime.

Steve Bannon, former head of the ultra-conservative website Breitbart, is now Trump’s chief strategist. He’s called climate scientists and activists “scum-sucking slime balls.” “Talentless low-lives.” “Abject liars.”

You’re going to hear a lot about him in the coming weeks. But it’s not just Bannon.

Myron Ebell, one of the nation’s top climate skeptics, will oversee the EPA transition. Sarah Palin is in serious contention to become Secretary of the Interior. The whole transition team is packed with climate change deniers and representatives from the dirty energy industry.

While Trump continues to plan for his Presidency, we need to know what our supporters think of his shocking political ascension. Trump seems to be getting into hyper-TV-reality-mode with unpredictable consequences for the whole World. In these times of change, we need more informed citizen participation, not less.

Will you chip in $3 to jump-start an all-out organizing drive to build the power we need to defend our rights under a Trump administration?

Fight back before it’s too late. Stand up against Trump, Bannon, Ebell, and Palin. Donate today and keep the environmental movement standing strong.


[1] Donald Trump is about to control the most powerful surveillance machine in history. Source: The Verge
[2] Donald Trump Wants to Close Off Parts of the Internet. Source: Time
[3] How Donald Trump could dismantle net neutrality and the rest of Obama’s legacy. Source: Washington Post
[4] Trump: Black Lives Matter helped instigate police killings. Source: CNN

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Three Ways of Listening

Silvia Di Blasio

Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky, and water was a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept us safe among them… The animals had rights – the right of man’s protection, the right to live, the right to multiply, the right to freedom, and the right to man’s indebtedness. This concept of life and its relations filled us with the joy and mystery of living; it gave us reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all.”
~ Chief Luther Standing Bear


The first thing we learn in life coaching is to listen. Not the listening to get information while the focus is still on us (my opinions, my assumptions, my judgement, my curiosity, my anticipation of what’s said,my preparation of my response); nor even…

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In the constant stream of accusations, mainly from Jews in the Diaspora, Israelis are labelled self hating, for daring to criticise their government or systems.  It is a betrayal they are told. 

Read more at:

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