In the Jan. 9 column “Australia’s climate emergency,” Jennifer Mills notes that Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, responded to public anger about the climate-change related heat waves and fires with the statement “This is not about any one individual.” Indeed, Australia is a representative democracy and its electorate has largely ignored climate change at the ballot box, similar to most of the United States. Here in North Carolina, will we choose to wait and criticize whomever is in elected office when we have the projected 60-plus days of extreme heat each year and 2.5 million coastal homes and businesses underwater later this century?
Instead of resigning ourselves to the “hazy twilight of blame” described in the column, here’s hoping we share accountability by demanding clear positions on climate change from all candidates when we make our choices at the polls in 2020.
This does not have to be a partisan issue, as demonstrated by the carbon fee and dividend proposal that is supported by Democrats and Republicans, economists, businesses and climate action groups and has been successful in other countries. If we vote for candidates who stay silent and inactive, we have only ourselves to blame.
This year, the U.S. Census will be conducted in accordance with the Constitution. The Census counts every U.S. resident, including children and non-citizens. That data will be used to distribute nearly $1 trillion in federal funding and determines the number of our Electoral College votes and congressional representatives. Every N.C. resident needs to be counted so that we are fully represented.
Faith communities, businesses and foundations can all become vital Census “partners,” advertising the Census, encouraging their communities to participate and volunteering to ensure that everyone is counted. The official U.S. Census Bureau website — https://census.gov — has information and resources for partners and individuals so they can spread the word.
Very importantly, the Census is safe for all residents, regardless of immigration status. It is illegal for anyone to share our Census responses with any other federal agency. Don’t let anyone try to intimidate you or your family. We need every resident in our state to be counted.
Also, beware of scams. No one from the U.S. Census will ever ask for money, a political donation, a Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, or any account number. If you get a call asking for these, it is a scam: hang up. Official letters must originate from Jeffersonville, Ind. Do not reply to any emails claiming to come from the Census Bureau, click on any links in the email, or download any attachments. Instead, forward it to: firstname.lastname@example.org, then delete the email.
Make sure you are counted!
On Dec. 27, an American contractor is killed and several U.S. military service members wounded by a missile attack on a military base in Iraq. The attack is attributed to Hezbollah, which probably receives support from Iran.
On Jan. 2, the U.S. retaliates with a missile attack in Iraq that kills Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
On Jan. 7, Iran retaliates with a dozen missiles aimed at U.S. military facilities in Iraq.
On Jan. 8, Trump replies that Iran “appears to be standing down.” And refrains from another retaliation.
So it’s Iran that is standing down? OK. Yeah. Gotcha. Thanks. Good talk.
For those who think war with Iran is necessary: Fine. Explain why and maybe I’ll agree.
But don’t lie to me about it. Don’t say that Gen. Qassem Soleimani was involved in Benghazi or 9/11. Don’t say that diplomacy failed when Iran didn’t send a single missile toward Americans when the multi-nation nuclear agreement was in effect.
Don’t give me any lies about all Muslims being evil or Iran trying to conquer the world when we’re the ones who invade other countries. Don’t give me any “God is on our side” nonsense.
Just tell me the truth. Tell me why my son or my daughter should go halfway around the world to possibly die in another Middle Eastern war that our president doesn’t understand.
And if you can’t make your case without lying — if all you can give me is gaslighting — then shut up and go away.
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