By Arianna Huffington
Earlier today, (December 7, 2015), the candidate currently leading in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” That was, of course, Donald Trump. As Jeffrey Goldberg just tweeted, “Donald Trump is now an actual threat to national security. He’s providing jihadists ammunition for their campaign to demonize the US.”
“IOTD” is image of the day, a concept I came up with. I teach visual meditative therapy – or in easy terms – a mini mental holiday. For some people it is very difficult for them to get their image right. I post an image a day for people to use in their mini mental vacay. Some are serious, some are silly, and some are just beautiful!”
The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP11 is being held in Le Bourget, Paris, from November 30 to December 11.
It is the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.
2498 academics from 75 countries signed this Open Letter calling for world leaders meeting in Paris to do what is necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Prominent signatories include Noam Chomsky, Naomi Oreskes, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Michael E. Mann, Ursula Oswald Spring, Bill McKibben, David Suzuki, and Peter Singer.
Open Letter from Academics to World Leaders ahead of the Paris Climate Conference 2015
Some issues are of such ethical magnitude that being on the correct side of history becomes a signifier of moral character for generations to come. Global warming is such an issue.
Indigenous peoples and the developing world are least responsible for climate change, least able to adapt to it, and most vulnerable to its impacts. As the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris approaches, the leaders of the industrialized world shoulder a grave responsibility for the consequences of our current and past carbon emissions.
Yet it looks unlikely that the international community will mandate even the greenhouse gas reductions necessary to give us a two thirds chance of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. At the moment, even if countries meet their current non-binding pledges to reduce carbon emissions, we will still be on course to reach 3 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.
This is profoundly shocking, given that any sacrifice involved in making those reductions is far overshadowed by the catastrophes we are likely to face if we do not: more extinctions of species and loss of ecosystems; increasing vulnerability to storm surges; more heatwaves; more intense precipitation; more climate related deaths and disease; more climate refugees; slower poverty reduction; less food security; and more conflicts worsened by these factors.
Given such high stakes, our leaders ought to be mustering planet-wide mobilization, at all societal levels, to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
We undersigned concerned academics, researchers and scientists from around the world recognize the seriousness of our environmental situation and the special responsibility we owe our communities, future generations, and our fellow species.
We will strive to meet that responsibility in our educational and communicative endeavors.
We call upon our leaders to do what is necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change. With just as much urgency, we call upon our fellow citizens to hold their leaders responsible for vigorously addressing global warming.
For the full list of signatories please see below.
Around the world, people from all walks of life are standing together to demand a strong climate agreement in Paris and a healthy future for the planet. When the world speaks with one voice, our leaders have to listen.
So we’ve put together this Open Letter with one very clear message: DEAR WORLD LEADERS: TAKE CLIMATE ACTION NOW.
People from around the world are affected by climate change today – right now. And they’re calling out to world leaders to demand real action this year at the UN climate talks in Paris.
At least 81 transgender people were murdered worldwide this year — and those are just the victims whose deaths were reported.
BY SUNNIVIE BRYDUM
NOVEMBER 20 2015
Today marks the 16th annual Transgender Day of Rememberance, after the first event was organized by Gwendolyn Ann Smith in Allston, Mass., to memorialize Rita Hester — a trans woman of color killed in 1998.
Every year since, growing numbers of trans people and advocates worldwide take a moment to pause and remember the countless lives lost around the globe to transphobic violence.
The somber occasion serves as a memorial event in which trans people and allies can mourn their dead, celebrate the lives they lived and as a popular hashtag in the wake of unabated anti-trans violence proclaims, #SayHerName.
Human Rights Campaign
The Advocate Magazine
As the names listed in the graphics demonstrate, certain nations — the United States and Brazil — have particularly acute problems with fatal transphobic violence. The number of trans women killed this year in the U.S., for instance, is nearly double that of the total killed last year.
But it’s also worth noting that in many countries around the world, no formal system exists to report the deaths of trans people, and repressive societies combined with oppressive policing worldwide often give trans people good cause to be wary of law-enforcement officials.
So while we mourn those whose names are listed below, take a moment to memorialize those whose names we will never know — because they, too, had lives, and loves, and passions that were extinguished because of hate.
The open letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran signed by 47 senators and instigated by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) was a stunning breach of protocol. One so outrageous that my former colleagues at the New York Daily News dubbed the signers “traitors.” While it is indeed a slap in the face of President Obama and an affront to the presidency, I’m not sure I would go that far, especially since Cotton is an Army veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. So, I turned to retired Major Gen. Paul D. Eaton for perspective. He wouldn’t say Cotton and Co. were “traitors,” either. He had a better word.
“I would use the word mutinous,” said Eaton, whose long career includes training Iraqi forces from 2003 to 2004. He is now a senior adviser to VoteVets.org. “I do not believe these senators were trying to sell out America. I do believe they defied the chain of command in what could be construed as an illegal act.” Eaton certainly had stern words for Cotton.
“What Senator Cotton did is a gross breach of discipline, and especially as a veteran of the Army, he should know better,” Eaton told me. “I have no issue with Senator Cotton, or others, voicing their opinion in opposition to any deal to halt Iran’s nuclear progress. Speaking out on these issues is clearly part of his job. But to directly engage a foreign entity, in this way, undermining the strategy and work of our diplomats and our Commander in Chief, strains the very discipline and structure that our foreign relations depend on, to succeed.” The consequences of Cotton’s missive were plainly apparent to Eaton.
“The breach of discipline is extremely dangerous, because undermining our diplomatic efforts, at this moment, brings us another step closer to a very costly and perilous war with Iran,” he said.
“I think Senator Cotton recognizes this, and he simply does not care,” Eaton went on to say. “That’s what disappoints me the most.” And that’s what’s so scary about this whole episode.
The freshman senator from Arkansas and 46 of his Republican colleagues sought to bigfoot Obama on a deal not yet done whose details are not yet known.