‘It’s your democracy under attack’

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia died suddenly and unexpectedly on Feb. 13, 2016. A month later President Barack Obama, as was his right and duty, nominated Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy.

Garland is a highly respected, moderate Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Senate’s job is to vote on the President’s choice based not on partisan feelings but on merit. Senate Republicans refused to even bring Garland up for a vote. Such a highly respected federal judge most certainly would have received enough unbiased votes from some honest Republican Senators for approval.

Thus continues a Republican dictatorial trend, this time affecting the one branch of government—the Judicial—charged with keeping the other two branches in line.

Now we have two of President Donald Trump’s nominees moved through committee and sent to the Senate for a full vote without a legal quorum (which should have barred a vote) and in fact with no Democrats even in the room. In my book this is clearly one-party rule, and by any other definition, dictatorship.

All we have been seeing and hearing about lately are President Trump’s Executive Orders. One in particular is getting the most attention—his clearly unconstitutional ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. None of these seven countries have a history of terrorist attacks. Not covered are several predominately Muslim countries with histories of terrorist attacks, and incidentally ties to Trump financial interests including Turkey (two Trump towers), the United Arab Emirates (a Trump golf course) and Indonesia (a Trump resort). Notably absent is interest in investigating what is seriously important and vital to the United States, namely, the Russian hacking of the U.S. election process. Instead of needed investigations of espionage and hacking, there is ban on Muslims and an attack on the Constitution.

The Constitution protects religious freedom. Rep. Keith Ellison said on Jan. 29 on “Meet the Press,” that “It is a religiously based ban … Our Constitution says Congress shall make no law establishing a religion or abridge the free exercise thereof.”

The ban was challenged in court. Judge James Robart, a federal judge in Seattle, Wash., issued a temporary nationwide restraining order upholding the Constitution and stopping Trump’s executive order.

Trump’s reaction, pretty expected, was a fear-based and untruthful charge of “danger to the country” plus a personal attack on the Bush-appointed Republican judge.

Trump tweeted “Bad people are very happy.”

No, “bad people” are breaking the law—including the Trump administration, the Republican Senators and the finger-happy president. Beware folks; it’s your democracy under attack.

Ann Ruhnka

Moriarty

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‘Fake science’ is the same as ‘fake news’

The idea of ‘fake news’ has become a popular topic of discussion these days. When news is made and does not provide evidence of accuracy, it is rightfully questioned. When it cannot be shown to be true, it is called ‘fake news’ and subject to scandal and public outrage. Fake news got me thinking about ‘fake science.’

Is science always true? Like any other news, probably both yes and no. ‘Physical Sciences’ have scandals. One such scandal is ‘perpetual motion’ machines that claim to run forever without an energy source. Of course, the science behind these machines is flawed and appropriately labeled ‘fake science.’ Still, I wish we had them.

Life Sciences’ have their notorious ‘evolution.’ It is said that, “evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations.” However, evolution is defined there for the end game. It really boils down to the origin of the first and smallest level of a living organism. The cell is the fundamental unit of life. And if there is no cell, there is no evolution.

By direct observation, we know that cells exist. But the mere existence of a cell does not automatically demonstrate evolution. How did the first cell come alive? It is said, “How the first cell came into being is a matter of speculation…” Over the years life scientists have speculated and tried in vain to make even a single living cell. The reason is to prove it can be done utilizing only natural properties and causes—a necessary step for evolution. However, even the simplest cell continues to confound our most capable of scientists. Evolutionary scientists believe that the first cell somehow randomly came together without any intelligent intervention. This is a bold and counterintuitive claim for science.

It should be noted that until the undertaking of actually making a living cell is successful and repeatable, evolution remains only a theory. I do not think evolutionary scientists initially realized how complex a living cell is. I know I do not know! Surprisingly and because evolution is now overwhelmingly treated as fact in academia and not as theory, evolution has basically moved from theory into the ‘fake science’ category deserving much objective investigation. In summary ‘fake science,’ like the questionable science behind both evolution and perpetual motion machines, is equally scandalous because they fail the scrutiny of scientific methods of proof.

Boyd Reasor
Edgewood