At the bottom of this call to action is a quote Bertrand Russell, who was a great contributor and thinker in academia, activism, and philosophy. It is worth reading “The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell” again, especially in light of attacks on our freedom by Bannon/Trump and the push for a theocracy.
FIRST, Numbers for Nevadans to call:
Senator Dean Heller (local office): 686-5770 DC office: 202-224-6244
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (local office): 686 – 5750 DC office: 202-224-3542
Representative Mark Amodei (local office): 686-5760 DC office: 202-225-6155
Representative Paul Ryan: 1-888-909-RYAN (7926)
Governor Brian Sandoval: 684-5670 (I called his office last week to say thank you for speaking out about the wall; the person answering said “email him.” I was like, no, please take a message.)
Alt-White House: You can’t call the real White House any longer, just Trump business organizations: https://whitehouseinc.org/thank-you/
From the morning briefing, New York Times:
|Here’s what you need to know:
|• Trump bars citizens of seven nations.
|A political crisis continues to build after President Trump’s order to close the borders to refugees and visitors from the predominantly Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen).
|Amid protests over the weekend, the White House pulled back on part of the temporary ban, and as of Sunday night, officials said no one was being held at U.S. airports. Some lawyers disagreed.
|• What we know about the ban.
|The order created uncertainty about the U.S. immigration system. Legal residents from those countries were affected at first, but they are now exempt.
|How we got here: Mr. Trump’s plan received little or no legal review. The secretary of homeland security was not asked for guidance, and Customs and Border Protection officers were unaware.
|The reactions: Mr. Trump said the order was a matter of national security, but some Republicans are calling for him to back down.
|European leaders and Silicon Valley executives denounced the move, while predominantly Muslim nations not affected by the order, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, have not responded publicly.
|What the terrorism experts say: It is unlikely to significantly reduce the threat of an attack in the U.S.
|Those affected: We collected the stories of people covered by the ban, which delayed families from reuniting and students at American universities from returning.
|The next steps: Judges in at least four cities ruled that the president had moved too quickly, the first steps in litigation that may last years.
Also, this is a useful document for the immigration executive order. You can see the response from Cortez Masto, Heller, and Sandoval. You can also see that there is very little support from senators and governors – only silence from conservatives on this issue, which is worth pointing out to Heller and Sandoval (both have posted weak responses).
ISSUE: PRUITT UNFIT FOR EPA
Call our Senators to tell them to vote against Scott Pruitt’s nomination to head the EPA. That vote is scheduled on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Pruitt talking points (from Beth Leger):
–Scott Pruitt has objected to the EPA relying on reports from scientific bodies and has been openly critical of climate science.
-Scott Pruitt has worked with and received large contributions from the very companies he would be expected to police,
-He has filed numerous lawsuits against the agency he is nominated to lead.
-This is a truly unacceptable nomination and I request that Senator Heller demonstrate some independence from his party and vote no on this nomination.
-This is a truly unacceptable nomination and I appreciate that Senator Cortez Masto has publicly spoken against this nomination.
Trump signed a memo over the weekend that reorganized the National Security Council, placing Bannon, former editor of Breitbart (Nazi) News, on the council and removing the director of national intelligence and the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff from NSC principals meetings.
This is a much longer fight, but we need our senators making statements like the recent statements from Bernie Sanders who said that Stephen Bannon should be removed from National Security Council because “we need experienced people who will protect our country on the National Security Council, not an extreme right-wing political operative.”
Call senators, representatives, and the alt-White house about this!
Finally, a couple useful links and some thoughts from Bertrand Russell:
An excerpt from Bertrand Russell’s “Free thought and propaganda”:
“Thought is not “free” when legal penalties are incurred by the holding or not holding of certain opinions, or by giving expression to one’s belief or lack of belief on certain matters… The most elementary condition, if thought is to be free, is the absence of legal penalties for the expression of opinions… Legal penalties are, however, in the modern world, the least of the obstacles to freedom of thoughts. The two great obstacles are economic penalties and distortion of evidence. It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions makes it impossible to earn a living. It is clear also that thought is not free if all the arguments on one side of a controversy are perpetually presented as attractively as possible, while the arguments on the other side can only be discovered by diligent search.
None of our beliefs are quite true; all have at least a penumbra of vagueness and error. The methods of increasing the degree of truth in our beliefs are well known; they consist in hearing all sides, trying to ascertain all the relevant facts, controlling our own bias by discussion with people who have the opposite bias, and cultivating a readiness to discard any hypothesis which has proved inadequate.”