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It’s December 8, it’s freezing, it’s snowing, and my rose bushes are blooming. That’s why I believe in global warming. My eyes are seeing it, and have been for twenty-five years.

My camellia bush bloomed perhaps as early as late November. I first saw the blossoms December 3. That bush never bloomed before late March twenty-five years ago. Then it began blooming in February, then January, and now November/December.

My rhododendron is also blooming in the ice and snow of December 2016. I’ve never seen that before.

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The photo above is a flower of the camellia blooming while encased in ice. The rose below is frozen stiff and half covered in ice. No, I don’t need scientists to tell me something is amiss. Global warming is happening right before my eyes.
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Several days ago, Donald Trump announced he had successfully negotiated with United Technologies, parent corporation of Carrier Corporation, to keep “1100” of the 1700 Indiana jobs about to be exported to Mexico. Trump had vigorously campaigned against exporting US jobs, but isn’t that primarily what US negotiated trade agreements are all about? Precisely!

Trump promised during his campaign that he would tax US corporations that exported jobs, and then shipped their products made in other nations to the USA.

When push came to shove, Trump backed down on his promise like a scared nerdy kid against a gang of bully thugs. Trump offered tax cuts, equivalent to giving up the nerdy kid’s lunch money, rather than tax increases. In other words, United Technology executives got away with extortion.

Worse yet, Trump must have known he’d been spanked, so he exaggerated the number of jobs he’d negotiated to save. For $7 million in tax breaks, Trump saved 730 jobs, not the 1100 he’d claimed a week ago.

According to the Washington Post,

“Trump had pledged to save the plant’s jobs, most of which were slated to move to Mexico. Then the businessman won the election, and the 1,350 workers whose paychecks were on the line wondered if he’d keep his promise.

Chuck Jones, president of the United Steelworkers 1999, which represents Carrier employees, felt optimistic when Trump announced last week that he’d reached a deal with the factory’s parent company, United Technologies, to preserve 1,100 of the Indianapolis jobs — until the union leader heard from Carrier that only 730 of the production jobs would stay and 550 of his members would lose their livelihoods, after all.

In exchange for downsizing its move south of the border, United Technologies would receive $7 million in tax credits from Indiana, to be paid in $700,000 installments each year for a decade. Carrier, meanwhile, agreed to invest $16 million in its Indiana operation. United Technologies still plans to send 700 factory jobs from Huntington, Ind., to Monterrey, Mexico.”

Zahra and I have a camellia plant that rests just outside the living room window. I’ve lived in this house for over forty years. The camellia’s buds used to begin blooming in late March and early April forty years ago. Fifteen years ago, they were blooming in January. Now they’re blooming in the chill of early December, the 3rd of December to be exact.

img_5411All photos were taken on Dec. 7, 2016 at 8pm

Our camellia bush has been my personal barometer of global warming for forty years, but now our rhododendron is voicing its opinion by beginning to bloom on December 6. It’s 32 degrees outside with a windchill factor of 19 degrees. Unlike the camellia, the rhododendron sits in the shade. Sunlight hardly touches it.

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And if that isn’t bad enough, our rose bush has never stopped blooming this year. So it too tells me something is wrong with the weather. Imagine 19 degrees outside, and buds of the rose bush are blooming.

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I can see something happening over time with my own eyes. I don’t need a scientist to tell me things. Oh, yes, I remember the ozone hole twenty or more years ago that was enlarging and going to kill us all, and it suddenly vanished, so I can understand why some people might remain skeptical about global warming.

Me? I have to believe my eyes on this issue. Our plants tell me so.

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Donald Trump is adopting a softer tone on young undocumented immigrants granted work permits through an Obama-era directive that the president-elect has vowed to repeal once he’s in the White House. It appears he is not going to rescind that order, or he’s going to rescind it but have an alternative directive in place to accommodate the dreamers.

Some 740,000 so-called Dreamers have been given a deportation reprieve and other benefits by President Barack Obama through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Obama enacted by executive action in 2012. But the status of those young immigrants, who do not have formal legal status, has been in limbo because Trump has said he would overturn Obama’s immigration orders.

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In an interview with Time magazine announcing him as “Person of the Year,” Trump didn’t go into specifics but signaled that he could find a way to accommodate the Dreamers.

“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Trump told Time. “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

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A small but fast growing Ontario community looking for a safe drinking water supply was outbid in its attempt to buy a well by multinational giant Nestle, which acquired the site to ensure “future business growth.”

Last week, the government of Ontario Canada denied Nestlé’s request to test the water at their newly purchased Middlebrook well in the township of Centre Wellington.

Earlier this fall, the people of Ontario were outraged to learn that Nestlé had outbid a small Ontario community for access to the Middlebrook well for “future business growth.” Since then, the province proposed a regulation that would ban new and expanded water bottling operations in Ontario – including permits to test water for future water bottling opportunities.

Without the permit, Nestlé will not be able to run tests to check whether the well is a good one for water bottling. Given that the new ban will block their ability to take water from Middlebrook for at least the next two years, this could be the first step in dismantling Nestlé’s claim to the well.

The federal government on Sunday denied the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline’s route under the Missouri River. The Dakota Access Pipeline was originally supposed to go under the Missouri River just north of Bismark, North Dakota. The residents of Bismark, 90 percent white, pushed back and won. Now the residents and allies of the Standing Rock Souix have pushed back and won.

There are only 43 days until Donald Trump takes office, when he’ll be presiding over the Army Corps of Engineers, the Justice Department and the Department of the Interior. Trump is a big supporter of the pipeline. So there’s no telling what he’ll do when Wall Street investors push him to apply pressure to the Army Corps of Engineers to reverse its decision.

The announcement by the Army Corps of Engineers came as veterans streamed into the camps over the weekend in cars and buses to offer their support to the tribe in its months-long battle. The veterans event had raised more than $1 million dollars in response to violent assaults on the demonstrators by law enforcement. The veterans said they would shield the demonstrators.
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Trump officials and supporters have filed a lawsuit in Michigan seeking to halt a recount effort spearheaded by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Why are they so scared?

On Friday morning, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a lawsuit to stop the recount there, a move that came hours after Trump attorneys had filed a complaint to block the proceedings.

The US electoral system has been under siege for centuries. That’s right! Two centuries of electoral and voter fraud have undermined the integrity of US elections. This fraud has most likely gotten worse with the adoption of easily hacked computerized voting.

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Ohio in 2004 was a notable example, but the US voting system was awash with scandal in 2000 and 2004. Donald Trump is the first Republican candidate to become president without electoral fraud in 28 years. So why is he so afraid?

Considering Trump has proclaimed millions of illegal people voted in this election, and that he wasn’t going to accept defeat if he lost the election to Hillary Clinton because of alleged rampant voter fraud, you’d think Trump would welcome a recount to see if the system really needed cleaning. You’d think President-elect Trump would want to clean up this alleged mess, rather than avoid it.

Stein filed the papers and paid the millions to proceed with recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump narrowly won those states, and his wins stopped Clinton in her presidential tracks.

Some of the polls in those states had Clinton winning, and some had Trump winning in the days just before the election.

You would think President-elect Trump and his supporters would be happy to ensure he won the presidency legitimately. Of course, exit polls showed a tight race in Michigan, and Clinton ahead in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. So if just a few thousand votes were made for Clinton, but changed to Trump via hacking, and the same held true for the three states being challenged, then that means Donald Trump is not the president-elect.