It shouldn’t have been a big deal … but it was. It shouldn’t have received the attention of the international press … but it did. It was stupid, foolish, but relative to the news of the day, irrelevant – just another example of the ignorance of the ‘man’ who sits in the Oval Office. I mostly ignored it, save for a brief mention, but an ego was involved … perhaps the most bloated ego of any in the world … and thus it was blown up, mocked, and the ‘man’ in the Oval Office refused to simply say, “I made a mistake”.
I try hard not to waste my voice here on my blog with irrelevancy, unless it is to bring a smile, a laugh, a bit of levity to my readers. But, what was irrelevant has now become yet another sign of the despotism that flows around the White House today.
The incident, of course, is the one that began last Sunday, September 1st, when Trump tweeted …
“In addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. Looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever. Already category 5. BE CAREFUL! GOD BLESS EVERYONE!”
The fallacy was that Alabama was not in the path of Hurricane Dorian. Within an hour, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a statement correcting Trump:
“Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east.”
And then the sh*t hit the proverbial fan. Had it been left there, it would likely have died before the next round of late-night television shows, for there were more important things to worry about. But, Trump can never be contradicted, can never be told he is wrong about anything, despite the fact that he has been proven wrong about most everything. The notice by the NWS was important and necessary, for Trump’s statement could have sent Alabama residents into a frenzy, wondering why they hadn’t been warned and running out stripping the store shelves of bottled water and other essential supplies. It was the responsible thing for the NWS to do.
So, Trump couldn’t let it lie, took one of the official maps showing the likely trajectories of Hurricane Dorian, and with a Sharpie pen, drew an additional line to include Alabama in the path of the storm. It was as if a 5-year-old child had done it, was obviously a stupid thing, but … well, Trump’s ego, y’know. And then the whole thing blew up.Trump continued to defend his tweet and complain about the flak he’s received over media reports that point out that he was wrong, his vile rhetoric becoming more ludicrous with each tweet. He tweeted a doctored video of a CNN segment that noted Alabama might feel the effects of the hurricane. WHAT PRESIDENT DOES THIS??? Where is the professionalism of the office? Where is the dignity? For six straight days, he tweeted obsessively about the whole thing, even demanding an apology.
But, on Friday this truly became a serious issue, and one that should have every person in this nation up in arms. On Friday afternoon, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the parent agency of the National Weather Service, issued a statement declaring that its Birmingham, Alabama office was wrong to dispute the president’s warning that Alabama “will most likely be hit” by the hurricane despite forecasts to the contrary.
“The Birmingham National Weather Service’s Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time.”
Yes, my friends, a government agency tasked with reporting facts, tasked with the safety of the nation under severe weather conditions, was forced to bow to the whims of a megalomaniac for the sake of salving his ego. Let that one sink in a minute.
This is no longer a laughing matter, for it is further evidence that the safety of this nation matters less than the ego of Donald Trump. This only happens in autocracies, it does not happen in democratic nations. It is but one in a long line of such incidents, but this one received the notoriety to put it front and center and the perfidy cannot be ignored.
The biggest issue facing every industrialized nation on the globe is climate change, yet because Trump says it is a “Chinese hoax”, our government doesn’t talk about climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has removed all references to climate change from every one of its documents. The EPA has also removed the Climate Science page from its website. All to stroke the ego of a madman who just happens to be the highest-ranking official in our government. And now, our National Weather Service is not allowed to give us accurate warnings when a devastating, life-threatening storm is looming.
Can we ever again trust anything we are told by any government agency? No. We now know that Trump manipulates the information given by every agency under his control, and we should not take a single thing at face value. Yesterday, the Bureau of Labour Statistics released their report for August, saying that the U.S. had added some 130,000 jobs during the month. I do not believe it for one minute. What if we actually lost 50,000 jobs? Trump is apprised of the report before it is made public. What if he said, “NO … we didn’t lose jobs, we added jobs — lots of beautiful jobs — great jobs! This report is ‘fake news!!!’” Then, would the Labour Department have changed the numbers to match Trump’s whim? I posit that no new jobs were added in August, and that the Labour Department report has no validity. For the duration of Trump’s term in office, I shall not believe another piece of data that comes out of our federal government.
It is a damn shame when one ‘man’, in just under three years, can completely shred the credibility of the entire federal government, but that is exactly what has happened. Would we receive proper warning if there were a pending threat from another nation? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on what Donald Trump wants us to know. This is a dangerous and disturbing situation. Next time there’s a hurricane, the NWS will ask Trump where he would like them to draw the projected trajectory. I can envision a number of scenarios where lives would be placed in danger, lives perhaps lost, to protect the fragile ego of a man-child. Think about it.