Sources of *Sigh*s

As most of you who have followed this blog for any length of time know, I am a lover of animals.  I have often said I prefer goats, bears, lions, snakes and spiders to most humans, especially these days.  So, you might imagine the low-throated growl that has been emitting from me ever since reading the following headline this morning …

U.S. Significantly Weakens Endangered Species Act

First, he destroys the camaraderie of the nation, turns brother against brother, mother against child, and friend against friend.  Then, he destroys the environment, not only of the nation, but of the entire planet, by reversing nearly every environmental protection regulation on the books and pulling the U.S. – against the will of the majority – out of the Paris Climate Accords.  And now … now he is destroying the beautiful wildlife, many species of which were here on earth long before humans were, and all of which are more worthy of life than humans!Bald Eagle.jpgThe story:

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is a key legislation for both domestic and international conservation. The act aims to provide a framework to conserve and protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats.  Under the current law, assessments about which species should be labeled as ‘endangered’ must be made solely based on science, without consideration for economic impacts.  But, if the new ruling is allowed to go into effect, regulators would be forced to conduct economic assessments — for instance, estimating lost revenue from a prohibition on logging in a critical habitat — when deciding whether a species warrants protection.

David Bernhardt

David Bernhardt (Why are all of Trump’s minions like him:  fat, old, white, male???)

The ruling appears to be in the interest of the fossil fuel and logging industries.  David Bernhardt, Trump’s Secretary of the Interior, is a former oil and gas lobbyist who has long been a critic of the Endangered Species Act, saying that it places an “unnecessary regulatory burden” on companies, such as coal, oil and gas companies.

Environmental groups, Democratic state attorneys general and Democrats in Congress denounced the changes and vowed to challenge them in Congress and in the courts.  But, as we have seen, both Congress and the courts have had very limited success in stopping the runaway train that is Donald Trump.Grizzly Bear.jpgMake no mistake … allowing thousands of species to become extinct will have a significant impact on this planet, as will allowing the fossil fuel industry to continue operating unregulated.  The human species is on the brink of bringing about its own extinction, and frankly, I’m not so sure that’s an altogether bad thing!  We are not trying to live in harmony with nature but are rather trying to dominate and destroy nature.

I have a terrific idea!  Since Trump is removing the protections for both the environment and wildlife, let’s also remove the protections for Trump … protections, I might add, that we the taxpayers pay with our hard-earned money!  No more Secret Service protection for Donnie!


And in other news … if you didn’t think that Donald Trump had brainwashed republicans before, this will surely convince you.  According to a recent study by Pew Research, while most Americans continue to say it would be too risky to give U.S. presidents more power, the share expressing this opinion has declined since last year. Most of the change has been among Republicans – especially conservative Republicans. The study found that …

Currently, 66% of the public says “it would be too risky to give U.S. presidents more power to deal directly with many of the country’s problems.” About three-in-ten adults (29%) offer the contrasting opinion that “problems could be dealt with more effectively if U.S. presidents didn’t have to worry so much about Congress or the courts.” In March 2018, 76% of the public said it would be too risky to give presidents more power.

Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (51%) now say it would be too risky to give presidents more power, down from 70% last year.

The share of Republicans who say presidents could operate more effectively if they did not have to worry so much about Congress and the courts has increased 16 percentage points since then, from 27% to 43%.

There was a reason the framers of the Constitution put in place three independent branches of the federal government, a system of “checks and balances”, to provide oversight.  Donald Trump has already largely trampled the Constitution in this area, for any time he cannot get his way through Congress or the courts, he simply writes an ‘executive order’, or circumvents the system altogether.  And now, we find that increasingly, republicans are fine with that.  At this point, I would say we are already experiencing an autocratic government, and teetering on the brink of a dictatorship.  This is no longer just a nightmare scenario, my friends, but a clear and present danger. So yes, be afraid … be very afraid.

The “Bromance” Heats Up?

Yesterday, Donald Trump called his bro-buddy Vladimir Putin and … offered to help him with the wildfires that are burning in Siberia!  Yes, it is true … the plonker who thinks raking the forest is the way to prevent fires, offered to send resources, both human and equipment (rakes, perhaps?), halfway across the globe to help our adversary!  Now, mind you I have no desire to see portions of the earth burnt to a crisp, but there are so many things wrong with this scenario that I don’t know where to begin.trump-putin-phone-732356The “Embassy of Russia in the USA” put out the following release:

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump this evening at the American side’s initiative.

The US President offered help in putting out wildfires in Siberia.

The President of Russia expressed sincere gratitude for the kind attention and the offer of help and assistance. Vladimir Putin said he will accept the offer if it becomes necessary. He also told his American colleague that a powerful group of aircraft had been formed in Siberia to fight the wildfires. According to the Emergencies Ministry, solutions have been found to problems with the refuelling and deployment of airplanes and helicopters.

The President of Russia regards the US President’s offer as a sign that it is possible that full-scale bilateral relations will be restored in the future.

The presidents of Russia and the United States agreed to continue contacts in the form of telephone conversations as well as personal meetings.

Trump-Putin-toonSounds pretty chummy, yes?  And … um … please forgive my suspicious nature, but isn’t there an election coming up in about 15 months, and didn’t ol’ Vlad help Trump get elected last time, and isn’t Trump in need of some help this time?  Let that sink in, but meanwhile …

Remember last year when California was experiencing some of the worst wildfires in its history?  Trump blamed the state for the fires, saying it was “bad environmental laws” and “gross mismanagement of the forests” that had caused the fires, and threatened to stop sending federal money to the state unless it fixed its forest-management methods, pronto.  Said the expert on forest fires …

“You’ve got to take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forests, it’s very important.”

And he claimed to have had a conversation with the President of Finland …

“He called it a forest nation, and they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problems.”

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto disputed this conversation, but that didn’t deter Trump, who knows more about everything than anyone else.

And remember his unconscionable complaints about having to provide assistance to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico:

“Puerto Rico got far more money than Texas & Florida combined, yet their government can’t do anything right. The place is a mess.”

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated U.S. territory, and the people who live there are U.S. citizens, yet Trump is more willing, nay eager … to help put out fires in sparsely populated Russian Siberia than save lives of U.S. citizens.Trump-Putin-SamOur neighbors to the north have been battling wildfires in Alberta and Ontario, Canada, for several months this year, the fires are still burning, and has Trump proffered assistance even one single time?  I think not.  Similar fires are burning in Alaska (which is one of the fifty “United” states) and the Arctic, but has Trump offered assistance to either?  I think not.

And finally, consider this.  Trump has done as much as anybody, more than most, to cause those wildfires he’s so concerned about.  The fires are a result of July’s record-breaking European heatwave, which is a result of the climate change that Trump has denied, has called a Chinese hoax.  Donald Trump had it in his power to address the issue of climate change, to enhance the regulations that were already in place on the fossil fuel and auto industries, but instead he trashed every single environmental regulation.  The U.S. puts out more carbon emissions, CO2, per capita than any other nation on the globe.  But, instead of addressing climate change with any degree of conscience or maturity, he added to the problem in order to help his rich capitalist buddies.  Instead of being so happy that Trump offered assistance, Putin should be furious that Trump, in fact, is adding fuel to the fire.

I have to wonder … if the fires were in the UK, France, or Mexico, all of whom are U.S. allies, would Trump be offering help?  Think about it.

Greta Thunberg — Simply Amazing

I have written before about the young Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, and in fact she was one of my ‘good people’ one Wednesday last December.  Sometimes an activist will start like gangbusters, and then after a few months you hear nothing more about them, but not so Ms. Thunberg.  I see her name in the news at least once a week, and she has been inspirational to many young climate-conscious groups around the world.

Today, she is back in the news, and in a big way! A couple of big ways, actually.

Greta-Thunberg

Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and The 1975’s Matty Healy pose for a photo. (Photo: Jordan Hughes)

The first is that she is featured on the first track of the forthcoming album of British pop-rock band The 1975.  In the track, Greta delivers a speech about the global climate emergency, against an instrumental background by the band.  Now, I have never heard of The 1975, but I give them two thumbs up for this effort, as well as the fact that all proceeds from the track will be going to the climate action group Extinction Rebellion.

The full text of Greta’s speech on the track is at the end of this post.

In an interview with The Guardian, Greta said …

“I’m grateful to get the opportunity to get my message out to a broad new audience in a new way. I think it’s great that The 1975 is so strongly engaged in the climate crisis. We quickly need to get people in all branches of society to get involved. And this collaboration I think is something new.”


The second thing is that Greta has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this year.  She was nominated by Freddy Andre Oevstegaard, a parliamentary representative in Norway …

“We have nominated Greta because the climate threat may be one of the most important causes of war and conflict.”

greta-2.pngThe Norwegian Nobel Committee will announce its latest laureates in October, and those selected will receive their prizes in December.  I do so want to see her win it!


And the third thing that has put Greta in the news this week is that she will be coming to the U.S. next month to attend a United Nations summit meeting on global warming in New York!  Now, you may remember from my previous post about Greta that she does not fly on airplanes because of the CO2 emissions, so you may be wondering how she plans to get here.

“Good news! I’ll be joining the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York. I’ve been offered a ride on the 60ft racing boat Malizia II.”

Malizia-2

Malizia II

Malizia II, is outfitted with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate electricity. That should make the entire trip possible without burning any fossil fuels.

Boris Herrmann, who will skipper the boat, said the voyage would not be the luxury cruise that a high-tech yacht might conjure in the popular imagination. The Malizia II is built for speed, not comfort. It has no kitchen, refrigeration system, air-conditioning or showers.

Think about this one for a minute, folks.  This young woman is so committed to saving our planet that she is willing to spend two weeks on a small boat, eating mostly freeze-dried and vacuum-packed meals, in order to do her part to save the environment.  Greta is sixteen years old … most kids her age are attached at the hip to their cell phones, ipods, laptops, and wouldn’t dream of missing a shower or a hot meal, let alone spend two weeks in a small boat on choppy seas!

Greta will be accompanied on the trip by a filmmaker; her father, Svante; and Pierre Casiraghi, the head of the Malizia II racing team who is also the grandson of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and the American actress Grace Kelly.

Greta is, with her parents’ approval, taking the year off from school to campaign against climate change, also plans to attend the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change talks in December in Santiago, Chile.

I was impressed by this young woman when I first wrote about her eight months ago, but today … the only word I have is “WOW!!!”  She puts us all to shame, and particularly those who would “deny” climate science in order to justify their own greed.


I would like to end with a quote that was sent to me tonight by a very special friend:

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” – Helen Keller

Ms. Thunberg is doing something that she can do … let’s all try to do just one thing more that we can do to help heal and protect our home, planet Earth.


Full text of Greta’s speech on The 1975 track:

We are right now in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis.

And we need to call it what it is. An emergency.

We must acknowledge that we do not have the situation under control and that we don’t have all the solutions yet. Unless those solutions mean that we simply stop doing certain things.

We admit that we are losing this battle.

We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed.

But homo sapiens have not yet failed.

Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this. We still have everything in our own hands.

But unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably don’t stand a chance.

We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people. And now is not the time for speaking politely or focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now is the time to speak clearly.

Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that homo sapiens have ever faced. The main solution, however, is so simple that even a small child can understand it. We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases.

And either we do that, or we don’t.

You say that nothing in life is black or white.

But that is a lie. A very dangerous lie.

Either we prevent a 1.5 degree of warming, or we don’t.

Either we avoid setting off that irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, or we don’t.

Either we choose to go on as a civilization or we don’t.

That is as black or white as it gets.

Because there are no grey areas when it comes to survival.

Now we all have a choice.

We can create transformational action that will safeguard the living conditions for future generations.

Or we can continue with our business as usual and fail.

That is up to you and me.

And yes, we need a system change rather than individual change. But you cannot have one without the other.

If you look through history, all the big changes in society have been started by people at the grassroots level. People like you and me.

So, I ask you to please wake up and make the changes required possible. To do your best is no longer good enough. We must all do the seemingly impossible.

Today, we use about 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground.

So, we can no longer save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed.

Everything needs to change. And it has to start today.

So, everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.

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Last Chance

And speaking of climate change, and those who would deny its existence for the sake of their profit and convenience, fellow-blogger justdrivewillyou has written an excellent, hard-hitting post about the topic that I wish I could send to all those who simply shrug their shoulders at the topic. Thank you, justdrive, for an excellent post and your kind permission to re-blog!

just drive, will you?

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CLIMATE CHANGE, IF WE CONTINUE TO IGNORE IT, WILL LEAD TO OUR EXTINCTION.

Did anybody miss that? Let me say it again.

CLIMATE CHANGE, IF WE CONTINUE TO IGNORE IT, WILL LEAD TO OUR EXTINCTION.

There is no greater threat to humanity. Not ISIS. Not illegal immigrants.Not even delusional, despotic Presidents.

None of them are a match for Mother Nature.

If you’re still a Denier, well, pardon me but, pull your head out. This is real, it is urgent, and denying it won’t keep it away.

It’s not a Democratic issue, a Republican issue, or even an American issue. It is a human issue, and it demands all our attention.

If we fail to give it, we’re done for. Period.

Are you all with me? Good, listen up:

Last week, a resolution was introduced to Congress declaring a Climate Change Emergency. The resolution, H.Con.Res.52, sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders…

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An ostrich pulls his head out of the sand

With all the news this week being about Trump’s horrendous behaviour toward certain members of Congress, and his latest attack on asylum seekers, and Kellyanne skipping out on subpoena, you most likely missed a few tidbits. Our friend Keith has dug up one, which brings a bit of positive news, a hope that perhaps the GOP are not quite as united on denying climate change as we’ve been led to believe. Thank you, Keith, for bringing us this news … these are things we need to know that are being missed by the media during this feeding frenzy.

musingsofanoldfart

This story should not be newsworthy as it is long overdue, but unfortunately it is. A headline from a USA Today last week proclaimed “Trump ally Lindsey Graham says president should ‘admit climate change is real’.” Senator Graham went on to say per the article:

“‘I’m tired of playing defense on the environment,’Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday as he and other GOP lawmakers announced the formation of the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus, which will ’embrace and promote constructive efforts to resolve conservation and environmental problems.'”

I have written often about addressing climate change. Progress in fighting climate change is happening, but it desperately needs the leverage of the US federal government. Plus, we must alter harmful deregulation to our environment.

Rather than belabor these points, let me say I left the Republican Party about a dozen years ago, in part due to its stance on climate change. My thesis…

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A Fresh Batch Of Snarky Snippets

Some days just seem to be meant for a fresh batch of cookies snarky snippets, and today is such a day.  The stranger times and people get, the snarkier I seem to feel.  So, fasten your seat belts … or leave them off so you can run away quickly if needs be.


Da Book of Trump???

You may want to get your sick-bags for this one.  Remember Miriam Adelson?  She and her husband Sheldon are friends (aka donors) of Donald Trump and during his 2016 campaign they donated millions to assist in the potential destruction of the United States.  It is estimated that the Adelson’s gave more than $110 million to the GOP during the 2016 election campaign, most going to Trump.  In return, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last November, for … well … assisting in the destruction of the nation.Trump-AdelsonBut all of that is water either under the bridge, or over the dam, whichever expression you prefer, for today, Miriam Adelson is back in the news, praising Trump and taking it one step further.  She wrote an OpEd piece that was published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, in which she praises Trump …

“We are now at platinum — a miracle of preciousness, radiance, and endurance. And the man who most deserves credit for this is President Donald J. Trump.”

🤢

Adelson cited many reasons why she credited Trump with improving relations with Israel, including formally recognizing Jerusalem as the nation’s capital, and declaring the Golan Heights to be Israeli territory, in his view. The withdrawal by the U.S. from a nuclear agreement with Iran was also brought up by Adelson as to why Trump was the best president for Israel. It should be noted that the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement has every likelihood of leading to World War III, but … oh well, as long as Trump and the Adelson’s are happy, right?  But the crowning absurdity of her piece was …

“Would it be too much to pray for a day when the Bible gets a ‘Book of Trump,’ much like it has a ‘Book of Esther’ celebrating the deliverance of the Jews from ancient Persia?”

A ‘Book of Trump’ addendum to the bible.  Think about that one.  Now, I don’t know much at all about the bible, and I realize that it is written by many different men at various times, but … a ‘Book of Trump’???  Surely even the evangelicals must be incensed over that one, right?  Right?  Sigh.  It matters not to me who puts what into the bible, but it does matter to me, should matter to all of us, that this would give Trump the acclaim he seeks to call himself ‘Supreme Leader’, and we would be doomed for the rest of our lifetimes, ‘til somebody knocked him off his golden pedestal.

Some people just got no sense!


He lies … and lies … and lies some more

trump-pinocchioYou’d think I would be used to it by now, wouldn’t you?  But no, I’m not, for I still shook my fist at my laptop’s screen as I looked around for something to throw, all the while feeling rather ill.  Yes, of course this has to do with Donald Trump … was there ever any question?  Well, happens that some of his advisors have determined one area he is not polling high in is the environment.  Sooooo … determined to fix that, Trump gave an hour-long speech on … what a wonderful steward of the environment he has been, and what a great job … nobody has ever …

🤢

Trump called himself a protector of public land. Does a ‘protector’, open up public lands to drilling?  Does a protector sign off on the largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation’s history?  He repeatedly cited his desire for clean water, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is rolling back an Obama-era clean-water regulation of pollution in streams and wetlands.

He described himself as a champion of the oceans.  Does the champion of the oceans open up the entire United States coastline to offshore oil and gas drilling?

Does a protector pull out of the Paris Climate Accords that every single nation on the globe has signed, only so that he can de-regulate industries in the U.S., increase carbon emissions, and be accountable to nobody?  Does a person who gives even a little damn about the environment, threaten punishment to those who are attempting to cut back on fossil fuels and turn to renewable energy sources?

Does this fool on the hill realize that the United States is THE LARGEST EMITTER per capita of CO2, the main pollutant that is destroying the air we breath, causing global temperatures to rise, sea temperatures to rise to the point that the arctic ice is melting, causing extreme weather everywhere, and ultimately causing the planet to no longer be inhabitable by any lifeform that requires clean air and potable water.  Donald Trump did not create the current crisis … and make no mistake, it IS a crisis … but he is singlehandedly working to ensure the destruction of the environment such that the Earth will no longer sustain life.  And he brags about his environmental record?  How. Dare. He???  Noted presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley said …

“It is an utter farce for the president to talk about America’s environmental leadership, when he has been a champion of the polluters.”

Damn straight.


Baby Trump on Amazon?

It came to my attention yesterday afternoon that Amazon carries mini-versions of the baby Trump blimp, so of course I had to check it out, right?  ‘Tis true!  They have a variety of the blimps in sizes ranging from 21 inches and upward.  They even had one filled with catnip, so the furry babes can have fun shredding his face!  They have coffee cups, t-shirts, and all sorts of toys and novelties based on the baby trump blimp!  Here are a couple of my favourites …

baby-blimpbaby-blimp-mugbaby-blimp-shirtbaby-blimp-shirt-2baby-blimp-shirt-3


While that is not all the snarky I have built up, it is all I have time for right now. However, never fear, I shall return!  A promise or a threat?  It’s all in the perception.

The House Is Afire!!!

Donald Trump … he claims to have made only one mistake during his 29 months in office.  Can you guess what it is?

Helsinki?  Charlottesville?  Family separations?  Nope, nope, and nope.

Failure to ‘drain the swamp’?  Nope.

Pulling out of the Paris climate accord and rolling back many important environmental regulations?  No way.

Triggering the longest government shutdown in U.S. history in a futile attempt to get funding for a border wall – or subsequently declaring a national emergency to divert money from the military?  Not a chance.

His quest to expel transgender service members who are willing to die in combat, his mockery of the #MeToo movement or his demonization of African American athletes?  Nay, nay, nay.

Throwing paper towels at Puerto Ricans, and then trying to minimize how much federal funding these U.S. citizens get to rebuild their devastated island?  Hardly.

Firing James Comey as FBI director, or the other nine cases of obstruction of justice outlined in Bob Mueller’s report?  Wrong again.

Trump says his only mistake was … wait for it … hiring Jeff Sessions to serve as U.S. Attorney General, because he hired him fully believing that Sessions would protect him by putting an end to the Russian investigation led by Special Counsel Bob Mueller.  When Sessions recused himself and thus could not protect Trump, he became Trump’s only mistake, at least in Trump’s mind.

When concerns were raised about the high turnover in Trump’s administration, he responded …

“Let me tell you, the one that matters is me. I’m the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy is going to be.”

sonny-perdue

Sonny Perdue

And it is in this context, the “my opinion is the only one that matters” monologue, that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under Trump appointee Sonny Perdue, has decided to bury the results of dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change.  WHY?  Because … climate change is damned inconvenient.  An example …

If a person is watching a really good television program (are there actually any “really good” ones these days?) and suddenly smells smoke, he has two choices:  go investigate, or ignore the odour.  If he ignores the odour, odds are that the house will be on fire before the next commercial break, but hey … don’t want to miss seeing the guy beat his wife, right?

The house is on fire, and our government, led by Bozo Trump, is in favour of ignoring it, for to acknowledge it means having to take action to try to put the fire out, and means missing out on the big love scene where thousands of people chant “lock her up” because they are so happy with Trump.

The studies that the USDA is refusing to make public, range from a groundbreaking discovery that rice loses vitamins in a carbon-rich environment — a potentially serious health concern for the 600 million people world-wide whose diet consists mostly of rice — to a finding that climate change could exacerbate allergy seasons to a warning to farmers about the reduction in quality of grasses important for raising cattle.  All have been peer-reviewed by scientists and cleared through the non-partisan Agricultural Research Service, one of the world’s leading sources of scientific information for farmers and consumers.

Researchers at the University of Washington had collaborated with scientists at USDA, as well as others in Japan, China and Australia, for more than two years to study how rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could affect rice — humanity’s most important crop. They found that it not only loses protein and minerals, but is also likely to lose key vitamins as plants adapt to a changing environment.

The study had undergone intensive review, addressing questions from academic peers and within USDA itself. But after having prepared an announcement of the findings, the department abruptly decided not to publicize the study and urged the University of Washington to hold back its own release on the findings, which two of their researchers had co-authored.

The person sitting in the burning house, watching television, is also admonishing the neighbors not to call the fire department and to simply pretend they don’t see or smell the smoke either!  Let the entire neighborhood burn down, but don’t arouse the man from his bloomin’ television show!

There is an election in less than 17 months that will, hopefully, remove not only Trump, but also most of his boot-lickers from office.  People need to be informed in order to make smart voting choices.  How can the public be well-informed if the government is withholding facts, simply because the facts don’t agree with what Trump wants???  I guess, if we are not to be told the facts, but rather only the falsehoods propagated by Trump & Co., then the best thing is to remember Trump’s own words …

“Let me tell you, the one that matters is me. I’m the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy is going to be.”

Is that really the person you want at the helm of this ship? Think about it.

Saturday Surprise Is On Temporary Hiatus …

Once again, I must put Saturday Surprise on hiatus for this week.  Sorry folks, but I will try to bring it back next week.  Meanwhile, I have a couple of things that I came across in the last day or two that have me … well, filled with a snarky attitude, and you know what that means …snarky-toon


Rerun in Alabama …

First up … good ol’ racist, twice de-throned federal judge, and sexual abuser Roy Moore is back in the running … once again for a seat in the U.S. Senate, once again challenging Doug Jones, who won the special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ senate seat in 2017.  According to Moore …

“I will run for the U.S. Senate in 2020. Can I win? Yes, I can win. They know I can. That’s why there’s so much opposition.”

moore-3However, thus far I have only read of opposition to his candidacy, even from Trump!  The GOP plans to do everything in their power to block his candidacy.  Even ol’ Turtle-head Mitchell McConnell is opposed to Roy’s candidacy.  A few of the objectors …

“Give me a break. This place has enough creepy old men.” – Republican Senator Martha McSally of Arizona (I’m not a fan of Ms. McSally, but I LOVED this comment!)

“The people of Alabama are smarter than that. They certainly didn’t choose him last time, why would they choose him this time?” – Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado

“Roy Moore is going against my father and he’s doing a disservice to all conservatives across the country in the process.” – Don Trump, Jr., a nobody

“We’ll be opposing Roy Moore vigorously.” – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky

AlabamaNow, one would think that it’s a no-brainer Moore won’t even get the republican nomination, let alone win the general election against Doug Jones, right?  But wait … it’s Alabama, folks.  They nominated him last time, despite credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors.  Despite having been thrown off the judicial bench, not once but twice, for failure to uphold the law, putting his personal beliefs above the law of the land.  Alabamans do not care if Donald Trump has cheated on three wives and sexually abused minors, they don’t care if Roy Moore has done the same.  Alabamans want whoever will guard their precious anti-LGBT and anti-abortion views, and nothing else matters to them.

According to an analysis in FiveThirtyEight

Moore still has a passionate base of support, particularly among conservative evangelical Christians. So the main question for his candidacy moving forward will be whether he can attract voters beyond his base.

As things stand, he could have enough backing to reach a primary runoff — Alabama requires a nominee to win a majority of the primary vote or the top-two candidates must face off in a subsequent election. However, while Moore would probably struggle to win the majority support necessary to advance to the general election, others in the field might have weaknesses Moore could exploit.

moore-4In other words … yes, Roy Moore could conceivably win the republican nomination, and could win the election against Jones, for Alabama is a heavily republican state that heavily supports Trump.  As I said, their prejudices are more important to them than the welfare of the nation.

Dear Alabamans:  While your holier-than-though bigotry may drive you to tolerate such an ass as Mr. Moore, please note that you do NOT have the right to inflict his brand of racist misogyny on the rest of the nation … we already have one such creature sitting in the Oval Office, and one is one too many.  If you want him, then make him a state senator, but do not under any circumstances send him to Washington D.C.


Where are they hiding?

There is a bill under consideration in the Oregon state legislature that would limit greenhouse gas emissions and would require carbon-producing businesses to purchase pollution credits.  Over time, the state would decrease the number of credits available, thereby lowering the level of emissions allowed.  It is just the sort of bill that is needed in every state in the union, or better yet, at the federal level, but … sigh … we have Donald Trump up there.

Long story short, the republican lawmakers in Oregon didn’t like the bill, just as republicans everywhere in this nation seem opposed to such things as clean air, potable water, safe and healthy food … or in other words, a livable planet.  They apparently felt so strongly about it that rather than simply vote against the bill, which would have passed anyway, for the democrats in Oregon hold a supermajority (2/3 or more), these republicans simply went away.  Yep, the cowards left the state.

The republicans claim that their fear is the passage of the bill would increase fuel costs, affecting the trucking and logging industries.  Oh well, says I. 🤷 The trucking industry is a large contributor to carbon emissions, and the logging industry is decimating our forests, thus further destroying our environment, so I have zero empathy for either.

The republicans’ presence is requisite to achieve a quorum, without which the bill cannot be voted on.  So, they fled in dereliction of their duty to their constituents.  But … Governor Kate Brown had an ace, or what appeared to be an ace, up her sleeve … she called the police!  She instructed the Oregon State Police to track down and round up any lawmakers on the lam, an order that authorizes authorities to put the elected officials in patrol cars and drive them back to the Capitol in Salem.

Brown-student-activists

Governor Kate Brown with student climate activists

One big, bad senator, Brian Boquist, threatened violence, saying …

“Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”

BrianBoquistResistsOooooohhh … hear me quaking in my shoes?  Sheesh … and these ‘men’ are supposedly intelligent enough to have been elected to the State Senate?  What were Oregonians thinking?  Are they no brighter than the Alabamans?

And the next thing that happened was that right-wing militia groups began mobilizing across the entire Pacific-Northwest to prevent the State Police from arresting the senators!  That’s right … you heard me right … the thugs are going to fight the cops to protect the men who are trying to speed up the destruction of our planet, in a nutshell.  Sounds vaguely like a Sci-Fi flick, doesn’t it?  What could possibly go wrong, eh?  Another right-wing militia group, this one in Idaho where it is believed the senators are hiding out, is working with the Oregon group.  Said spokespersons of Real Three Percenters Idaho …

“We’re doing what we can to make sure that they’re safe and comfortable.  We will stand together with unwavering resolve, doing whatever it takes to keep these Senators safe.”

So … I guess these senators, like the ‘man’ in the Oval Office, are above the law?  It’s just the ‘little people’ like you and me who are obliged to follow the law, and expected to give an honest day’s work for a day’s pay.  When the heck are people going to wake up and understand that we are burning down our home???  All this game playing is … it is criminal … it is murder!


What?  I’m over 1,200 words already?  But … but I was just getting started … I had at least three more snippets!  Okay, fine … I shall return soon with the other three, and I shall try to be less verbose in he future … though I make no promises.  Have a happy weekend, and hopefully Saturday Surprise will return next Saturday.

Out of the pool

Once again, our friend Keith has been thinking and come up with some ideas that I think have a great deal of merit. Granted, they will likely never see the light of day, but … I surely wish they would. Heck, I’m all for starting a campaign to elect Keith Wilson as the next president of the United States! All in favour? Thank you, Keith, for some excellent thoughts.

musingsofanoldfart

I think it is time to fire any politician in Washington who is forgetting why they are there. We could start with the White House incumbent and then take out hundreds of members of Congress in both Houses. I understand fully Congress must investigate and provide oversight over the Executive Branch. That is part of their job and the current incumbent has given them cause to dig further.

Yet, I have this simple idea that leaders of both houses sit down with legislative liaisons from the White House and figure out some things they can pass and sign into law. I think a civilian board could list about a dozen major issues to focus on and say work these out. It should not take a civilian board, but these folks are too beholden to funders to come up with a workable list.

A key reason for not listing the problems…

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A Debate Worth Having …

It’s a damn shame.  It’s a damn shame that the lust for power takes precedence over the well-being of the inhabitants of planet Earth.  It is as if the house is on fire, and half the people living in it say, “Oh no, we cannot go out into the street looking like this … we must first put on nicer clothes and fix our hair.”  Helllloooooo … wake up people!  That fire isn’t going to go into a holding pattern while you get prettied up, and climate change cannot be put on hiatus until the politicians make up their minds to grow a pair of cojones!

The latest?  Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, who is one of the many democratic candidates vying for the office of president next year, along with at least five of the other candidates, requested of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that at least one of the presidential debates be devoted to climate change.  Given that climate change is the number one problem facing every nation in the world today and given that our current excuse for a president has, bypassing Congress and using the power of his executive pen, accelerated and exacerbated the effects of climate change, then it makes perfect sense that it should be a major topic of the debates.  However, the DNC is cowering in the corner and says “no”.  WHY?

Because the DNC fears that such a climate-centric debate could force Democratic contenders to confront policy differences they have so far papered over, including how quickly they would push the U.S. to shift away from the fossil fuels that provide jobs — union jobs. The candidates would also face pressure to offer specifics on their position on the Green New Deal, the ambitious progressive climate resolution that Republicans have sought to tar as an expensive socialist boondoggle.  In other words, it is politics as usual.

Let’s get something straight here.  The purpose of these debates is to provide an opportunity for the candidates to share their ideas and platforms, and to help We the People to decide, based on where the candidates stand on a host of issues, which candidate is most closely aligned with our own views and values.  The purpose is not for the party to control the agenda and ensure we get ‘cookie-cutter’ choices that all look basically the same.

There will be a total of twelve … yes, count ‘em, twelve … democratic primary debates during 2019 and 2020.  TWELVE.  And they cannot make the topic of one of those twelve, climate change???  In this, the Democratic Party is starting to act a whole heck of a lot like the Republican Party!

Not only is the DNC refusing to hold a debate where climate change is the main topic, but they have also threatened to punish democratic candidates who participate in such a debate hosted by other organizations!  Gestapo tactics?  According to Jay Inslee …

“Today, my team received a call from the Democratic National Committee letting us know that they will not host a climate debate. Further, they explained that if we participated in anyone else’s climate debate, we will not be invited to future debates. This is deeply disappointing. The DNC is silencing the voices of Democratic activists, many of our progressive partner organizations, and nearly half of the Democratic presidential field, who want to debate the existential crisis of our time. The next president must make defeating this crisis the top priority of the nation. And I will continue to do everything I humanly can to ensure the climate crisis is at the top of the national agenda.”

DNC Chairman Tom Perez justified his decision thusly …

“The DNC will not be holding entire debates on a single-issue area—we want to make sure voters have the ability to hear from candidates on all the issues. You have my word that I will do everything I can to make sure our candidates are able to debate all of the critical issues during this primary.”

First, with twelve debates scheduled, I really think that if one were set aside for climate change, the other eleven would still provide the candidates with ample opportunity to debate every other issue at some length.  Second, if we don’t address climate change, frankly there are no other issues, or at least none of the other issues will matter 50 years, 100 years down the road.

I have to concur with what freshman Representative Sean Casten of Illinois said …

“This is the most important issue that we face as a planet and a species right now. If you don’t want to have public debate, this is probably the wrong line of work for you.”

The survival of this nation depends on the democrats defeating Donald Trump in 2020, but this is not the way to go about it.  The democrats need to stand above the fray of the republicans, need to get their priorities straight.  While it is the strategy of the Republican Party to deny climate change in favour of corporate profit, the democrats cannot mimic this strategy.  The majority of people in this country, in the world, understand what the climate scientists are telling us … that this planet cannot continue to sustain life as we know it if we do not act now to stop the damage being done every day to our environment.  To eschew the issue is to condemn every living creature on earth to a near-certain death by the end of this century.  I suggest that every concerned citizen respond to Mr. Perez’ tweet, letting him know that he is wrong, that We the People want debate on climate change, that we need to know where the candidates stand in order to make an informed and intelligent choice.  We cannot afford to put political posturing ahead of life on earth.