Climate change

Two items hit the news today. One caused much titillation. The other will attract little attention. But they reflect on each other.

Americans woke up on 9/12 to the revelation that a porn video was ‘liked’ – and quickly unliked – on Ted Cruz’s Twitter account.  Cruz dismissed the event as the fat fingered fumblings of a functionary. “It appears that someone inadvertently hit the like button. When we discovered the post, which was I guess an hour or two later, we pulled it down.”

Missing in Ted’s excuse was any suggestion that streaming porn was a no-no – just the ‘liking’ of it. A grave omission by this supposed man-of-God, who has campaigned against sex toys. Also unexplained was what an underling was doing on Ted’s account in the middle of the night? Is his social media operation round the clock?

The second piece of news was a survey that revealed only 26% of Americans could name all three branches of government. And  37% couldn’t name one of the five rights guaranteed by the 1st amendment.

Taken together these two stories make a mockery of Thomas Jefferson’s ideal America. A country where a well-educated and critical citizenry were informed by a robust press. And the church’s influence was limited to spiritual affairs.

Americans are uneducated, and the press reports civic life as a reality TV show. Two major storms in two weeks are treated as an epic movie/sports event. Good pictures and a shitload of statistics. Looting stories and endless analysis of the quality of Trump’s reaction. And Joel Osteen failing at his one job.

But the story not told is how the severity of these hurricanes  – along with devastating forest fires and increasing temperatures – are symptoms of a global emergency. Any urgency to tackle what the Pentagon says is the primary future cause of global instability is lost in pictures of downed power lines and video of well-coiffed reporters oohing over roofs lying in neighbors’ lawns. A classic case of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

It’s a perfect storm. People, who are eager to be diverted, are catered to by a media that is eager to make money by being diversionary. And a sanctimonious Senator caught with his hand down his pants is a perfect sequel to a pussy-grabbing President.



While Texans Deal with Harvey, Politicians Act Like Idiots.

September 1, 2017

In response to Harvey’s devastation, Donald Trump signed a proclamation declaring Sunday to be a ‘national day of prayer’. And while the ‘pious’ are praying, thousands of hard working folks will be doing something useful. And if this committed man of no evident faith had wanted to take a stab at inclusion he might have […]

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Trump Had a ‘Nixon Goes to China’ Opportunity. He Blew It.

June 4, 2017

Donald Trump has one thing going for him – his base. They are passionate about him. Everyone else thinks he’s an idiot – as well as some other things. By bailing on the Paris climate accord, he changes none of that. And thereby hangs a tale. Trump’s decision to quit on the global agreement had nothing to […]

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Quitting Paris, Trump Damages America’s Economy.

June 1, 2017

The Paris climate agreement is voluntary. There is no mechanism to enforce any of the signatories goals. Legally it makes no difference whether we are in or out. But symbolically the decision is significant. With Trump’s decision to ditch the deal, America announces that the world’s largest economy, and second largest polluter, puts profits ahead […]

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Alternate Energy, It’s Where the Money Is.

December 1, 2015

President Obama and 150+ other world leaders met in Paris to initiate talks on climate change. Why? Because the world’s leaders are paying attention to the scientific community – and doing what leaders do, which is to ensure the safety of their citizens. The Republicans presidential candidates are cut from a different cloth. They find […]

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Really? 8.4.15 – Trump’s fantasies; Cruz silliness; Ice on the rocks; Superbugs & Legionnaire’s Disease

August 3, 2015

“I had noticed that both in the very poor and very rich extremes of society the mad were often allowed to mingle freely” ― Charles Bukowski Donald Trump creates his own reality. Trump announced his campaign in a 45-minute extemporaneous harangue – most memorable for his ‘Mexicans are rapists’ line. Unsurprisingly, polls show that 75% […]

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Really? – This and That From the Week That Was. A Train Crash; The Death Penalty; Buying Science; Mrs Betty Bowers; Foresight is Blind.

May 17, 2015

“Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions” ― Edward R. Murrow The Amtrak crash this week underscored in what disrepair our infrastructure is. Instead of agreeing that we have a problem some politicians accused other politicians of ‘politicizing’ the problem – so that they don’t have to deal with it. America owns […]

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The Liberian Ebola Conspiracy Theorists are Rank Amateurs Compared to Our Loonies

August 18, 2014

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”  ― Marcus Aurelius,  ‘Meditations’. There is wild speculation is West Africa over the causes of the Ebola outbreak and the role played by the Liberian government in the epidemic. Speculation so wacky it […]

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Really? 7.23.14 – Texas hates on women; Politicians with ADHD; Ignoring evidence; Cruel, but not so unusual; ACA games.

July 23, 2014

“And what sort of lives do these people, who pose as being moral, lead themselves? My dear fellow, you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite.” – Oscar Wilde Texas wants them barefoot and pregnant. Texas promotes abstinence-only sex ed. It has slashed funding for family planning services. It has so regulated […]

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