The Political Slant - Page 8

Republicans Ransacking Nature

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*Last week, along the southern border of America, refugees were separated and children were caged. Shock and outrage ricocheted around the world. Under the cover of chaos the Republicans pushed through two atrocious assaults on our mother, Nature.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order, which washed away President Barack Obama’s emphasis on ocean conservation and a plan to mitigate the climate in crisis.

Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Obama, Dr Jane Lubchenco said, “The policy reflects a shift from ‘use it without using it up’ to a very short-sighted and cavalier ‘use it aggressively and irresponsibly’.”

Trump’s policy increases slaughtering the ocean and it greenlights more subsidized fossil fuel seismic surveys. It’s in keeping with his election promise to unlock $50 trillion of U.S. oil and gas.

In so doing, Trump is impoverishing all sea life by increasing ocean acidity and decreasing ocean oxygen.

Dissolved Shells - Article: Ransacking Nature
53 percent of free-swimming snails sampled off the west coast of the U.S. had severely dissolved shells. Photo credit: NOAA

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The Federal Fracas

*Recently, someone advocated the dissolution of the federal government of the United States, insisting that the states could manage themselves. It also suggested that the federal government has usurped power and taken away the rights of states. Let’s consider a few things.

There is no doubt that the federal government has become what Jefferson didn’t want, and that was a tyrannical central government, much akin to the monarchies and aristocracies of Europe. Unfortunately, I will accede that this has been the case, and I have never denied what my constitutional law professor claimed, that almost every decision by the Supreme Court has gone the way of the federal government.

Supreme Court - Federal Fracas

When in doubt, the federal government always wins, for the most part. The most egregious ruling was Gonzales v. Raich, which ruled that growing marijuana in one’s backyard for medical use was a federal issue. Sandra Day O’Connor bravely stated that it was not, but hers was the dissenting opinion.
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Conflicting Cultures – Righteous Capitalism

*Recently, someone in academia (no point in revealing the exact location) was criticizing the West for destroying Middle Eastern and other cultures. Academically, this instructor was teaching of the “evils” of the West, and how Middle Eastern cultures were suffering and being erased. The instructor used imperialism as the model.

The imperialists overtook the foreign lands and exploited their resources and their citizens, making the lands colonies. The colonies surrendered their wealth to the imperialists who got fat and enjoyed the bounty of the land. The indigenous people of the colonies worked hard to make the lives of the imperialists easy and prosperous. The great thing about academics is that if one theory works, it can probably explain other events, and if that theory fits your personal ideology and position, all the better.

Imperialists considered themselves monarchs who achieved their positions via merit, when in fact their rewards were simply fate, being born to certain people in certain places.
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While the North Pole Cooks, Trump Tweets

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*There is a giant gulf today between those who promote and profit from fossil fuels, including Presidents Trump and Putin, and our life support systems – Nature. In my latest book, Save Nature Now, I’ve dubbed it “Black Gold Fever,” a contagious excitement over the riches of fossil fuels.

Consider this, there has never been such an accumulation of money on our planet controlled by a handful of people. The bulk of that wealth was derived from killing Nature at the expense of the health of our biosphere, the livable space occupied by all living organisms.

Instead of prudently protecting our home, since 1997 earthlings have burned as much fossil fuel as the previous 250 years. Keep Reading

Phase Two is Necessary to Denuclearize North Korea

* Opinion: President Trump’s Maximum Pressure campaign has, as planned, become a threat to the Kim regime’s survival. Average North Koreans are now enjoying more access to outside information than ever before and their money can buy them whatever they want. Kim is unable to stop the free market, but he’s started imposing life sentences on his citizens for contacting the outside world.

In the short span of one year, Kim has changed tone from turning the U.S. and Seoul into ‘a sea of fire’ to ‘okay, we are willing to denuclearize.’ As a result, Kim has embarked on an unprecedented charm offensive.

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Investing in Education = Investing in our Future

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The bell rings and twenty-nine angelic faces look to her for guidance. In that moment she realizes that while as Governor overseeing the statistical lives of her state’s almost four million citizens is a huge responsibility – one she takes seriously, being entrusted with the actual lives of these twenty-nine cherubs is a grander burden.

Initially an eager participant in the new ‘Leaders in School’ program, the Governor is becoming increasingly dismayed as the reality of spending an entire day working as an educator in the public school system is becoming clear. It was bad enough that she had to make her own coffee and breakfast this morning and then actually drive herself to school, but facing a day without her personal assistants seems like cruel and unusual punishment.

The day is only forty seconds old, and she is already looking for a light at the end of an awfully long tunnel.

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Contemporary Colonization

Make no mistake; this is colonization under the guise of immigration.

You enter the country without permission, disrespecting the laws of that country. You settle in and establish your culture, ignoring the native culture. You don’t speak the language, and make little effort to learn the language.

You even fly the flag of your home country, instead of the flag of the country where you reside. You take advantage of the already built industries as well as the infrastructure. If fact, you stress the wealth of the country that you have taken over. You have no intention of adopting the language, and you exploit the economy, as well as the infrastructure, to your advantage.

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Pray for Trump – The Grass is not Always Greener

As things in and around the White House deteriorate before our eyes, millions of Americans continue to steadfastly support the President.  Meanwhile, millions of Americans revel in the idea of his ouster, assuming that any situation would be better than the one we’re in.  Assumptions tend to result in uncomfortable situations, and it may never be truer than in this case, as Pence might be worse than Trump!

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Hey Doc – a Little Help? Life In the Era of Opioids.

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* I did it. *

I turned down the Vicodin during the pre-op appointment.

When he asked why, I replied, “I like it too much.”

Vicodin

Instead of considering the acknowledgement I’d just made that I am to some degree addicted to opiates, or perhaps even complimenting me on my self-restraint and self-awareness, he pressed the idea that I would need some pain relief over the weekend, and we compromised on a prescription for ten pills of something ‘similar’ to Vicodin.

During interactions with doctors, nurses and support staff in the hours before and after my surgery, I told five other people that I like Vicodin too much. Each time I expected them to make a note in my chart but no one did, although Heaven knows that anything else you tell them gets noted and is then impossible to get deleted, even if it is in error!

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Securing Education – Guns or Metal Detectors?

* Where would we be without teachers?  It’s like asking where we’d be without the sun.

The warmth we need to grow, the illumination we need to see new things and the undying pull to keep us on the right trajectory are things we expect both the sun and our teachers to provide for us.  The sun doesn’t have much choice, and at least theoretically we can count on it to continue to deliver until it inevitably burns itself out.

Teachers do have a choice, and when they burn out society loses a little warmth, a ray of light and a steadiness of direction.

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