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Transparent Trump

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While Trump has claimed transparency in all things as an ethical principle of his administration, his every effort has been focused on obfuscation by denials, misdirection and outright lies.  However, the unwitting doofus that he is cannot escape the transparency of his actions, actions that reveal the true nature of this simpleton’s intent.

In a pronouncement yesterday, Trump revealed his intention to terminate the policy of social distancing prematurely by cloaking himself in a “love” for the holiday of Easter.  By pandering to the Christian right he is attempting to marshal support for a disastrous economic move by (in his own words) packing the churches. “Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?”

Yes it would, Donald… just make sure that Pence and all the cabinet attend the same service together in a hotspot.  Surely, a lesson learned would be a wonderful thing.

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Editorials

The Grinch That Stole Christmas

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Back in the mid 70’s as my wife and I were starting our photography business Wally Miller, a successful local businessman, invited us to his office to offer help in the form of business advice. He asked only that we bring a financial statement and of course we complied.  The business startup process was new to us and after two years we were still losing money, and there it was in plain sight on the financial statement.  Wally welcomed us warmly and after a few minutes of careful study of our financials offered this observation, “You have no bad debts.”

Naturally I took this as a compliment.  I was proud that we had no bad debts, but that is not what Wally meant.  He elaborated, “If you have no bad debts that means that your credit is too tight and that translates into lost business.” His meaning was clear.  To be successful, really successful, you have to accept reasonable losses.  It’s the very nature of business.  If you want 100% certainty there can be no risk and without risk there can be no profits.

There’s a lesson in this thinking for Joe “McFuqwad” Manchin, the tight-ass, penny-pinching Grinch ruining Christmas for every American under the cover of “fiscal responsibility.”  His staffers gave us a look into his rationale, revealing two of the real reasons behind Joe’s decision to be the big NO.

Apparently Manchin believes that giving money to the poor in the form of a child tax credit is unwise because in his view, many will spend the extra dollars on drugs.  Likewise he is opposed to paid leave, stating that people will just call in sick and then go off deer hunting.

Now let’s all agree that in a free society, there are good and bad actors.  No law can legislate what is in the hearts of men.  No law can dictate integrity or honor.  If that were the case, there would be no GOP, no Jim Jordan, no Ted Cruz, no Matt Gaetz, No Marjorie Taylor Green, no Lauren Boebert. You get my drift, but I digress.

Once you agree to recognize that the actions of individuals are beyond your control, you must the adjust your decisions and subsequent actions to affect the greatest good for the majority.  Charity benefits the worthy and unworthy alike, without discrimination.  To withhold benefits from the worthy because there will always be unworthy recipients is to succumb to the devil’s play, a game of reduction that punishes all for the few.

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Uncapped

The Hoodless Hoodie and No-Wax Floors

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It seems like the signs are everywhere.  Yesterday, as I potato-couched my way through a myriad of mindless “entertainment” produced by the corporate giants with their fingers on the pulse of the American viewing audience, already aware that content is determined in reaction to what their audience wants and will tolerate, my somnambular  trance was interrupted with an offering by Sketchers for a product they were touting as the “hoodless hoodie.” WHAT?  Don’t they know a garment without a hood is not a hoodie?  Or rather, do they fully expect that we, their mindless captive audience, on a brisk autumn day care not? What’s in a name?  Honestly, apparently everything.

It’s 101 marketing, plain and simple.  I was immediately harkened back to a period in time, perhaps it was the seventies, when no-wax floors were introduced. What immediately followed was a product offered as wax for no-wax floors.  What were they thinking?  Why would anyone purchase a no-wax floor only to buy another product to wax it with?  Are we really that gullible?

The resounding answer is yes.

Take the news, for example.  “News” is a label applied to a reactionary product that is fashioned to deliver a story that coincides with the beliefs of a specific viewing audience.  When stories were generated by the source it was called “spin”, but if generated by the media it is propaganda tailored to fit and sold to believers. In so doing, they did not create the audience, but captured it. It’s all about the “Benjamins.” Find the weak and gullible, herd them into a defined area and then sell them the goods they crave.  It’s too easy.  Just give it a good label.

Any news of a different persuasion is regarded as “fake news.”  Lacking accurate data, it is no more news than a hoodless garment is a hoodie, but the application of labels is the defining argument that separates us into “us” and “them.”  There is no more “We the people.”  It’s “our people” and “their people.”

Conservatism is one such label, but what does it mean?  On its most basic level it is a political philosophy that embraces traditionalism—civility and the rules of fair play, law and order, family values and above all, the Constitution.  It does not take a genius to deconstruct the actions of so-called conservatives to realize they are no more conservative than the violent mobs that support them.  They are that wax for a no-wax floor, an unnecessary and useless product sold to wax over and put a deeper gloss on what were otherwise solid principles to live and govern by. Witness the GOP reaction to the events of January 6th.

The greatest impediment to knowledge is a belief system.  Knowledge is the fuel of a democracy.  Governing by consensus lacking true knowledge is impossible.  Let’s recognize that gloss for what it is. It’s not the floor.  It’s the reflection.

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Editorials

Diabetes And Net Zero

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It might be helpful to consider global warming a self-inflicted planetary disease, much as we know type-2 diabetes to be a self-inflicted human disease.  Many human diseases are self-inflicted, most by way of poor diet or lack of exercise.  Type-2 diabetes is one such disease.  The prescription for type-2 diabetes is self-management, a change in diet to eliminate the source of the problem, high levels of blood sugars. But when a professional is consulted, perhaps their personal primary practitioner or an endocrinologist, medications will be prescribed for the patient to ameliorate the potential damage of continued neglect, prescriptions like Metformin, Glipizide, Januvia, Farxiga or Jardiance.

By Michael Caporale

 

Patients are dispensed to their own supervision for a period of time and then return a few months later to have their blood monitored for changes in  A1C.  The object of this exercise is to reduce A1C levels to a minimum of 7 and preferably below.

 

Human nature is predictable and easily understood.  Deprived of all the foods that comprise an exciting diet array for a healthy person, foods high in carbohydrates like potatoes or pasta, and deserts with high levels of sugar,  the diabetic soon begins slacking off and the A1C lab reading rises.  The doctor sees this and adds another prescription to the mix to bring the lab results back down to 7 or below but the patient sees this as a means to continue to violate the prescribed diet, while remaining at 7. Each added prescription allows the patient to eat larger portions of foods high in the toxin, sugar, while maintaining a passable A1C reading without change.  In this scenario, the doctor becomes the unwitting enabler. The patient is effectively maintaining an A1C reading of net zero, neither up or down from the previous reading.

 

The effect of each prescription allows for an offset, a change in diet for the worse, and no advancement is made in the management of the disease.  Rather it is stimulated to continue at full volume.

 

It works the same way for climate change, global warming.

 

In their current national broadcast ad, Cisco brags that they expect to achieve net-zero by 2040.  Oil giants Shell and BP are less optimistic and expect to achieve net-zero by 2050.  Not only is this too late, but it misleads the public to believe that net-zero is the goal, that net-zero is the way to mitigate the effects of climate change. It is not.  It is merely a deviant system that allows for pollution to the degree it is offset by clean air measures.  In other words, their current levels of pollution will continue for twenty or thirty years until they achieve net-zero, and from that point forward there will be no change.  Quite obviously, if understood in this way, any rational person can see that climate change will be allowed to worsen to the point of no return.

 

If the COP26 Summit (the 26th Conference Of the Parties) in Glasgow, Scotland beginning Sunday, October 31st, produces any results at all, look for the qualifying language of net-zero to be inserted.  It is the tell-tale sign that treaties and agreements are under the management of the polluters and not the people or the planet slowly dying at their hands.

 

 

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Editorials

A Finger In The Dam

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Try to imagine a world today unaffected by ever-increasing climate change, a world no longer on the precipice of disaster so large that our way of life and that of the entire planet may be terminated by the next decade.

What if policies had been instituted to mitigate climate change and reduce its overall effect on the environment two decades ago. Where would we be today?  The many severe hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, floods and drought, the astronomical financial burden on our national budget and damage to the economy, all could have been arrested and would continue to be reversed, and we as a the nation would have moved towards sustainable, renewable, low cost energy creating millions of jobs in the process.  The involvement of our government in the Middle East, and in all foreign affairs for that matter, would certainly have been severed from oil dependency and foreign policies freed from a compromise of principle in pursuit of our energy interests, unsavory deals with the devil, abroad and at home, a loss of control.

By Michael Caporale

In November 2000, you might not have wondered about such things as the fate of the Gore v. Bush election dangled on the thin thread of Floridian chad and the political relationship between Jeb Bush and the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who certified Bush as the winner.  Even before the election, Gore was a climate activist, but then he was “ahead of his time,” which simply put means that you and I and the rest of the nation had other concerns and were divided by the many climate deniers in the right-wing media, the political puppets of the energy industry and their “loner donors” who erected a wall of confusion and doubt challenging the science and data of what was then referred to as “global warming.”  But Gore knew better.  Oh, you might say he did not say enough.  He did not fight enough. But wisdom is the better part of valor and it’s safe to assume that even then, he and his advisors knew that this would be a hill to die on.  First item on his agenda was winning.  It was understood that global warming was not a winning issue.

So now, we find ourselves today at the eleventh hour, the very last possibility to stop global warming and begin the reversal process on climate change, a reality but for one man a so-called Democrat, the Senator who opposes climate mitigation legislation. It’s no secret that Joe Manchin represents West Virginia.  Ostensibly he’s protecting a few West Virginia jobs and the economy of the state, but more so, he’s the coal industry’s finger in the dam holding back meaningful change that will allow our society to endure, that we may continue to enjoy the liberties we have all sacrificed for and pay them forward to succeeding generations.

It’s not like West Virginians don’t suffer along with the rest of us.  River floods have decimated entire communities.  The work force employed by the coal industry is only 3%.  Their infrastructure is crumbling.  Education in West Virginia is vastly in need of improvement.  Yet polls and interviews reveal that West Virginians just can’t let go of “coal,” such is their identity so entwined with it. They perceive that any other form of energy is an attack on their sacred tradition, their heritage and their future.  Truth is, it’s just not so.  But there you have it.  The Democratic Senator who represents their state has the equivalent of veto power in a Senate divided 50/50 and continually rattles that saber to obstruct meaningful and effective climate legislation. It is an affront to democracy that this one man, heavily invested in coal energy, can decide the fate of the nation and the planet for his own political and financial interests.  He is a coward.

Current climate policy is based on the concept of attaining Net Zero.  For example, even today I saw an ad for Cisco wherein they touted that they would achieve net zero by 2040, as if this was some kind of meritorious goal.  Poppycock!  How utterly pathetic and hopelessly deceiving when set upon a complacent and largely ignorant public, too busy fighting the reality of rebuilding after a disaster than to understand the finer points of policy speak

Net Zero is a term coined in climate policy negotiations that essentially means the same as the phrase “zero sum game.”  In a net zero equation, as in a zero sum game, losses are balanced against gains to arrive at zero.  The total of +1 and -1 = 0.  Theoretically, as in the game, there are no winners, but again there are no losers as well. However, in the world of climate change net zero means a balancing act that will not affect any change and it allows polluters to continue to pollute in an amount equal to mitigation forces, therefore “net zero.”  In that mathematical climate offset, we are all losers. Only actual zero will stop climate change and reverse the process.  Burning coal to produce energy causes pollution. It will always cause pollution.   “Clean coal” is not clean.  It’s like saying an “honest thief” or a “moral pedophile.”  It’s an oxymoron.  It’s a polluter. Joe Manchin has written the final act assuring that we will be killing ourselves and our children to satisfy his goals.

We can’t fix this problem totally today, but through a concerted effort it can be ameliorated in the next election if we act as we are one.  To assure climate mitigation, we must make Joe Manchin irrelevant.  In short Democrats need to pick up a minimum of two seats and stack the Senate 52/48.  The focus of the party should be to target and work towards the best opportunities in that regard, put all of their energy behind it and then cut Manchin loose. He has no value to the nation as a whole in this regard. Set him float in his own flood waters.  Let him keep his finger in the dam.  Blow up the dam.

 

 

 

 

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