It’s Getting Hot Out There   (2017Jan19)

Thursday, January 19, 2017                                              8:15 PM

Mid-January and the squirrels were chasing each other up down and around every tree, fence, and power line—as if Spring had come early. It’s hard to enjoy such unseasonably warm weather when it comes the day after the announcement that 2016 was the warmest year ever, which makes it the third year in a row of such record-setting global warming. Worse yet, the Climate-Ostriches are about to take power tomorrow—and they pretend global warming doesn’t exist—so that won’t help us reach any kind of quick conversion to alt-energy.

With four years to not only sit on their hands, climate-wise, but to dismantle whatever progress has already been made in making the USA a leader in global climate response—I’m very troubled. I wonder if Trump will reach 2020 only to find that Mar-El-Lago is submerged, along with half of Florida. We can only lose so much arctic ice before sea levels start to really change—and Florida is especially vulnerable. Not that the entire Caribbean isn’t at risk—but shorted-sighted people need reality to knock on their own front doors.

Here again we see the problem of having too many problems. This climate-change threat is existential, not just for our nation, but globally. Still, we have a hundred other diversions—many of them serious problems also. But the media is not in the business of prioritization. They want to dazzle their audience with variety—not table some dry discussion on which problems need triage before we consider less weighty issues. And the incoming administration—a creature of the media, itself—does not appear to be in the clarification and prioritization business, either.

So we, the citizens, end up watching what amounts to an informational kaleidoscope on our viewing devices, snowed into the inclination that it’s all just too much, rather than getting angry at the lack of leadership—or progress of any kind—from the government. The GOP can’t admit to climate-change because it would make Big Oil unhappy. The GOP can’t admit that Obamacare should be amended, not replaced, because it would make their base realize it was all politics to begin with—not to mention Big Pharma and the Insurance people seeing their profits curtailed. I can’t tell you why they won’t leave women’s health issues to women—that will forever be a not-very-mysterious mystery.

The whole migrant thing—and that ridiculous wall idea—is all pure xenophobia—playing on people’s fears, and their desire to blame the ‘other’ for their problems. Mexicans have been coming and going into America, ever since the places where they cross were still Mexico itself. And there is less traffic across the border now than ever before in modern history. The truth is that immigrants have been and continue to be a part of our economy and culture. The paranoia being pushed by the GOP is leftover panic from 9/11—a cowardly reaction that has already prompted us to two wars and a near-bankruptcy.

It’s about time we got over domestic terrorism. You’re far more likely to be murdered in one of the mass shootings that shame us, as a nation, on a constant basis. What is the point of our security people doing such a bang-up job of screening for terrorists—if the rest of us are still going to walk around looking over our shoulders, ready to panic at the first loud noise? When did we become so damn shy?

So, basically, we have the GOP—who have been sponsored by interests who prize the status quo—telling us we can’t trust the leaders that would work for real change. And now that the GOP’s in power, they’re just going to sit back and tell you that those problems don’t exist—or that privatizing everything will solve all our problems. ‘The money-grubbing is strong with this one’. I think you’d have to be very rich to try to pretend that Capitalism is self-regulating, self-correcting. The market may be self-correcting, in a narrow sense, but to say that Capitalism works better without rules is to confess that you have a scheme to rip people off.

If you were playing Monopoly with someone and they said the game would be better if we threw out a few rules, you’d know they were trying to cheat. Why is the same thing not equally obvious when these fat-cats whine about regulation? They quality-control their products—why should they be so inhumane as to suggest there shouldn’t be quality-control on their employees, their customers’ health, and the good of the community they operate in?

The naked greed and cold-blooded unconcern for collateral consequences was most blatantly displayed with the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan—and those people still don’t have any clean running water. Anyone trying to deregulate or defund the EPA, or any other watchdog, in these dog-eat-dog times, is not your friend. Too bad our new prez is set to lead the charge to do just that.

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