You Can’t Stop Progress

 

As I said in my last post there are many words that can be used to describe my political views: democrat, liberal, snowflake, libtard, loon, nitwit and hack. Personally, I like to think of myself as a progressive. I’m for progress. Things are going to change and I don’t see much reason to stop them.

One of the weirdest things I hear people complain about (and put on billboards) is the “war on coal.” It seems strange to me. Did people cause as much of a ruckus when cars became available? Was there a war on the horse and buggy? What about canals or railroads? Did the interstate highway system wage war on them?

I’m old enough to remember DVDs never waged war on VHS tapes. The internet never took up arms against libraries. Cellphones weren’t demonized by long distance telephone services. Vinyl records, cassette tapes, 8 tracks and CDs all moved aside peacefully when the newest technology came along.

My biggest question is who would want to be a coal miner’s daughter? That’s not a job I’ve ever heard glamorized. It’s dirty, dark and dangerous. There are cave-ins and black lung. I can’t say getting into the coal industry is something I would want my children to do even if it wasn’t a dying industry.

Even neglecting environmental or health concerns the future seems to be in renewable energy. General Electric recently announced plans to restructure their operation and focus on renewables because they weren’t making enough money with older technologies. Elon Musk is making batteries to store the energy harnessed from wind and sun in a way to compete with power plants. Clean energy employs five times more people than the fossil fuel industry with some worrying about negative ripple effects if those jobs were to disappear.

It also says something that President Trump and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry are struggling to bail out the coal industry. Fossil fuels are already on track to become fossils themselves. It sucks to lose a tradition, but this may be the best way for us to regain our energy independence.

So why all this hubbub to bring back coal? Just like with the military-industrial complex, healthcare and reality TV many very rich people stand to lose a lot of money if it goes under. It’s not about putting miners back to work; if you want to put miners back to work focus on retraining. It’s a war to make lobbyists and political contributors happy. They want to earn on their investments. 

It’s disheartening that the United States pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord. I think we could have been a great leader. It’s nice to see states standing up and following through without the federal government, but it would have been nicer to have all of the states united.

Was there this much confusion about the hole in the Ozone Layer? I’m too young to remember if there were questions over the science or doubts about whether or not it posed a threat. Was it like climate change? I’ve always heard that the global community came together, banned the harmful chemicals and solved the problem together.

Is that true? It’s pretty hard to imagine in this day and age.

I also think about the reaction to the destruction of the rainforest. I’m not sure if that had any direct government interaction. From what I understand people began boycotting companies that supported the practice. The best way to get corporations to listen is to hit them in the wallet.

There are so many more hot-button issues that people are arguing about today. LGBT rights, racial discrimination and immigration to name a few. But I think someday these issues will be looked upon the same way as woman’s suffrage, Jim Crow and slavery. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

What should we do? We’re already doing it. Just wait. It’ll happen

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Trump Blames Obama for Hurricanes, Wildfires and Drought

Palm Beach, FL – President Trump held a press conference yesterday amid the blowing winds of Hurricane Irma where he blamed his predecessor for multiple natural disasters facing the U.S.

“Look at this crowd, this is a great crowd,” he told the hundred-some people gathered in a shelter to escape the rains and winds outside. “This is a bigger crowd than Obama ever got for a photo op in a disaster area, but the lying media won’t tell you that.”

Trump then lashed out at ‘fake news’ outlets for about twenty minutes. He told the crowd that they could believe anything positive that was written about him in the press, but that any criticism was ‘fake news.’

He then made the statement that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were part of a deep state conspiracy to try and undermine his presidency.

“You know,” he said. “There are a lot of Obama appointees still working at the National Hurricane Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. After all  that I’ve been through with my microwave being tapped and this fake Russian witch hunt it wouldn’t surprise me if some bureaucrats cooked up these storms to try to make me look bad.”

(From the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison.com)

He then stated that wildfires in the American West were started by Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails, droughts in the Dakotas were started by Bernie Sanders and a giant fan, and his high cholesterol is the responsibility of former Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.

“Everything is a conspiracy. Don’t trust anyone! Except me. You can trust me. I’ll sell you the best car. It’ll be the best used car you’ve ever had. Definitely not a lemon. You’ll get tired of how not a lemon this car is.”

The president continued to speak for about an hour and a half and never seemed to notice the water seeping into the building and rising. Threatening to engulf him and his entire administration.

Unite or Die

I was really excited a few weeks ago when the Trump Administration announced “Infrastructure Week.” I thought, “Great, here’s something everyone can agree on. Republicans and Democrats can work together on a plan to get our roads, bridges, and utilities up to snuff.” Of course, that’s not what happened. 

 

It’s really sad that every issue in this country is now political. You would think there would be a few things we could all agree on. We’re all Americans right? We all want to make our country a great place for ourselves and our children right? So why is it that we cannot work together to solve these problems like adults. I think bipartisanship would help us to make a better world if we could just find some common ground.

 

I have absolutely no evidence to back me up on this theory because I can’t remember the last time we had any bipartisan issues, but I’m going to stick with it until someone proves me wrong.

 

I really don’t understand the question of whether or not we should protect the environment. This seems like a no-brainer. Sure, profit and money are nice, but it doesn’t do a whole lot of good without air to breath or water to drink. We shouldn’t look at the EPA as the bringer of job killing regulation; we should look at it as an entity that challenges us to create jobs while protecting the environment. I don’t see why we can’t do both.

 

(Courtesy of Yes! Magazine)

I have to give props to my Republican Senator who has fought for the Great Lakes Restoration Fund to help clean up Lake Erie. He and many other senators resisted Trump and Obama’s efforts to cut funding to the program.

 

I can understand why there is some friction in the health care debate. This is where I’m reminded that Democrats are for working people and Republicans support big business. I just don’t understand why they can’t get together on a plan to make healthcare more affordable for everyone. I constantly read politicians say Obamacare is not working and we have to do something so we can make insurance more affordable while also fighting the current opioid epidemic, but then Mitch McConnell presents a bill that would do the exact opposite. This shouldn’t be about helping mega rich corporations make more profit, it should be about helping people.

 

And it doesn’t help a whole lot when the president is talking about “victims” of Obamacare. We’re all aware that the law hasn’t worked for everyone, but words matter. If you paint your predecessors biggest legislative accomplishment as something working to hurt people it doesn’t instill a lot of good will to unite people to work on a solution.

 

I’m glad I can say that both sides are starting to stand up to the Russian meddling that occurred during our last election. Many people don’t believe this (or simply don’t care), but unless you’re working for some sort of intelligence agency please don’t argue with me. It’s nice to see bills on Russian sanctions passing Congress with only a few brown nosers voting against them. It’s great to see the Senate working on a bill that would make it harder for President Trump to fire the man investigating him. I will say that it’s taken too long for everyone to get on the same page about this, but it’s great that we’ve all finally gotten there.

 

I just hope we can find some common ground on other issues. We all want to see America succeed and be great, we just disagree on the methods of getting there. But that’s no reason we can’t all come together.