Who Knows What?

Donald Trump has said that global heating is a Chinese hoax – even though he browbeat the Scottish government to erect a seawall to protect his golf course there. He disregards the solid research and recommendations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which found the rate of global heating is unprecedented and that not enough is being done to curb it.
Trump has also said he loves stupid people, and, considering the four to eight hours of television per day that he consumes, apparently counts himself among those unconcerned with the facts — and hazards from sticking his head so often in the sand.
Because he has surrounded himself with yes-men and -women (looking at you, SaraHuck) he doesn’t hear from scientists or anyone rational, only those with an ax to grind (Steve Bannon much?) and as divorced from reality as himself.
Hopefully Doug Jones can help get the country back on track, since the current administration is off the rails!
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Whom to believe and why? These are the vital questions

“The “Prez” failed many morality tests long before he moved into the White House.
– He didn’t pay people who did an honest day’s (or more) work for him

– He bragged that anyone who was rich like him could just grab women by the P***y

– he started with a new woman while still married to his wife

– as the sponsor of at least one beauty pageant, he came into the changing room and ogled the young contestants

– he mocked a disabled journalist

– he lied to us repeatedly and impudently, such as in promising he was going to be Prez to work, not golf

– quick to call out Obama and others who were being cautious about naming radical Islamism as terrorism, he still won’t call the Las Vegas shooter or Charlottesville mob domestic or white-power terrorists even though they are.

– He supports a pedophile because — like Moore, the Republican — they both are the leering/grabbing-at-teen-girls type, and because despite his promise to be a President for all the people,  Democrats just don’t cut it with him.

There have been those who, gaining high office, did not use it to stab down in the name of whatever. Obama maintained a sense of decorum and solemnity at almost every turn; Jimmy Carter tried to get us to see the seriousness of impending climate changes, but was drowned out by the oil and related interests. Trump has tantrums and tweets.

Maybe to some small extent, through no effort of Trump’s own, we see changes happening because of what Obama set in motion for the months and years to come after he left office. Those who voted Trump held their noses through the things I listed above and voted for him anyway.

Why does Heather Heyer have to be termed a leftie saint rather than a beacon of reason? Why does the Republican base support Roy Moore and denigrate Al Franken – because there’s a picture of Franken? But there’s a video of Trump boasting he can just kiss anyone because he’s rich, but now he tells us to disbelieve our own eyes and ears. So according to the So-Called-Ruler-Of-The-US and his apologists, one hamming-it-up Franken photo with a now-disgruntled woman (with whom he worked out all sorts of sexual-silliness skits) has to go, and multiple allegations against Republi-Roy are not to be believed because it was 40 years ago, and the Access Hollywood tape is fake news – why? Because what casts dispersions on Republicans, whoever the witness is, is to be denied as “fake news”. 

The RWNJs stab torches to the sky and spew violent epithets. The left for the most part marched with candles against the dark, and sang, and protected clergypeople from haters. The anti-abortion crowd has that as their driving force, not women’s rights, not climate science, no other. You and your kin may be raising your sons to be fine people, not to disparage those different from them or denigrate women, but Dolt45 isn’t. Of course he’s a racist (even if he’s not against those members of his family who are Jewish), just like he’s obviously an elitist male chauvinist pig, and just as he’ll never again say he’s a Democrat, as he once did, because there’s too much (he thinks) he stands to gain from throwing his lot in with those who are so much like himself.

You women, and your mothers and sisters and daughters were female before you and they chose sides, before anyone knew a damn thing about politics.  Are you and your family really so like him, as to deny other women?

Who, I wonder, voted for him, and if so, how will you begin to make up for it? Whence forward, for — if not moving in righteous formation with these vile men’s accusers, if not in Heather Heyer’s footsteps — then how?

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Against contraception/abortion? Put up or shut up

Steve Chapman gave us some of the pertinent details in the travails of Jane Doe, the pregnant Central American young woman too often referred to as a “girl” (“Forced childbirth or voluntary abortion?” Tribune, Thursday, October 26th, 2017) and compared her case to the practice in China of forced abortions and coerced sterilizations. He is correct to compare the US unfavorably with China, for all three practices are a matter of someone imagining he (it’s almost never a woman claiming she should decide) knows what’s best for a female, or all females, of childbearing age.
A veteran Chicago Police Officer, I have worked as a clinic guard and seen firsthand the anger of the zealots who cannot dissuade a woman trying to control her own reproductive destiny. They turned their rage on me too, sending me ostensibly caring cards, but some with vague threats. Such Christian compassion did one man display that he stepped on my foot and punched me! Perhaps he imagined he was Jesus at the money-changers’ table? He fled before the on-duty officers arrived, so he got away with it, thirty-some years back, and perhaps he’s already had to sit in judgment for it: I can hope.
Yet why did Chapman not mention who, or what entity, was ready to step up for the potential baby should the Trump juggernaut have been successful in forcing the young female human to go to term? He noted none because there is no such animal.
Did they demand to know the father and sue him as the at-fault party for the legal and medical expenses the United States would have ponied up? Some man had a part in this, but because they can’t see him they willfully drop the matter and focus their laser-like attention on the pregnancy.
What about the assumed pregnancy caused by then-Rep. Tim Murphy (resigned Republican from Pennsylvania), who insisted his mistress get an abortion? It’s pretty convenient, isn’t it, to be a man and demand women do what you say. This cretin blamed the texts on his staff, but at least he resigned, though another anti-choice man’splainer must surely be waiting in the wings.
Sometimes the fervent few provide diapers and baby clothes for the expectant one’s offspring. But they don’t they put themselves in the picture for the long haul, they don’t provide medical care if the infant is born damaged or addicted, they don’t help the mother get clean and stay sober, nor do they help her get an education and a worthwhile job. Do they provide the child with a good education, vaccinations, or nutritious meals? Warm coats and hats in wintry regions? Books? All for the child’s entire life? They don’t. Why not, because God will provide? Does He always, now? Most assuredly he does not.
What they did in Jane Doe’s case was send the top Health & Human Services official (purportedly picked to lead the Office of Refugee Resettlement, though his anti-choice political leanings were said to be the deciding factor), E. Scott Lloyd, a zealot, to Jane Doe,  where they led her to believe they were taking her for the procedure; then, once at the “clinic” (read: trap) merely prayed over her. Because whatever the prayers that young Latina woman had, they weren’t good enough for her jailers – only their words would make a difference!
Also relevant: Lloyd writes for anti-female journals that claim contraceptives cause abortions, nevermind the solid science that proves the proper and consistent use of contraceptives reduces the need for abortions to nearly nil, and that tax dollars are being used to trick people into abortions. That is highly doubtful, and tax dollars sure are not going to help give those children women keep to have full lives, and when they bring to justice the men who tricked them into believing they were happy for a pregnancy, the garnished wages are never enough for that idyllic happy life. Lloyd claimed contraception often fails, without any citations; references are for nerds, I guess, not the fervent faithful.
Obviously Lloyd and Murphy and their ilk were and would be okay with Jane Doe’s lack of choices, to have her returned with the unwanted child to her country of origin (maybe while boasting, “She changed her mind! We got her to have the baby! We saved a life!”), where she might hope for the best, perhaps, but where she said that she would assuredly suffer more abuse, from her parents and the system as well. How much does one have to hate immigrants, to drive an involuntary almost-mother back to the country where she was impregnated, where her own parents don’t support her? Maybe she was raped along the way to the Land of the Free – that doesn’t weigh on their consciences?
It costs a lot of money to raise a child. Those who are anti-abortion and who don’t put their money where we find these hungry mouths and minds, who don’t let any woman avert a pregnancy before it implants, they should be laughed at and dismissed, not given ever more power to control us. They are wrong and they must be stopped.
These pro-life-on-MY-say-so types, they sure want to make sure America has fewer anchor babies, don’t they.
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Reviving Megafauna: Madness!

So Chief Seathl continues to be ignored. He who warned that another heaven and another Earth must pass before [a species] could come into being again — what did he, a “mere” Indian, know?

No-one knows all the minute interactions between the extinct creature and its environment. As wolves make all things possible in Yellowstone, as foxes make it less likely a mouse can get near enough to humans to transfer Lyme disease, we can extrapolate that there were micro fauna that made the mammoth’s existence possible, and are also gone or dormant. The average person cares not a whit about the lowly life forms that made the big guys possible; some don’t even care about their own gut bacteria!

Here is yet another technology into which scientists have rushed half-cocked and which we will live to regret.

Mammoths will be killed off as fast as anyone can create them, the poachers’ uncaring and elitist customers no doubt salivating over the ivory to come. Or will mammoths be farmed? The world is not taking care of the elephants we have remaining, so what gives us the right to take up the habitat other still-living species inhabit, or to use those remaining pachyderms as mere mammoth incubators? Rather than spending any more money on reviving what’s long gone, we ought to press everyone to take care of what we have left!

Snatch an animal back from the brink of death? The revivalists pooh-pooh that very miracle which veterinarians perform every day, in favor of — something exciting! It would be cool to see sabre-tooth tigers, passenger pigeons, even dodos! Bring the whole bunch back from the grave! Damn the naysayers, not to mention the expense! Excitement trumps all!

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Stop with the “neighborhood” nuisance – cats

In 2009, an Elmhurst , IL, man killed a skunk all by himself.  Elmhurst fined him.  I argued via letter that the town should have immediately issued him an apology and a refund of his $25 fine, because what he did was kill a nuisance animal.  Even one of his neighbors, an animal lover, admitted that she was breathing easier since he took care of the stinky matter.

Chicago city ordinance requires pet owners, cat as well as dog, to keep them under control at all times, but God forbid I should ask anyone who deliberately lets the cat out to keep it in instead. I have done so in the past, receiving sullen glares and muttered comments to mind my own business.  News flash: your cat depositing excrement and its attendant stink, just as offensive as a skunk’s, in my garden or on any public way, is against the law.

I would say, More’s the pity, but too many keepers of cats allow them out at will rather try to keep them inside or walk them on leash. And because the cats are alone, their mess becomes somebody else’s problem, and the person feeding the cat – even if getting it shots – gets to avoid all a real pet owner’s responsibilities. Nobody’s picking up after the feral cats like dog with owners (mostly) do, so it’s worse than a pity. It’s disgusting.

Besides this, cats unsupervised get grabbed for dog-fight bait, they kill voles and lizards and pollinators, they get run over by cars, and they bring home fleas, ticks, and other nasties, such as the Toxoplasma gondii organism, to your other pets and you. Toxo is known to make mice do weird, unsafe things, such as stand on their hind legs and be sexually aroused at the smell of cat urine, meaning they’re more likely to wind up inside a cat, where the parasite can then manage its own sexual reproduction; only in a cat gut. Toxo has been found in sea otters and beluga whale, so perhaps it’s making the poor ocean beast beach themselves. It’s implicated in several human mental disorders. Cats kill millions of birds (of species that were here long before cats) and other native creatures, the ones that evolved here, that belong here.  Veterinarians want cats kept under control so they don’t have to try to sew them back up.

If I don’t want your “pet” in my yard and your cat is, in fact, in my yard (or anywhere you’re not), it is no longer under your control, but trespassing as surely as you or any burglar would be.

Some of us find cats stink as bad as, maybe worse than, skunks. Other people get used to the considerable odor of cat pee, or even to like it. If that sounds like you, keep it to yourself instead of letting your beast impose its stench on the rest of us.

“Neighborhood” cats?  No such thing – not in my backyard!

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Highs and Lows

As pinpoint pupils tell the paramedic the patient is likely overdosed on opioids, the pinhole eye of Hurricane Maria warned: the worst is yet to come. The lesson more than ever is that there are some places humans just shouldn’t go, not Mount Kilimanjaro, not Everest, and now, due to Harvey and Irma and Maria (IrMaria), we have to give up the pleasant edges of Texas, the Leeward Islands, the Florida Keys, all of the Caribbean — for whatever place it is, if it was or was not struck this time ’round, it’s only a matter of time before it’s the next victim, and by extension ocean islands and coasts around the world.

Why should we set ourselves apart as different from the rest of the world, when the poorer and lower regions (which have barely contributed any greenhouse gases) have been socked with climate change for years, like excessive heat and drought driving civil war, a ruthless dictator, and from that the Syrians from their homes?

We should feel the same of all mountains, even those that might bear a black diamond designation. The Tao te Ching teaches us that the greatest good is like water, which runs down and seeks the low places people disdain. Now, we know we can’t go too low, lest those same waters drown us, but still.

In the Bible, Matthew said the city on a hill could not be hidden, so human believers should rise up and be the light for the world. Those days are gone. The high and mighty have been and will be brought down, the merely tall more likely to wind up leveled, and those who boast – well, who knows what karma they bring upon themselves?

Better to neither rise too far and become a target, nor slump into a valley where the river runs through it (and maybe our homes). Better to have modest wants, and to be humble.

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The Tribune, Rauner, abortion, & preferential treatment

I learned from writer Bill Ruthhart (and Bruce Dold, who was quoted in the piece) in the Tribune on Christmas Day last year that [Mayor Rahm Emanuel]’s press office was told “if he writes something newsworthy…something that has a strong opinion, we’re interested in running it. If you want to submit [self-congratulatory] pieces that are… self-serving, we have no interest…”
But apparently if you bemoan any aspect of a woman’s right to control her own body, you get special-Trib-treatment. Case in point: Brittany Clingen Carl got preferential treatment, since her very long letter – far from an article – on her opinion of why Governor Bruce Rauner should veto a bill allowing women to get an “elective” abortion (not due to rape or incest or protecting the life of the mother, in Carl’s limited view – she apparently doesn’t support an abortion for the heartbreaking news comes that the fetus is malformed or already dead in the womb). Carl might edit the website “Reclaiming Feminism,” for conservative women, even though the book by Miriam Frank of the same title (and subtitled Challenging Everyday Misogyny, a phrase Carl surely has never uttered) goes unacknowledged, and write for Smart Girl Politics, another conservative-friendly site, but she is unclear on all the reasons a woman feels compelled to have an abortion, or she doesn’t care about anyone else’s travails.
Carl’s piece had a strong opinion, no doubt about it, but also and especially it was self-serving. Because she is not for abortion rights, the Governor should therefore also not be?
The Governor represents – as he should – the majority of Illinois citizens, most of whom are pro-choice. Vetoing this bill will not make abortion safe, legal or rare, as so many politicians claim to desire, it will return women and girls to back-alley moneygrubbing abortion mills, which are more immoral by far than a woman trying to manage the size of her family and control her own destiny.
Do conservative women like herself stand in line, clamoring to adopt babies “saved” from being aborted? I don’t think they help to raise the children of women who are too poor to afford legal, safe abortions. They want to tell others what to do, even when they themselves have nothing to do with those women’s lives, even when the woman wants to take the medications to terminate a pregnancy which her physician has prescribed for her.
Carl’s piece should have been cut — as the Tribune has often done with my longer pieces — and assigned to the letters to the editor space.
And Rauner, who won many moderate voters over by assuring us that not only would he protect taxpayers, he was pro-choice? He should stand by what he told us those scant few years ago, and not listen to these back-door attempts to tell live women what we “ought” to do about our families or lack thereof.
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