Ignorance is bliss

“So long as I know it not, it hurteth mee not.”

I like the original proverb, by G. Pettie in 1576 than today’s  version, “What I don’t know can’t hurt me.”   Unfortunately, what we don’t know, does hurt us.   From our ignorance we just don’t know the best way to respond to problems.

The Environmental Protection Agency cancelled the participation of three of their scientists in the Narragansett  Bay Estuary Program’s workshop.  One scientist was prohibited from giving a keynote address at the workshop.  The other two scientists removed from the program were to speak about “The Present and Future Biological Implications of Climate Change.”

See Links:

The EPA Stopped Three Agency Scientists From Talking About Climate Change at a Conference

Even Fox Business News reported the story:

EPA cancels appearance by scientists at climate change conference

An  estuary is   where fresh outflows come in contact with the salt water from bays or oceans. They are particular sensitive ecosystems.  Fresh water inflows may contain contaminants harmful to the more saline water in the estuary and depend on plants and other material  to act as to keep the ecosystem in balance.   See link:

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/estuaries/estuaries03_ecosystem.html

EPA Director Scott Pruitt clearly put politics ahead of science.  Climate change is harmful to estuaries.  See link below:

NOAA report highlights climate change threats to nation’s estuaries

Fortunately,  NOAA is under the US Department of Commerce, out of the reach of Pruitt.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

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Mon Dieu, ce n’est pas vrai!

Translation, My God, it isn’t true.  How on earth can a Rodin scupture be hiding in plain sight for decades in the corner of a municipal building in NJ?

A Rodin sculpture of Napoleon has been discovered in a Madison, NJ. Auguste Rodin died in 1917 and was in his time, a very controversial artist.

It was reported by the New York Times, in a wonderful story, which has posted it on the internet.

A Rodin Hiding in Plain Sight in a New Jersey Suburb

William Rockerfeller, Jr is mentioned in the article.  He is John D. Rockerfeller’s brother and co-founder of Standard Oil.

Stay tuned,

Dave

He said/she said …

If the real thing don’t do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn to the wick
Oooo, Barracuda, oh yeah

Lyrics from Barracuda by Heart

He said, she said and then the video said.   And the video showed the truth as plain as day.

I am talking about the recent spat between Representative Frederica Wilson and White House chief of staff,  General John R. Kelly.    The statement by Kelly was that Wilson bragged how she secured $20 million for a South Florida FBI building in 2015 through twisting Obama’s arm.   It would have been another dumb and distracting feud, except the speech had been video taped by the Sentinel Sun.  What Representative Wilson had done was just the opposite – she acknowledged the help of Senator Marco Rubio,  Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo, all Republicans, and she never took credit for the funding of the building. In fact, she wasn’t even elected to Congress when funding for the building occurred.

The building was named after two slain FBI agents. Wilson did take credit for approval of the name of the building just days before the dedication.

Pretty mean spirited stuff from the White House.   Lesson to General Kelly- don’t escalate a feud, if it means crossing over between what is an opinion to what is a lie.  For this one, I don’t need any research, it’s all on the video.  See link:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-reg-wilson-kelly-tape-of-speech-20171020-story.html

It may be pretty small, but it looks like the White House is lining up on the side of the lie instead of the truth.

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

 

 

Most recent lies and half-truths

Summary of President Trump,  Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Nikki Haley more important  lies and half truths in the past  4 weeks.

Trump mislabels Obamacare subsidy as gift to insurers

 Mostly False by Politifact.com.   

This piece of Obamacare was designed to protect lower-income families from hefty out-of-pocket costs. The policies they bought on the Obamacare exchanges came with deductibles and co-pays, but instead of paying those themselves, the insurance companies do.Who gets the money? The doctors, hospitals and labs that provide the services.  At the end of the day, the federal payment covers the insurer for footing the bill…  Every health care economist we reached said if the companies don’t gain any cash from the transaction, then there is no gift, no bailout or whatever term one might use. The one grain of truth is that anything that makes insurance more affordable increases sales, even if by a small amount.

“We’re the highest developed nation taxed in the world.”  Donald Trump

False by Politifact.com

Looking at tax collections relative to the size of the U.S. economy and the number of people, the numbers tell a different story. The United States ranks 28th in tax revenues as a percentage of GDP and 13th on a per-capita basis. Trump said his view is “exactly correct.” In fact, it is exactly incorrect. We rate this claim False.

“And I think that his [Trump’s]  engagement with Congress is something that never happened under President Obama. They were never allowed to debate it. They were never allowed to discuss it. So, now Congress is going to be fully engaged on the threats of Iran.” Nikki Haley,  US Ambassador to the UN.

Mostly False by Politifact.com

Haley wrongly says Congress had no input on Iran nuclear deal… Senators considered a separate, and ultimately unsuccessful, measure that would have given them the the power to block the agreement through a resolution of disapproval. A procedural vote on the resolution fell short of the 60 votes needed to override a Democratic filibuster. Despite the resolution’s failure, by passing the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Congress was able to have some authority and say in the final agreement. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who spearheaded the bill, has touted the legislation for taking “power back from the president” and forcing the executive office to be transparent.

“I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there.” White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Pants on Fire by Politifact.com. There was a brief time between 2008 and 2010 — the window during which Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban had been invalidated but Chicago’s still stood — where that might have been true. But federal court rulings effectively undid city and state laws severely restricting gun use and ownership in the Chicago. When it comes to the concealed carry of weapons, Chicago has less authority to impose limitations than do many other large U.S. cities.

(Personal note-  this is recycled  Trump BS used in the 2016 election.  It was untrue then, as it is now.)

  “Ending the estate tax would “protect millions of small businesses and the American farmer.” Donald Trump

Pants on Fire by Politifact.com.  For 2017, the Tax Policy Center estimated, based on past tax data and modeling, that 11,310 individuals will have estates big enough to file an estate tax return. “After allowing for deductions and credits, 5,460 estates will owe tax,” the center concluded. “Over two-thirds of these taxable estates will come from the top 10 percent of income earners and close to one-fourth will come from the top 1 percent alone.”

Trump Misleads on High U.S. Drug Costs,  Factcheck.org

Prescription drug experts say it is broadly accurate that branded prescription drug prices are higher in the U.S. than other countries, though they say Trump is stretching, or cherry-picking, when he says prices are “double, triple, quadruple” what people pay in other countries.

Trump says this means, “as usual, the world is taking advantage of the United States.” But experts say the U.S. is responsible for the high cost of drug prices, not other countries.
“It is more the drug companies that are taking advantage of the U.S.” Glen T. Schumock, director of the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomic Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told us via email. “We allow the drug companies to do this by not regulating drug prices. Other counties are just doing what makes sense, and what we should do.

Fact-checking President Trump’s speech on the Iran deal,  Washington Post Fact Checker, October 14, 2017

The outright lies and half truths are pretty astonishing.  See link:

Fact-checking President Trump’s speech on the Iran deal

Stay tuned,

Dave

 

Coal Industry

Regulations are killing the coal industry.  They are destroying jobs.  They destroy who communities and a way of life.  Obama declared war on the coal industry. I dig coal.

This is of course not my opinion.  It’s the opinion of  Trump and EPA director, Scott Pruitt.   I think the recent Frontline show, War on EPA, provides the viewpoints of both Trump supporters and opponents.  You can see the entire program online:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/war-on-the-epa/

About 50 minutes into the program, there is this wonderful quote from Betsy Sutherland, who  was the Director of the Office of Science and Technology until Sept 2017,  about working with Scott Pruitt, “He just doesn’t ask any questions.”  Bob Murray, COE of Murray Coal was quite candid about his influence on the Trump administration: “I gave Mr. Trump what I call an action plan very early on.  It’s about 3 1/2 pages long.  He’s wiped out [completed] page one.

As very briefly mentioned in the program, it is not just about carbon emission, but a long range of regulations on harmful pollutants that Scott Pruitt is rolling back.  These regulation range from the reporting of methane emissions from the natural gas industry to the banning of harmful pesticides.  Another words, what industry wants is exactly what industry gets.  You can’t be sued for methane emissions if nobody knows how much was released.

And one would think that the fossil fuel industry would be soaring on the news that the Clean Power Act is about to be repealed by the EPA.  This is hardly the case.  I can’t say how Murray Coal is reacting to Trump’s agenda because it is a private company.  However, the stock price of the  world’s largest coal company with a market cap of around 3 billion dollars, Peabody Energy (BTU), continued it’s downward decline, with a stock price of around $28/shr, far below its Nov 2012 price of $377/shr.The coal industry has been in a long term decline.  What is killing the coal industry is automation in the mines, and low cost natural gas, not regulation.  The lack of enthusiasm from the stock market on coal stocks pretty well proves this point.

The benefits of the Clean Power Plan Act were far reaching, and included economic, climate and health benefits.  When Scott Pruitt was asked about the relationship between the recent series of hurricane and warming waters due to climate change, he said this was not the appropriate time to consider this subject.  I consider it highly appropriate time to recognize climate change is a factor in the intensity of hurricanes.

Related Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Power_Plan

Fareed Zakarian, columnist for the Washington Post, really got it right!

China is winning the Future

Stay tuned,

Dave