On an Idea for Great Again

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Dear President-Elect Trump,

I’ve never written a president or a president-elect, but once I discovered I can submit my ideas on GreatAgain.gov, I just had to write my suggestion.

I’m approaching 64 years old, so I’m relying on my experience. While I was growing up in a small town in rural Appalachian Ohio, all the parents of my friends were working. In that same area today, jobs are difficult to find. Here’s an idea to help make America great again.

Not only should we abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), let’s repeal all (if not most) of the environmental laws Congress has passed since the late 1960s. After all, even in rural Ohio, I had clean air to breathe and clean water to drink when I was a kid before the EPA even existed.

For three summers during my college years, I worked at one of 4 coal-burning power plants in my area. Since those days, driving past the same plant I have noticed the facility is more than twice the size because the EPA required the facility to add so much anti-pollution controls. Today, not only has one of the four plants closed, so has the large coal mine located in the area.

Other industrial facilities have either closed or downsized. If you abolished the EPA and the environmental laws;

  • A layer of corruption and overreach in government would be gone
  • Cost to businesses and people decrease
  • Jobs would return to not only my home area, but across the country
  • Local businesses would thrive again because people would have more money to spend
  • Walmart will become accessible to more people because more stores will be built in new areas – stores that put people to work and all people to spend
  • The Constitution’s intent of state’s rights would be preserved, so if states like California want their own environmental rules, they can have so they can send jobs to Mexico or other countries
  • … besides, climate change is a hoax so we don’t need an EPA

I know businesses have the best interest of people, so they won’t pollute the water, air, and soil. I know business leaders like the Koch brothers would much rather spend millions on growing their business instead of using that money for lobbying and political campaigns. Growing their businesses to put Americans to work so people can spend is the American way. We the people need to let these business giants, other owners, and entrepreneurs unleash their creative power to return America to its past glory.

Mr. Trump … please, please dismantle the EPA and remove the burden of environmental laws so our economy can grow and America can return to prosperity for everyone. I want to make sure I see that we take back what the Chinese have – something that I never had … and if this doesn’t work, it’s Obama’s fault.

Thanks for listening.

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On Clarifying Science

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Did you know …. 

Science is not an opinion.

Science is not democratic.

Science is not an ideology.

Science is not a theology.

Science is not a belief system.

Science is not a theory.

Science is not a political view.

Science is not a trend.

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But ….

Science is a human endeavor.

Science is a way of knowing.

Science is impersonal.

Science is limited to the human perspective.

Science is a methodology.

Science involves verifying.

Science finds patterns and connections.

Science is a search for explanations of what we observe in nature.

Think about it – Disagreement around scientific topics is common in our lives. Whether it be evolution, climate change, vaccines deforestation, energy resources, or environmental standards (to name a few), a sizable number of people reject aspects of science for a variety of reasons – especially political, theological, and/or other ideological views … all reasons that are not science.

On a Blog Reflection: 2012

In lieu of Friday’s typical Opinions in the Shorts, here’s a look back at 2012. Besides, I still feel a bit overwhelmed from the hectic nature of the past few days.

From the blogging perspective, 2012 was a successful year.

  • Except when on vacation, I maintained my 5-6 posts per week
  • December was already on pace to be the best month ever, but with Freshly Pressed, this month may stand a while
  • Visits for the year improved over 40% from 2011
  • Reached the 100,000 mark for visits
  • 20,000th comment will be soon – and who will get the fireworks display
  • Freshly Pressed on December 24
  • Being added to Le Clown’s blogroll
  • My 1000th post party was very special
  • I continue to enjoy posting and interacting with my visitors

By reviewing my 2012 posts, I selected one post from each month to feature the variety of topics that I embrace. From politics to religion to science to travel to ballroom dance and more, here is my look back at 2012. This collection also gives new readers a chance to learn about me and this blog – which could either encourage them to return or drive them away!

For your comments, which did you read? To my long-time visitors, do you have any memorable posts that I didn’t include?

January: My story of living with a night of blame for 40+ years

February: A tribute to Pi – yep, 3.141592653, including a link of Pi to a million digits

March: On a spectacular place – the universe

April: Looking at the difficult topic of free will

May: Political gridlock remains valid today … and probably tomorrow

June: Faith and science are compatible

July: A mistaken view about global warming

August: I enjoy college football, so look at some of my favorite college football traditions

September: Time for a cruise – Start in Amsterdam, and then follow the link at the bottom of the post to the next port

October: Learn about and enjoy tango

November: I enjoy classic cartoons, so it’s all about Taz

December: How many people can play one instrument at the same time

To send you into the weekend, enjoy Disco Santa, which makes me laugh … and yep, sure sounds like the Village People. Have a safe weekend, and hopefully I can get a play-toy post together for your Saturday.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 149

On Politics
Interesting that candidate Mitt Romney asks for an apology from President Obama about using misinformation. To me, that implies Mr. Romney and his campaign is using accurate information. Hmmm …

Regarding Speaker Boehner’s (R-OH) claim that tax increases on salaries over $250,000 would hurt small businesses. I say small business owners would be dancing in the streets if their business revenue stream was ample enough for them to have a $250K salary; so besides political crap, what does Mr. Boehner mean?

Could someone please explain to me why some people remain consumed with President Obama’s birth certificate, and his religion?

FYI: This week’s Interesting Reads list is more eclectic than normal.

On Headlines from The Onion
Faith-Based TV Repair Shop Severely Backed Up
First-ever Cow Ends Gender Barriers – Runs with the Bulls
Can of Reddi-Whip Audibly Consumed in Next Cubicle
God Admits Humans not Most Impressive Creation
Teens Hold Clothing Drive for Classmate who Dresses Really Ugly
Kim Jong-un Ends Nuclear Program for Lead in Next Batman Film

Interesting Reads
Columnist Kathleen Parker on Infotainment
Compelling story (book review) about celebrity chef Marcus Samuellson
Tax returns: Batman vs. Spider-Man
Bouncing breasts intriguing scientists
History of Vibrators

On Potpourri
For those who read this post about the Indonesian choir, I’m happy to report that they arrived in San Francisco with time to spare before their flight home.

On the baseball front, injury to the Reds best hitter (Joey Votto) will make the next 4 weeks quite challenging. When he returns, I hope the Reds are at least within 3 games of first place.

Woo hoo …. We had 2 inches of rain Wednesday and Thursday – but it may be too late for the corn crop.

This Washington Post article is a good follow-up to my recent post about global warming.

Speaking of global warming, here is an interesting report from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). If you read it, beware of the following words: would, could, may, might, and if.

Sorry to say, no classic cartoon post this weekend.

Earlier this week I attended a concert by the Circle City Ringers from Indianapolis, Indiana. Simply wow! To send you into the weekend, enjoy these mystical tones from this group. Have a safe weekend everyone. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Global Warming Misfires

It gets you a little nervous about what is happening to global temperatures. When it’s 75 degrees in Chicago in the beginning of March, you start thinking. On the other hand, I really have enjoyed nice weather. (President Obama)

When I heard him say those words, I shook my head and wanted to shake some sense into him because he should know better. Then again, he is a politician who does what politicians do. For most of the eastern US, winter 2011-2012 was abnormally mild. However, regardless, of one’s stance on global warming, I shake my head at anyone who any point in time to promote or criticize global warming – and yes – I criticized President Obama on these pages at the time.

Not long after President Obama’s remarks, the Wall Street Journal published a guest columnist – Dr. William Harper, a physics professor at Princeton University. Dr. Harper concluding paragraph began with these words.

The most important component of climate science is careful, long-term observation of climate-related phenomena, from space, from land, and in the oceans.

I agree with Dr. Harper’ concluding statement, but it is interesting to examine the data that he used. He opened his column with President Obama’s quote in order to counter the president. Interestingly, the majority of the data he cites in his article is specific point data rather than long-term data. In other words, he did what he criticized President Obama for doing.

My point is that there is a difference between weather and climate. Whereas both are important for any location, the key difference between the two is the time involved. Each of us know how the weather can change very quickly, climate, on the other hand, involves years of data to establish climate. Therefore, discussions about climate change should involve climate data – not weather data.

So here we are, in this period of abnormally scorching temperatures across the much of the U.S., ridiculous comments continue to come forth.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 147

On Politics
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proclaims to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and then, instead of replacing it, just return to the way it was. Meanwhile, besides calling for the repeal, Gov. Romney continues say as little as possible what would replace ACA.

Let me get this straight. Gov. Romney says he agrees with the minority court opinion that says the penalty is a penalty, thus not a tax, but says that since the majority opinion declared it a tax, it must be a tax. In the words of Artie Johnson, “Very interesting.” Meanwhile, this editorial from the conservative Wall Street Journal takes Gov. Romney to task on his handling of the tax/penalty issue. There, I couldn’t resist this clip.

With the flow of big dollars going into the campaigns, how much insurance would that buy for the uninsured? Hmmm … my guess is enough to minimize government involvement!

Some pundits are using the current heat wave across much of the U.S. to promote global warming. Meanwhile, I shake my head, and will post soon to explain.

On Headlines from The Onion

  • Congress Raises Livestock Minimum Wage
  • Man Being Dragged from Bus Leaves Hilarious Phone Message
  • Burger King Unveils New Trudge-Through Window
  • Local Man Shot with Girly Pistol
  • New Study Shows 85% of Americans Don’t Know All the Dance Moves to National Anthem
  • String of Poorly Received Performances Force Sock Puppet to Return to Foot

Here’s a special treat from The Onionclick to hear a (short, about a minute) radio news report on Extra, “Extra Large Man Finds a T-Shirt”

Interesting Reads
A conservative columnist explains the Roberts decision
Columnist David Brooks about the Republicans health care plan
In pursuit of the presidential pantheon
A timely column about marches (the musical kind that I love)
An infographic regarding scientists, the public, and religion
Summer cocktails
The Medication Generation
DNA and a parrot’s ability to parrot

On Potpourri
Hope you had a chance to enjoy the weekday holiday. We went to the annual neighborhood gathering, a 20+ year tradition that actually comes with the house when it is sold. Yep, whenever new owner arrive, when I meet them I inform them that this is the Fourth of July house. I’m thinking that 4 of the 5 new owners have bought in what the original owners started.

The World Choir Games have started with Cincinnati being the first American city to host the event. About 15,000 singers from 64 countries will be in town over the next two weeks, and we hope to take in some of the events.

Just as doubt was creeping in, this week I roared at golf league.

A reminder to everyone: Check your Spam folder on your dashboard to see if comments by regular visitors are unexpectedly going there.

Sorry to say, no classic cartoon post this weekend.

Given the holiday, I’m in the mood for a good march. Have a safe weekend everyone. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 135

On Politics
Last week I listened to Mitt Romney’s speech to a professional group of editors. It’s interesting how he compares President Obama to Candidate Obama – especially coming from him – the one who exceeds John Kerry’s flip-flops by a large margin.

Although I shook my head when I heard Hilary Rosen’s (CNN contributor) comment about Ann Romney, her next-day explanation was more pathetic.

President Obama recently stated the following in Chicago, “When it is 75 degrees in Chicago in the beginning of March, you start thinking.” If we was referring to global warming, that is not a good idea because any one who makes a comment about the weather at a given point in time in reference to global warming is giving a poor example for the support of or opposition to global warming.

Although national polls show President Obama leading Mitt Romney, let us not forget that the presidential election NOT a national vote, but a state-by-state proposition. In that light, last weekend’s Wall Street Journal had this interesting graphic regarding the election polls in key battleground states. Then again, much can change in the six months ahead.

Gotta love this one from The Onion: Gingrich asks Romney to Drop Out so He Can Focus on the General Election

Because someone should ask, here’s a question for Mitt Romney: You state President Obama prefers “European-style socialism.” Is this as opposed to American-style socialism?

Dork of the Year Nominees 

  • 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Smith for throwing himself into a partisan situation by assigning a homework assignment to the Justice Department.
  • Rep. Alan West (R-FL) for “.. there are 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party (in Congress) that are members of the Community Party.”
  • Hilary Rosen (as previously stated)

On Headlines from The Onion
Rapid Swelling Man May Contain Traces of Peanuts
Bomb-Sniffing Dog Humps Bomb-Defusing Robot
Promising 9-Pound Bass to Turn Pro
Coughed Ritz Cracker Dust Beautifully Illuminated by Glow of Television
Sweeping Labor reforms Allow Employees to Work in Inhumane Conditions from Home
U.N. Acquires Nuclear Weapon
Rod Stewart Mistaken for Elderly Aunt

Interesting Reads
Citizen United Part II
Crawling Out of the Deep Unemployment Hole
Interesting graphic relating cost to height in New York City
Ruth Marcus Disorder in the Court
Tennessee’s Monkey Bill
Science Also Belongs to the Religious

On Potpourri
Woo hoo! This week I received my first-ever shipment as a wine club member.

I recently heard this interesting analogy: We find our life between two parallel tracks, joy and sorrow – and our life journey fluctuates between the two.

I will post tomorrow for the weekend.

Agree with him or not; like him or not; Mike Wallace dedicated himself to broadcast journalism for 50+ years. Here’s a wonderful tribute from CBS.

Sadly, I see my Cincinnati Reds Finishing second in the division this year because of my worries of inconsistent hitting, especially from the right hand side of the plate – but I still say Go Reds.

This past Monday I featured a wonderful rendition of Nearest My God to Thee. It wasn’t until Bruce pointed it out that this was the hymn being played on the Titanic’s deck – and this is the 100th anniversary of that tragic event. In the memory and honor of those on the Titanic, I present the solemn version of Nearest My God to Thee … and this time knowingly.

Have a good weekend everyone. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch. Now I close with Monday’s more joyous version.