Politics

There are those defending Donald Trump’s politics and evisceration of the Paris Agreement who don’t understand the Act, don’ understand it’s purpose.  They also fail to understand the United States’ position regarding such acts.

As the leader of the free world the United States sometime has to do something not totally in its best interest to get those who are reticent to act to do so.  That’s what leadership is about, not always getting your own way but guiding those who look to you as a guide, a moral compass.  It also means paying more than your fair share to get a position accepted.  NATO is like this and our help in guarding Europe had paid off big time.  Just try to imagine what an underfunded Europe would be like – just try to imagine if we lost one ally after another.

Even the United States can’t go it alone.

Politics

“It’s not a great week when you wish the president of the United States had the moral compass of a six-year-old. There’s not much I can say about Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement that hasn’t already been said. But I can say that I’m ashamed.

Ashamed that Americans elected someone who cares so little about anything other than himself, ashamed of what we’re leaving our children and grandchildren. Ashamed that I need to explain to my daughter that we’re failing so miserably at being good citizens of the earth, that all of this will fall to her and her friends.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2017/jun/02/this-week-showed-the-president-has-the-moral-compass-of-a-6-year-old

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Neurotic Man Continues His Job Search

With the hiring of Christopher Wray Neurotic Man has lost out on another job.  Thanks to Donald Trump I won’t be FBI Director.  That is, until he is fired or decides to quit.  I was real excited for a while as candidates were turning down the job.   But when Christopher Wray was nominated I knew I was in trouble, I knew he’d take it.  After all, I figured this was end of the road type of job and Chris Christie’s  bridge gate lawyer was perfect for the job.

Ah well, another job down the tubes.

Neurotic Man

“I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI. Details to follow,” the president wrote online.

Wray served as an assistant attorney general from 2003 to 2005 during the tenure of former President George W. Bush. He is currently a partner at the law firm King & Spalding, where he chairs its special matters and government investigations practice group.

Trump has been in search of a new head for the FBI since last month, when he fired then-Director James Comey.  http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/07/trump-fbi-director-nominee-christopher-wray-239238

 

“Wray was not part of the original short list as potential FBI directors being considered by the White House. According to a source,  Christopher Wray was interviewed by Mr. Trump and his name began to emerge as strong possibility last week.

Mr. Trump’s nomination comes just one day before Comey is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence committee. An individual familiar with Comey’s thinking tells CBS News that Comey intends to present facts — not conclusions.” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-nominates-christopher-wray-as-new-fbi-director/

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Bad Money

There’s plenty of Money, Bad Money out there – as long as you are willing to feed off of it.  It’s quite a dilemma that you can survive, actually barely survive off of it and some of us actually believe in it but for most of us it is dirty because we trade suffering for the dollar.  Sooner or later it just isn’t any good and we can no longer pretend the guys are bad guys (women and children too.)

Bad Money

“The Arizona town of Eloy used to live off cotton until it sucked up so much groundwater the desert floor began to crack and collapse. The town withered and almost died. Then it found a new source of revenue: people, colour-coded in blue, green and khaki uniforms.

America’s biggest private prison operator built a complex with four prisons in Eloy and imported prisoners from across the United States. CoreCivic, previously the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), is now Eloy’s biggest employer and taxpayer, contributing about $2m to its $12m general fund budget.

In addition to generating property and sales tax revenues, the approximately 6,500 prisoners boost state disbursements by swelling Eloy’s official population to more than 17,000. “It’s a positive thing for a small rural community, a great help to us,” said Harvey Krauss, the city manager.

Under Donald Trump that bounty is set to grow: he wants to funnel more immigrant detainees to private prisons.

There is, in theory, a dilemma for this dusty town tucked between Phoenix and Tucson. One of the four prisons inside CoreCivic’s complex has been dubbed America’s deadliest immigrant detention centre. There have been 15 deaths, including at least five suicides, since 2003, according to an Arizona Republic tally.

A recent joint study by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (Civic) found that detainees who are incarcerated pending deportation proceedings were needlessly suffering and dying at Eloy and other facilities because of improper medical care and misuse of solitary confinement. It cited “systemic failure”.  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/06/eloy-prison-arizona-detention-deportation-trump

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Who Me?

The question, who me? is part of our political process. Trump says something, it is on the record, but all the talking heads for Trump will deny even when he says and does yes.  He’s an example of false sincerity.  Another example is the Hillary. She can’t come to grips with the loss and lives in fantasyland. What’s rare with Hillary is that her aides also live in fantasyland to this day.  What a terrible choice of candidates we were faced with!

“Clinton has always believed she is the victim of vast conspiracies — and so the conversation continues pretty much in the same vein for another 75 minutes, with Clinton providing probably her most extensive list yet of reasons why she lost, which, naturally, had absolutely nothing to do with her.”

 

“Hillary Clinton has officially jumped the shark with this interview. It’s time for an intervention in Chappaqua, because the longer she continues on like this, the more damage she’s going to do to her party.

Much as it may be therapeutic for Clinton herself, talking about Russia and Comey and sexism and WikiLeaks for the next God knows how long won’t help Democrats win back seats in Congress.

People rightly lampoon Trump for obsessing over the election like the child he is. Well, it’s been nearly seven months and Clinton is still going around acting as though she’s history’s greatest political martyr, regaling us with new reasons why none of the blame for anything that went wrong lies with her.

Democrats need to get their act together. They need to talk about policy and get serious about how to fight Trump on issues of far greater importance than how many bots are following him on Twitter. Hillary Clinton now claims to be part of the “resistance” to Trump, but she’s still fixated on herself.”  http://www.salon.com/2017/06/04/why-cant-hillary-let-it-go-donald-trumps-not-the-only-one-still-obsessing-over-the-election/

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Pulpdiddys Permutations on Sunday

For quite some time at Pulpdiddys Permutations I have had a Sunday column in which I explain why I no longer write a regular column on Sunday and instead use this explanation column and take the day off.  I’ve tweaked this Pulpdiddys Permutations column that appears on Sunday from time to time but the story remains the same – I take the day off.  I have taken to use this Sunday space so that it is a little bit about me and a lot about what I am trying to do with the blog.  It has become apparent to me that the roots for the blog come from three things.  First of all, I love to write.  I enjoy the process and especially how attempting to communicate with others forces my thought process to focus in a way that not having the writing would not cause.  Secondly, I have been fascinated with how we interact with each other from an early age.  My political and social precociousness led me to turn away from the almost brutal focus on scholasticism and athleticism that dominated my early years.  In my case, this break was a good thing as it expanded my interest in understanding my empathy.  And last of all I realized I had developed a way of looking at the world that focused on want. When I explained this to others I found they often shared my thoughts but that for the most part they did not desire to consciously understand or express the theme of want, or if they did, found they had shuttled it off to the recesses of their mind – a way of living that contained the shuttling as an inconvenient truth*.

Pulpdiddys Permutations

The inconvenient truth is that we drown in want.  The want may be the search of fame or sex or health or power or toys but these wants ultimately have the same catalyst and that catalyst is money.  Some theorists and analysts think we only see that want in our dreams and that dreams are healthy.  The problem is that this want invades our day to days and we make decisions based on that want that often has far reaching and sometimes tragic consequences.  The want may be quite basic such as the quest to survive or quite advanced like controlling politicians or having a lobbyist team to market your ideas of law.  The thing about want is we largely are embarrassed about it, especially if the want becomes public and obvious and though at times we may expose our want it is often done in a non serious game show sort of way.  The other thing about want, especially in the most unconscious of us, is that we trample our fellow human beings in an attempt to achieve whatever it is that is our want.

I have found that magazines, blogs, and newspapers don’t understand want but instead focus on an agenda even if that agenda is to work hard in not appearing to have one.  Somehow the media has failed to see that in reality their own agendas are full of fiction and as such, are as much want as that of anyone else.  As for these agendas, most are political in nature.  The problem with an agenda is that it blinds you to certain realities – at least for a while.  So a journalist at the Washington Post 50 years down the road realizes the paper missed the mark by ignoring Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech when it was delivered, instead focusing on crowd control that day.  Or journalists at the New York Times realizing that they were too enthusiastic in support of the Vietnam War.  Or ditto for the enthusiasm of both papers when the misdirected terrorist war known as the Iraq War took place.  Of course this is an over-simplification and I mention it only as an illustration.

As I do my research for what to write at Pulpdiddys Permutations I think about the want that each of us has – the want we may not know exists.  Hopefully I can glean enough of the want to make an intelligent observation.  While personally I remain far more liberal then not regarding economic, political, and social issues I bring up the question of want in my analysis of issues and how the issue will affect all, most, or some of us.  So when President Obama does something that I find wrong I am not loathe to mention that wrongness at this site.  When Senator John McCain takes a position that I found courageous I find no problem in expressing praise for that position.  When Paul Krugman takes on an economic or social position that I find a bit silly I will also comment so.

Love of writing, looking at the world with empathy, and focus on want are the triumvirate that has brought about Pulpdiddys Permutations.  Though I believe I am eventually found out to be correct more often then not and certainly more so than any pundit I know that’s out there, I certainly am not infallible.  But I give you my pledge that I’ll continue to do the research, continue to consider the matter using the frame of reference of want in the material posted by me at this site, and correct myself when my opinion eventually is shown to just be wrong.  And if you’d like some lighter reading there’s always my e-book: http://www.amazon.com/Neurotic-Man-Richard-Georges-ebook/dp/B00A6TOK24

*I apologize to Al Gore, for using your title as a phrase.  It just fits.  And in this context, Mr. Gore, you are also a good example of an inconvenient truth.

 

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Leader

A Leader is not just being number one at the table, it also means leading by example, having a valued opinion, and sometimes having to contribute more than your share to have others follow your lead.  Moral and ethical leadership.  Not the Trump sulk.  Using the few cents donated as an excuse and coverup for the rich taking advantage.  Whining, not setting the example, that is what a leader doesn’t do.

Leader

“Despite last-ditch appeals from the chief executives of several major U.S. companies and months of letters and outreach to the White House from some of America’s largest companies and CEOs, President Trump announced that the United States would exit the Paris climate agreement, breaking ranks from nearly all the world’s countries and saying he would try to renegotiate the deal or enter into a new one. “We’re getting out,” Trump said in a Rose Garden announcement Thursday afternoon, “but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. If we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”

In response, one CEO after another tweeted disappointment at the announcement, companies issued statements committing to action on climate change and one high-profile member of Trump’s business advisory council said he would leave the forum in response, after earlier threatening on Twitter to do just that. “Am departing presidential councils,” tweeted Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Thursday afternoon. “Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”  http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/national/ct-trump-paris-climate-business-reaction-20170601-story.html

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Big Waves, Big Change

As the Donald prepares the U.S. exit from climate talks a fascinatingly scary event is occurring – Big Waves, Big Change.  The solid block of ice known as Greenland is melting in the middle.  To some degree it always has been.  To a startling level this is all new.  In the frigid waters, off of Greenland’s coast the glacier is coming apart as it melts to a frighteningly degree.  This sort of change is being ignores – and it shouldn’t.

Big Waves, Big Change

“On its surface, the Greenland ice sheet is a vast expanse of seemingly immovable ice. But beneath the monotonous stretch of white, scientists have discovered evidence of waves rippling through one of its outlet glaciers and roiling its innards.

The waves, observed during the two most intense melt seasons on record, sent an unprecedented cascade of ice and water rushing into the sea and warping the very bedrock upon which the ice sits. As temperatures continue to rise, scientists fear that massive waves of ice could expedite Greenland’s melt even further, pushing sea levels higher.

It’s the latest piece of bad news about Greenland’s ice. The ice sheet has been pouring roughly 270 megatons of ice a year into the ocean via the glaciers that stretch out from its hulking mass since 2000. That’s a big uptick compared to preceding decades.

The new research, published earlier this week in Geophysical Research Letters shows a new way that climate change is taking a toll. Scientists at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, led by Surendra Adhikari, were looking at data from a series of GPS stations set up around the various outlet glaciers that tumble from Greenland’s ice sheet to the sea. Ironically, they were looking at the GPS data to see if it was worth maintaining the network of stations that rings Greenland.” http://www.salon.com/2017/05/31/how-rising-seas-drowned-the-flood-insurance-program_partner/

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Paris, Trump, Neurotic Man, And Me

The Donald, for reasons known only to the Donald and other cretins that do not want to believe that our planet has had enough of abuse, has dropped out of the Paris Climate Deal making room for this Neurotic Man.  Paris!  Shit yeah, I’ll take the Donald’s place!  Now that’s a place to visit.  And if the Donald continues being a hater, and ignores the planet’s needs, a place to live.

Neurotic Man

“President Donald Trump is planning to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change agreement, according to a White House official, in a move that is certain to infuriate America’s allies across the globe and could destabilize the 2015 accord.

The upcoming decision is a victory for hardliners such as senior White House adviser Stephen Bannon, who argued that the deal would hobble the U.S. economy and Trump’s energy agenda, and a defeat for moderates like Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who feared that withdrawing would damage U.S. relations abroad. Trump had promised during the campaign to “cancel” the nearly 200-nation agreement, the most comprehensive climate pact ever negotiated.

Administration officials cautioned that they are still sorting out the details of how exactly Trump will withdraw, and one noted that nothing is final until an announcement is made. Trump continued to stoke the suspense on Twitter, writing: “I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”  http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/31/trump-paris-climate-change-agreement-238974

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Movie Time

I used to love movies and Movie Time was a sacred time.  But movies became dollars and cents and they became soul less things cold oh so cold and missing life.  Of course the search for money was always A OK #1 But The moguls in addition to making money wanted to be remembered as artists.

Movie Time

“I think there’s a good argument that U.S. films are getting better, because audience expectations are raising. Consider for example how well indie films have done this year.  “Black Swan”, “True Grit”, “The King’s Speech”, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, and others are pulling in much larger audiences and performing at a much better box office level than before.

At the same time, a large portion of the more typical style-over-substance films have underperformed or flat-out flopped at the box office domestically. The films making the best box office and with the most legs in theaters have increasingly been films of higher quality in most genres, and even original films have proven successful with audiences at a level similar to popular franchise numbers.

Yes, studios might be used to traditional methods of attracting box office profits to films, such as star billing and repetition of proven themes and stories amid sequels and remakes and reboots and adaptations etc (let’s face it, a film with pre-existing audiences and built-in recognition does seem like a better bet than a brand new product, yes?).  But they are also responsive to audience trending as well, and will quickly adjust to try and provide whatever is most likely to pull in the viewership necessary to make the films a success. And as audience standards raise, and audiences award better films and original ideas while punishing low quality cookie-cutter productions, studios are paying attention and will supply the product audiences want.”  https://www.quora.com/Are-American-films-getting-better-or-worse

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Earth’s Revenge

Iran is in the grip of a seven-year drought that shows no sign of breaking and that, many experts believe, may be the new normal – Earth’s Revenge.  Even a return to past rainfall levels might not be enough to head off a nationwide water crisis, since the country has already consumed 70 percent of its groundwater supplies over the past 50 years.

Earth’s Revenge

Always arid, Iran is facing desertification as lakes and rivers dry up and once-fertile plains become barren. According to the United Nations, Iran is home to four of the 10 most polluted cities in the world, with dust and desertification among the leading causes.

In Zanjan, northwest of Tehran, the historic Mir Baha-eddin Bridge crosses a riverbed of sand, stones and weeds. In Gomishan, on the shores of the Caspian Sea, the fishermen who once built houses on poles surrounded by freshwater now have to drive for miles to reach the receding shoreline. In Urmia, close to the Turkish border, residents have held protests to demand that the government return water to a once-huge lake that is now the source only of dust storms.

A nationwide network of dams, often heralded by state television as a sign of progress and water management, is adding to water shortages in many places while helping deplete groundwater. In Isfahan, the once-iconic Zayanderud River is now a dusty scar the size of the Seine snaking through the city, because officials were forced to divert its water to the desert city of Yazd.

In Tehran, officials barely managed to keep the water running this summer as reservoirs shrank to dangerously low levels. Subsidies for water and electricity encourage overconsumption in urban areas. Isa Kalantari, a former minister of agriculture, warns that more than half of Iran’s provinces could become uninhabitable within 15 years, displacing millions of people.

As in drought-stricken California, agriculture accounts for about 90 percent of water consumption in Iran. And here, matters are not helped by the prevalence of crude, centuries-old irrigation methods and other wasteful practices.

Where there are no longer rivers and lakes to be tapped, desperate farmers and municipalities are turning to dwindling groundwater supplies. Drillers report that they are increasingly coming up dry, even at depths of more than 600 feet. When they do find water, they say, it is often polluted with heavy metals and arsenic, released as the drill bits break through sediment.  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/19/world/middleeast/scarred-riverbeds-and-dead-pistachio-trees-in-a-parched-iran.html?emc=edit_th_20151219&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=63667984&_r=0

 

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