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New EPA Administrator Operating in Paranoid Secrecy to Dismantle Agency–New York Times

2017-08-12

I like this picture so I’m going to use it to head all my posts.

The new EPA administrator and former attorney general of Oklahoma, who used to get his jollies suing the EPA, now is implementing his plant to dismantle the agency and abnegate its mission of protecting our environment.  Here’s a quote from a NYT article about his “secret” and paranoid mission:

Mr. Pruitt, according to the employees, who requested anonymity out of fear of losing their jobs, often makes important phone calls from other offices rather than use the phone in his office, and he is accompanied, even at E.P.A. headquarters, by armed guards, the first head of the agency to ever request round-the-clock security.

A former Oklahoma attorney general who built his career suing the E.P.A., and whose LinkedIn profile still describes him as “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” Mr. Pruitt has made it clear that he sees his mission to be dismantling the agency’s policies — and even portions of the institution itself.

But as he works to roll back regulations, close offices and eliminate staff at the agency charged with protecting the nation’s environment and public health, Mr. Pruitt is taking extraordinary measures to conceal his actions, according to interviews with more than 20 current and former agency employees.

Why would a man insist that employees leave their cell phones behind and take no notes, as the NYT states elsewhere in the article?  Because he is paranoid about leaks.  Why would he leave his own office to make important phone calls?  Because he is paranoid that the employees of his office are against him and out to leak details of his plans.

Do we really need an EPA administrator who plans to dismantle the EPA?  Or who is so paranoid that he won’t make important phone calls from his office?

Billy the Dog says:

Comment of the Day: Don the Con is Desperate

2017-08-12

James

San Clemente, CA 14 hours ago

On the same day that Donald Trump threatened nonspecific military action against North Korea, and contended that his despicable comments denigrating U.S. diplomats and local employees in Russia was just “sarcasm,” the President opened a new front in his rhetorical war on the world, saying that he would “not exclude” military action against Venezuela. I’m getting the feeling that all these impromptu press conferences the President has been giving lately all have the same purpose. He’s feeling the hot breath of Special Counsel Robert Mueller on his neck, and he is casting around for an issue to distract the press from the fact that the walls are closing in on his administration. All this flailing is understandable, given that the President has no actual skills other than those appropriate to a snake-oil salesman, but we are getting close to the point where one of Trump’s ill-considered remarks could actually start a war. This is political malpractice on an epic scale, and raises the following question: when will the Congress, the remaining adults in the Executive branch, and the American people themselves decide that they have had enough and must now begin the process of removing this travesty of a President? The clock is ticking, and Trump’s folly grows.

 

A Modest Proposal on North Korea

2017-08-12
  1.  Offer, in secret through the Chinese, to begin negotiations without preconditions, one-on-one, between North Korea and the US.  If they ignore the offer, make another offer in public.
  2.  Remind the public that at present, North Korea and the US are still technically at war, and what exists is a 50+ year truce, not a peace treaty.
  3.  Make secret, one-on-one negotiations with the North Koreans through a plenipotentary (authorized to make any deal at once) ambassador.
  4.  Continue sanctions and a military cordon around North Korea until they agree to give up their nuclear weapons per the UN’s resolutions.
  5.  Rinse and repeat.

(Note that the Chinese have declared that, if North Korea attacks the US or South Korea first, the US will have a free hand and China will “remain neutral.”  But that, if the US tries to unseat Kim or attacks first, China will defend North Korea.  It seems obvious that, with that Chinese statement, we have little to fear from the North Koreans; if they attack us, we can annihilate them and China will stand by and do nothing.)

Quote of the Day: Don’t Spook the Herd

2017-08-11

“We are playing right into Kim Jong-Un’s hands,” General Thurman said. “That is what he wants. He wants to be on the world scene.”

“I really would want to tamp down this rhetoric, maintain armistice conditions, keep the force ready and,” he said, “not get the herd spooked.”

Comment of the Day: North Korea is a Bad Place

2017-08-11

Jon K

New York, NY 1 hour ago

I don’t think anyone likes the idea of a war with North Korea (if they attacked Seoul the death toll would potentially reach the hundreds of thousands), but do you want to fight this war now, or 20 years down the road when their military is 5x as strong and more technologically advanced?

Kim Jung Un is a wicked man whose regime has committed countless crimes against humanity. Do you think his threats will end if we simply allow him to develop his military unabated? Do you think he will play fairly if we allow him a seat at the “big boy table”? Do you think he is happy with the current sanctions imposed on his country? Do you think he is happy that a US-backed South Korea borders his country?

He knows he is currently outgunned, and that is why he’s doing nothing more than running his mouth, but the moment feels he his military could actually win a war against South Korea, he will invade no doubt about it. That is what we are looking at 20 years down the road.

It’s a sad, sad situation that should have been dealt with 15 years ago… and since it wasn’t, a lot more people are going to die when this comes to a head…

 

Phyliss Dalmatian

Wichita, Kansas 50 minutes ago

We are now counting on North Korea to behave in a rational fashion, because OUR Dear Leader cannot. Think about that. Seriously.

Another Blog: Dying Man’s Daily Journal

2017-08-11

Another site you may wish to peruse is a daily journal kept by a man with “terminal” congestive heart failure who was told in 2006 that he had a year or two to live (apparently he wasn’t offered a heart transplant).  It runs from September 20, 2006 to August 4, 2016– nearly ten years.  It contains intensely personal thoughts as well as many expressions of love to his relatives and friends.  There are comments thru-out, sometimes as many as thirty.  Here is a quote from a page he calls “my story”:

There is the saying which is so true. “Knowledge, without experience is only information”. I hope this will become a meeting spot for all that have the information and are in the midst of the experience.

Reading even a few entries in this blog will get you painfully close to a feeling of mortality.  Fortunately for you, this will only be knowledge without experience, so you can take it.

VVatt’s Up With That: A Parody Website or Truth?… It Appears that Greenland is On Fire

2017-08-11

Gentle readers are advised to try “VVatt’s Up With That“, a site which capitalizes on a homophone or visual pun on “Watt” to create a space which directly contradicts “Watt’s Up With That”– which is a fairly long-lived “climate denier” web site that has been an annoyance to everyone connected with the movement to limit the production of greenhouse gases.

Their latest post states that Greenland’s peat bogs are burning and shows what appears to be a satellite photo of a lot of fires… in fact, articles in New Scientist, Newsweek, and so on have spread the word that the largest wildfires in the short record of Greenland satellite observations (10 years) have begun over the last week and are likely to spread.  Local authorities may not have the resources needed to attack these fires, which appear to be consuming dried-out peat bogs on the western coast of Greenland.  Most of the country is still covered in ice up to 3 km thick, but the ice-free areas in the west have steadily enlarged over the last few years.

This is the sort of occurrence that will become more common as the twenty-first century wears on.  The only way to prevent this is to reduce the carbon dioxide and methane concentrations in the air, and this is beyond our current technology.  I suggest that a crash national program to develop such technology be implemented immediately (just kidding.)