America is gobbling up natural resources
According to Laura Paddison, online, we Americans live in a dream world where the consumption of natural resources is a known that is sustainable. On July 29, we reached a critical divide called the Earth Overshoot Day(EOD), where the consumption of natural resources surpasses the rate at which they are replenished.
For the past century, we have seen the EOD steadily occur earlier and earlier. For the entire world, now is the time when we consume 1.75 times the resources that are replaced. In other words, we would need 1.75 earths to replace the natural resources the world consumes.
At the apex of the consumption pyramid is the United States. We consume five times the amount of natural resources than are replaced. To show just how naive the fossil fuel industry operates, we consume far faster the fossil fuels that are replaced, even though we know that their consumption drives climate change.
As long as natural gas is cheap, we will burn it, knowing that consumption, in the short term, will allow America to squander our natural resources.
Does anyone think that America can go from consuming vast amounts of natural resources to one where we avoid the EOD entirely within the next 10 years — the only time frame that avoids the worst aspects of climate change?
There is relief from nursing home fee
In response to a recent opinion about a tax on nursing home costs, maybe this will be a small relief.
We recently went through this issue when my mother was residing in a nursing home. I think everyone agrees the cost for these facilities is way out of control. We probably also agree that our politicians do little to fix the problem. However, our experience with this issue sheds a little different light.
The tax in question is called a “Nursing Home Assessment Fee,” which is approximately 6.8 % of the monthly charges.
This fee is charged as long as the bill is paid with private funds.
We were able to find out that 6.0 percent of this fee is completely refundable. Whoever is considered the payer of the monthly charges must file their New York state income tax and utilize the “Other deductions” section of the form and supply necessary documents as outlined in the tax form instructions.
After doing this, the state caused several delays due to what they called improper documentation, which was totally bogus.
We reached out to our state senator, Jim Tedisco, for assistance, and his efforts proved to do the trick. After waiting for nearly a year, we received a refund covering all but 0.8 % of this fee. We realize that this refund is a small consolation, but the wait was worth it. And if it weren’t for the action of Sen. Tedisco we probably would still be waiting.
Con man Trump is ruining democracy
The dismantling of our democracy has approached a crisis stage.
Donald Trump has ruthlessly and shamelessly trampled on democratic norms, violated the dictates of our Constitution and placed himself above the law.
How and why did America get duped by this corrupt, extremely flawed, amoral, unfit con man? I think the answer is deeply ingrained in cultural change.
Core American values of honesty, family, service to others and integrity have surrendered to fantasies of wealth, false realities, fame and illusions. Selfies have replaced family photos. “Viral” videos on YouTube are prized above real achievement. And, perhaps most impactfully, advertising executives have designed and created glossy, alluring television commercials showcasing beautiful women, fast cars, obscene wealth and youthful vigor. All you need do is to buy their product. The “American Dream” is no longer owning a home, but rather winning the lottery, buying a mansion, including a bevy of luxury cars and beautiful women. Fantasy has replaced reality. Wealth, fame and celebrity are worshiped. America loves being conned.
The romance of the con, combined with widespread indifference and lack of respect for the Constitution — the absolute bedrock of our democracy — has proven to be a toxic mix. A narcissistic demagogue, completely unqualified, with no regard for democratic values, the Constitution, or for the welfare of America, dupes America with false promises, lies and bluster. Enter Donald Trump, master con man.
This ruthless, soulless, corrupt demagogue who achieved fame on a reality TV show has conned America. He’s destroying our democracy. He must be removed.
Vote out the racists and their supporters
Trump’s words and policies have made it clear to all that he is a racist. And what does the coward Mitch McConnell do each time Trump spews his racial hatred? He tucks his head deep into his shell so he can avoid saying what he knows is true in his heart.
Republican followers pitched right in at the last Trump “Make America White Again” rally with their despicable chant of “Send her back.” Where are the morally righteous Evangelical Christians when children are being separated from their parents at the border and locked up in filthy conditions? Their silence is required, as they have sold their soul to the devil for the price of conservative federal judges.
Whether you believe that Trump is a racist or not, you can’t deny that he is sending a carefully crafted message. He is sending that message to the KKK, Arian Brotherhood, White Supremacist and those of like beliefs. That message is, “Vote for me and I’ve got your backs.”
I don’t know what to do to change the minds of hateful racists. I do understand that we must vote them and those who enable them out of office so that they no longer have the power to transform their racism into policy.
Mueller no different than he was before
While watching Robert Mueller’s testimony before two committees, I was not at all surprised by his creative memory lapses or his refusal to answer questions.
What did surprise me is that network pundits would attempt to tell us that this isn’t the guy they knew six years ago, that he was a different guy back then. Really?
In 2013, Robert Mueller was director while the FBI was doing an investigation into IRS targeting of conservative groups. When he was questioned by Congressman Jim Jorden (readers can watch it on YouTube), his performance was no different. He didn’t know who was in charge of the investigation, how many agents or how many plaintiffs had been contacted. He basically took the Fifth —because he knew there was no investigation.