The Saturday Morning Memo.

June 3, 2017 | Posted in General

I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

President Trump did the right thing in deciding to end the USA’s involvement in “The Paris Agreement.”

Finally! An historic event at the White House that President Trump can point to and claim victory and for Americans it’s a rare chance to see a campaign promise fulfilled!

It’s a win that the president needed and one that he alone was able to go the distance on, make a decision on his own without those bumbling congress types, and in doing so bypass the failed attempts on immigration, health care, NAFTA, China, “The Wall” which were the signature items that inserted him into the Oval Orifice.

Just a quick review (In case you were at some theater watching multiple screenings of “Wonder Woman” and missed the announcement,) the United States of America (we might need to take a hard look at that tag line) has pulled out of “The Paris Agreement” on Climate Change, and at least for now, has put “America First! ” into a unique category with a couple of other splitters – “Nicaragua First!” and the “Syria First!” teams. For the record Nicaragua didn’t sign the accord because “it didn’t go far enough to combat climate change” and Syria…well…ask Gary “Aleppo” Johnson about that.

They are a little distracted by a an uncivil war.

For me, the biggest problem with this “accord” is the title.

Terrible!

“The Paris Agreement” sounds like a 1963 movie starring Sophia Loren and Omar Shariff that has them wearing berets and riding a little scooter underneath the Eiffel Tower smoking bad ciggys in a light rain and sucking face every five minutes like Pepe LePew and his girlfriend Penelope Pussycat.

From a marketing standpoint, the thing should have been called something like ” EARTH WARS” or “OCEAN WARS” or “HUMAN EXTINCTION WARS” or “SHIT CREEK WARS” (we like shows with “wars” in the title- “Cupcake Wars” & “Storage Wars” etc.)

“The Paris Agreement” or “CLIMATE CHANGE WARS!”

See the difference?

So, 45 can put a W on the board and as he pointed out ” I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” Shortly thereafter, The Mayor of Pittsburgh reminded 45 via CNN that  ” 80% of the vote in the 2016 election went to Clinton.”

The POTUS speechwriter should have written something like “I have been chosen to represent the citizens of Beattyville, Kentucky….”

Beattyville has the distinction of being dubbed “the poorest white town in America” with 57% of its families on food stamps, 19% without health insurance and where 45 got 81% of the vote…because he promised to “bring back the coal jobs and Make America Great Again.”

The coal began to run out twenty years ago and as other forms of energy, like natural gas,  took its place. The residents are waiting for a resurgence promised to them by the new president. At present, the average income in Beattyville, KY is $7.25 an hour.

If I was POTUS I would have been giving serious tax breaks to American based solar and wind companies to build their plants in coal country and put the hardworking, proud people of Beattyville into new jobs that would move them forward, pay them a great wage, give them healthcare and be part of creating technology that is in growing demand.

But I digress.

Most of what follows can be summed up by Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion ” When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.”

The very moment that 45 made the announcement in the Rose Garden regarding that wimpy “Paris Agreement” an equal and opposite chain reaction began.

In an instant, China went from being seen as one of the worst polluters to the world leader in environmental responsibility…by default. Their efforts on “green” technologies particularly solar have dominated the global market since 2013. With no USA on the document, China becomes #1.

Nicaragua and Syria are now in the same league as the USA on at least this one document…by default. Always good to be on the same list as the country we dropped “The Mother of All Bombs” on last month.

The Mayor of Pittsburgh had the opportunity to remind 45 that 80% of them voted for his opponent on CNN.

One of the most brilliant minds available to Trump (one billionaire to another kinda thing) is Elon Musk who created Tesla. Musk pulled himself off of the elite “Trump Advisory Board” along with a half a dozen hand picked by 45 pals-who disagreed with his decision.

The former Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg commits to paying $15 million to UN efforts to tackle climate change.

The President of France Emmanuel Macon (who has a pretty sharp speech writer) stood before the cameras and said ” “I call on you to remain confident. We will succeed, because we are fully committed, because wherever we live, whoever we are, we all share the same responsibility: Make Our Planet Great Again.”

I wonder if they are going to put that “Make Our Planet Great Again” slogan on a nice red beret?

The equal and opposite reaction to Trump’s decision might just be the most important movement since the first Earth Day in 1970, which pushed Nixon to create the EPA as American’s were tired of living with shitty air (like in Pittsburgh) and watching the Cuyahoga River filled with toxic chemicals burn on the six o’clock news. With the EPA now being stripped down and regulations lifted on corporate responsibility when it comes to pollution, this decision from Trump is having a very positive ripple effect.

People who were never involved, are getting involved, (bypassing the diversion of climate deniers to whom 99.9% of scientists still wouldn’t be enough evidence) and are taking action instead of wasting energy arguing.

Ordinary people getting ready to do extraordinary things.

Here is the bottom line.

Climate change has always been taking place on this planet, it’s the rate of increase in the last 150 years that has been induced by human development and progress that is the main culprit. The earth is not in trouble, it will continue on as it has for billions of years. Everything that lives in the biosphere of the planet is connected on some level.

We are no more exempt than any other species.

Without even realizing it (or…maybe he does) By cutting from the accord (which really cannot take place until 2020 anyway) President Trump has put more environmental awareness, protection, action and responsibility back where it belongs.

In our hands.

How do I come to this conclusion?

My research has uncovered a full page ad that ran in The New York Times in 2009 as an open letter calling for then President Barack Obama and members of Congress to push for legislation that would slow global climate change. The ad ran in the days before a summit in Copenhagen where world leaders discussed climate change. The letter was signed by business leaders including now President Trump and his two sons:

“We support your effort to ensure meaningful and effective measures to control climate change, an immediate challenge facing the United States and the world today. Please don’t postpone the Earth. If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet.”

I see what you are up to Mr. President. Good move.

Be well.
JSA

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The Wednesday Rant

February 8, 2017 | Posted in General

I have been waiting for the right time and place to use the image of “The Odd Couple.”

I took this picture at O’Hare while waiting for my flight to Seattle on November 7th, 2016 one day before the election that would determine the next leader of the free world that took place on Tuesday November 8th.

93 days ago…today.

Time flies when you’re having fun…or not.

So why did I pull this picture off my hand held electronic umbilical cord device for The Wednesday Rant?

Well, first I wanted to know if The Donald and The Hillary were actually in the same place at the same time or was it a photoshop job?

My sources revealed that they both did the shoot at the same time. Proof that two different species can in fact occupy the same space.

Kinda nice to see them smiling, right?

If I hadn’t been witness to the carnage, bloviating, pontificating and name calling reminiscent of a 6th grade popularity contest for eighteen months, I could almost envision them as owners of a real estate company or perhaps old chums at a high school reunion.

But of course, it’s the message that really caught my eye.

“THE END IS NEAR.”

Those words carry much inflection and reflection at the same time. For a country weary of the political tug-of-war “THE END IS NEAR” might be a harbinger of a peace of sorts, where we could finally put down the hammer and nails we pounded each other with and take a breath that in just hours all would be well again.

Or…maybe not.

Perhaps it was meant as a nod to the voters of both candidates that whichever of the two claimed victory, the opposite side would see the incoming POTUS as a figurehead horrible change or ongoing incompetence, as we strain almost everything through our political brain drain and identify as an elephant or donkey instead of a human being.

Don’t need a degree in human behavior to figure that one out.

However, most interesting to me is the date of the issue which is November 14th, 2016…seven days after the election date of November 8th.

I know that magazines have to “go to press” and “hit the news stands” at a certain date and all that but that fact that TIME put “The Odd Couple” on the cover, full well knowing it would be out after the election peaked my thought processes…and I have been marinating on it for the past 93 days.

That is a heaping helping of head space occupied for a long time…and here is what came to mind (thus creating a nice clear cache’.)

If we look at everything up close under a “microscope” it’s so easy to lose perspective, which is essential to retaining a sense of balance that can be attained from seeing the world through a “telescope.”

The eye strain and brain drain that comes with looking into everything close up is enough to piss off the Good Humor Man.

Every single move gets put in between the glass slides, pressed flat and viewed and magnified hundreds of times until clarity is long gone and everything looks like mitochondria instead of the entire cell.

We become so focused on one piece of the puzzle, that we cannot see the whole picture anymore.

Whereas (love that word) a microscope looks from the inside out, a telescope of course is able to look from the outside…inward. To take the whole of things into consideration and slowly bring into focus that which needs to be explored from a great distance and see other parts of the puzzle that a microscope cannot.

93 days have given me the chance to pull back the microscope and replace it with a telescope.

My gray matter is grateful. My jaw muscles no longer clench and as Hedy Lamarr said in “Blazing Saddles”-

“…Please rest your sphincters.”

We’ll get through this…for better or for worse, like it (or each other) or not and as Winston Churchill exclaimed “More brandy!” I mean…

“This too shall pass.”

Consider… The American Revolution, The Uncivil War, assassinations of Lincoln & Kennedy, The Manhattan Project and Iwo Jima, Vietnam, Disco Music, Nixon, Pet Rocks, K-Cars, Wilbur Mills, The Keating Five, Watergate, Hanging Chads, Joe “Liar!” Wilson, the 1969 Cubs, “Bradgelina” “Weinergate” Tammy Faye, Glenda Ray, Morris Day and James Earl Ray & Valentine Janicki along with (dishonorable mention) Bin Laden, Hitler, Rodan, Weird Haircut Guy in North Korea, Richard Speck, Marlene Dreck, Harry Beck and throw Morton Downey Jr. in for good measure.

Point is…the world has always been on the brink of something since two Neanderthals’ fought over who got the to keep the woolly mammoth leftovers.

While I admit I am amazed at the number of people I have connected with that claimed to have “suffered” the past eight years (by First World definition)  because of who sat in the Oval Orifice (they all have jobs and houses and cars and went to ball games, and watched re-runs and had sex and BBQ and vacation and took college courses and buried loved ones and became parents and grandparents and moved into new homes and took a hot shower in that time) their “suffering” has ended…and for that I am glad.

For those who are girding their loins for the next 1,441 days please continue to go to work and enjoy your houses and cars and go to ball games, and watch re-runs and have sex and BBQ and vacation and take college courses and you might bury loved ones or become parents or grandparents or move into a new home and please…take a hot shower in that time.

And also…if you are moved to send cards and letters to the White House, do it.

If you feel the need to protest, go for it.

If you cannot help but dig incessantly on the internet for every scrap of evidence to support your position and inundate your family and friends, feel free to do so.

But please keep this in mind.

“THE END IS NEAR” alright but it has more to do with people than politics.

In the 30 minutes, it’s taken me to empty my brain cavity of these thoughts, 3,158 people checked out, kicked off, bit the big one, kicked the bucket, bought the farm, ceased to exist, cashed in their chips, became extinct, and clocked out.

Be vigilant, be involved, be loud and be proud, pound yourself and others into submission as you see fit.

Just make sure you don’t forget to be alive…and one last thing.

Wouldn’t be interesting if the “loser” of a presidential election automatically became the vice-president?

Be well.
JSA

 

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