We have previously discussed how environmental dangers remain something of an abstraction for most people who fail to recognize that changes in air or water pollution standards results in high and quantifiable rises in death rates. Even changes in areas like shipping fuels can translate to thousands of deaths. However, since these deaths are not immediate and borne privately, the true costs of pollution are often dismissed. I have been highly critical of the environmental record of the Trump Administration for this reason in rolling back on protections in a variety of areas as well as appointing regulators with anti-environmental records. Now a new major study has found that environmental pollution kills more people every year that all of the wars. It exceeds the death tolls for smoking, hunger or natural disasters combined. It kills more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Yet, unlike these causes of death, pollution remains a policy concern that is often pushed to the side for more immediate goals like job creation. This is not to say that environmental protection would trump all other concerns but rather the real costs of such pollution are rarely discussed in real terms of premature deaths by politicians.
If airlines do not have enough on their hands with Al Qaeda and changing weather patterns, it now has to face a new threat: superstitious elderly Chinese travelers. For the second time in weeks, a flight was suspended after an elderly Chinese woman threw coins into an airplane engine for good luck . . . and engine failure. The Lucky Air flight was fortunately halted after other understandably alarmed passengers asked for the metal debris to be removed from their engine.
There was another incident of student protesters preventing a meeting or class from occurring, though this incident has a welcomed conclusion: arrests. At the University of California, Santa Cruz, students found out that fellow students were meeting in the library as part of the College Republicans. That was unacceptable to them, so they put out a posting on Facebook to stop the meeting. They succeeded. The protesters entered the room denouncing their fellow students as “fascists,” “racists” and “white supremacists.” One student protester reportedly told a Young Republican: “Your existence is a disturbance to every marginalized person in this country.” It was a telling comment. The very existence of a young Republicans is viewed as an offense like some type of human microaggression.
Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on latest statement on the cause of her electoral defeat . . . other than herself. Clinton’s use of prison lingo is only marginally better than her curious decision to compare herself to Cersei Lannister,the murderous, incestuous queen in Game of Thrones. Notably, after the column posted, it was confirmed that there were roughly 3000 government communications found on Weiner’s laptop — leading to the re-opening of the investigation. As noted below, the belated discovery (and the delay in resolving the controversy) can be laid at the feet of Clinton and her staff. The Clinton team delayed turning over material and participating in interviews. Their disclosure of material was incomplete and ultimately lead to the “shiv” referenced by Clinton.
Here is the column:
It appears that the Senate race in Alabama between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones is now a dead heat. The tie in the normally reliable red state reflects controversial views of Moore who was twice removed from his job as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for defying federal court orders. One of his most alarming recent statements concerns the Supreme Court. Moore told followers that he would support the impeachment of any justice voting in favor of same-sex marriage, a position that would destroy the integrity and traditions of our legal system.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout says early on in the story that she only heard her father Atticus say that one thing was a “sin.” Atticus said “remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” The Biloxi School District appears to repentant sinner this month after it axed the Harper Lee classic because some parents complained about the book’s language. Despite being one of the most powerful works in history against racism, parents could not overcome the authentic Southern and racist lexicon of the period. News reports indicate that the problem was the use of the “n-word” in a Southern period where that word widely used.