Bad Ass and the E.P.A.

Every trail blazed.  Every hidden path down a secret path.  Every inch of glory that is nature…has been pissed on by the egoism of Trump.  

Why believe in global warming?  After all, Trump is elderly, he isn’t going to live much longer.

Why institute new policies in which to keep our environment thriving?  Trump and his cronies can afford to remain healthy.  After all they have government instituted health insurance.

Thus,

Who is the Worse?
Nata Pepper

When presidential candidate Donald Trump promised to hire only “the best people,” no one thought to ask him what they’d be best at. Trump himself has set standards for corruption, dishonesty, bullying, and callousness that seem unsurpassable, yet that hasn’t stopped his subordinates from trying, including the three men doing his environmental dirty work: Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, and Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. They’re all bad, but who’s the best at being worst?

At the Energy Department, Rick Perry has struggled. Although he may aspire to malevolence, he has managed only mediocrity. Like the proverbial hedgehog, Secretary Perry knows one big (actually, bad) thing: He’s supposed to promote dirty fuels no matter what. So far, he’s failed miserably. His plan to resurrect the coal industry by forcing consumers to subsidize failing coal plants was shot down by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and his attempt to get the government to subsidize dirty fuels for bogus national security reasons also stalled. Although he deserves demerits for dishonesty (national security? really?), he clearly needs to try harder.

That leaves Andrew Wheeler at the EPA and Ryan Zinke at Interior as the current contenders for being the best at environmental awfulness. It’s quite a matchup.

Acting Administrator Wheeler, of course, is following in the fossil-fuel–fetishizing footsteps of his old boss, Scott Pruitt, whose legendary corruption was as inept as it was self-serving. Thus far, Wheeler’s been shrewd enough to avoid Pruitt’s most obvious missteps, although his vile and racist social media activity did earn headlines.

Nevertheless, in an impressively short time (just over 100 days), Wheeler has brought his own flair to turning the EPA into the agency that Every Polluter Adores. He’s attempted to roll back protections from methane emissions, mercury pollution, and toxic chemicals; cooked up a sham scheme to replace the Clean Power Plan; attacked clean car standards; moved to remove public health concerns from pollution safeguards by censoring science; and, for good measure, fired the head of the Office of Children’s Health. One recent and particularly Trumpy Wheeler move was to claim credit for Obama administration resultswhile simultaneously undermining the policies that produced them. No wonder the boss loves him.

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Wheeler’s past experience as coal lobbyist probably helped him hit the ground running. Coming from a brief stint in Congress, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had to be more of a self-starter in Trumpworld. Yet of Trump’s three environmental attack dogs, it’s Zinke who has truly excelled at emulating the boss.

Bullying? Zinke reportedly went so far as to threaten retaliation against a senator from his own party if she didn’t vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and he has tried to intimidate his department’s career staff and scientists into keeping silent about climate change.

Callousness? Zinke’s attacks on national monuments and other public lands have been breathtaking in their disregard for science, public opinion, community stakeholders, and common sense.

Dishonesty? When Zinke said shortly after being confirmed, “You can hear it from my lips: We will not sell or transfer public land,” it wasn’t even the first time he made that pledge. Yet he was caught red-handed trying to do exactly that with part of the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument in Utah.

That’s all impressively appalling, but it’s corruption where Zinke really stands out among his pro-polluter peers. As of last week, 15 different ethical investigations had been opened into Zinke’s conduct as Interior Secretary, with six still ongoing (another three are pending because, frankly, there aren’t enough investigators to handle the workload that Zinke’s created). That’s a record that would almost put Scott Pruitt to shame — if these guys knew what shame was. Things are so bad, in fact, that Zinke apparently tried (unsuccessfully) to replace his department’s inspector general with a party hack working for Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development.

So, who’s best at the job of being bad? Zinke and Wheeler are each so uniquely awful that it’s impossible to choose between them. The sooner both are gone, the better (and the same goes for the guy who hired them).

michael.brune@sierraclub.org

All the Rage

What of this emotion, born unto its own?

Its implement being physical…tangible.

Yet, the fingers of rage only asks to be believed.

While, rage, in and of itself,  believes in nothing.

Living only to be heavy, wet and cold.

It is the salt of a tear, as it stings a mother’s eye.

Many have stood in the kitchen of hate.

It always has the same taste.

Yet, hate is only the knife.

It is rage that procreates.

Manifesting from anger, to action, to vile overnight sensation.

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http://www.thetrace.org

 

At least 17 people were killed Wednesday afternoon in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The gunman, a former student at the school, was armed with a rifle and multiple magazines, officials said.

The shooting came 23 days after a 15-year-old student shot 16 of his classmates, two of them fatally, at Marshall County High School, in Benton, Kentucky.

For more about mass shootings in the U.S., please keep reading.

Tragedy and spectacle

There is no official definition of “mass shooting,” though it is often understood as an incident in a public place that claims four or more lives, and attracts widespread media coverage. In the last five decades, these events have become far more common.

Other groups use a much broader definition for what counts as a mass shooting, sweeping in incidents that happen in homes, and where there are four or more casualties — not just deaths. Gun Violence Archive tallied 385 mass shootings using this broader definition in 2016, resulting in at least 457 deaths and 1,546 injuries.

The random nature of indiscriminate gunfire unleashed without warning is all the more frightening because it can happen anywhere. Just in the past four years, gunmen have massacred worshipers at a church, moviegoers at a theater, people at a gay nightclub, and young children at an elementary school. In July 2016, a 25-year-old Army reservist who was reportedly angry over police shootings of unarmed black men killed five police officers and wounded 11 others during a rampage in Dallas.

Mass shootings are both tragedy and spectacle. As a result, they attract a huge amount of attention, which tends to distort views about the prevalence of incidents, the most common victims, and how the weapons that are used are obtained.

By one definition, mass shootings are a daily occurrence in the United States.

The FBI does not count “mass shootings,” but defines “mass murder” as an event in which four or more people are killed — excluding the perpetrator, and not including domestic violence incidents — at one time.

Three of the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history have occurred within the past five months. 

Despite the attention they garner, mass shootings account for just 2 percent of gun deaths.

Roughly two out of three Americans who die from a gunshot wound commit suicide, according to the latest federal data.

The majority of mass shooters obtained their weapons legally.

Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, purchased the rifle and handgun he used in the assault from a federally licensed firearms dealer. Syed Farook purchased two of the handguns used in the San Bernardino massacre from a California gun shop.

An analysis of recent large-scale mass shootings by the New York Times found that 13 of 16 purchased their guns in a similar fashion — legally, after undergoing a background check administered by a federally licensed dealer.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to what that entails.

Would a ban on assault weapons curb mass shootings?

Probably not. Many experts believe it is not what the gun looks like that matters most — it’s how many rounds it can fire without reloading.

An examination by the New York Times found that gunmen who perpetrated 16 recent mass shootings used a variety of firearms in their attacks, including handguns and assault-style weapons. While rifles like the AR-15 could increase the lethality of an attack in some situations, experts say that the use of high capacity magazines that can hold dozens of rounds of ammunition may give shooters an even greater advantage, allowing for more bullets to be fired without reloading without pause — breaks that can provide an opportunity for an officer or civilian to interrupt an attack.

Mass shooters often fit a psychological and behavioral profile.

America’s most notorious mass shooters have been young, angry men who displayed antisocial behavior before they carried out attacks. Many perpetrators of mass killing also have a history of domestic violence; social scientists have found that the same factors drive the two phenomena.

2015 Huffington Post analysis looked at incidents over a five year period in which at least four people were killed with a gun, including shootings in domestic settings (a criteria which the FBI’s definition excludes). A majority of the shootings involved a family member or intimate partner — women and children comprised 64 percent of victims.

Media coverage of the mentally ill exaggerates their role in gun violence.

While mental illness may drive some mass shooters to kill, media coverage of the mentally ill exaggerates their role in gun violence. Less than 4 percent of violent acts are carried out by someone who is mentally ill — and research shows that individuals with mental illness are a greater risk to themselves.

Violent behavior and substance is a better predictor of future violence than a mental health diagnosis. The substance most often associated with violent crimes is alcohol.

Mass shooters in America often target workplaces and schools.

A University of Alabama researcher found that a uniquely American cultural and mental strain leads mass shooters to target workplaces and schools — as opposed to the military installations often targeted by international mass shooters — because these institutions represent the social systems that the gunmen believe mistreated them.

Most mass shooting victims are black.

The gun violence burden is disproportionately carried by men of color, who comprise half of American gun death victims — despite making up just 6 percent of the population. New York Times analysis of shootings that killed or wounded four or more people in 2015 found that two-thirds of the victims were black. Seventy-two percent of the victims were men.

Some urban neighborhoods are plagued by persistent, truly epidemic shooting rates. Violent gun crime varies even more within American citiesthan between them. A glance at murder rates by neighborhood — not just by city — reveals a terrible murder inequality that ensnaring men of color in a cycle of killing.

It’s rare for a “good guy with a gun” to intervene during an active shooting.

Gun rights activists say they want to abolish so-called gun-free zones — areas where guns are not permitted, including schools and many private businesses — because they deny civilians carrying concealed handguns the opportunity to stop a massacre, while providing an unprotected target for mass shooters looking to perpetrate large-scale carnage.

Indeed, the foundational tenet of the National Rifle Association’s agenda is that more “good guys” carrying guns in public will reduce crime and make society safer. There is no evidence to support this claim. Of the 160 active-shooting incidents from 2000 to 2013 that were analyzed by the FBI in 2014, only one active shooting was stopped by a concealed-carry license holder. Twenty-one were stopped by unarmed civilians.

See if a mass shooting has happened near your home.

To find out how many mass shootings have happened near you, type an address here to see how much gun violence has touched your neighborhood between June 30, 2015 and June 30, 2016. If you spot a cluster of four or more fatalities, that counts as a mass shooting, according the FBI.

Mama I’m Strange

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To Mother Theresa from Ambien Grace, Concord NH

“Mama I’m Strange”

What’s this little lie They keep on telling me It’s just another high They keep on selling me I was only five They fed me so much jive They said just have a ball Just be a Barbie doll They churned and burned me out Until they turned me out Over and over again
Mama I’m strange The thoughts and the wants are the locks On the back of my brain I’m descending pretending I’m blending I’m going insane And they want me to change Mama I’m strange
I’m on a shaky wall I’m tripping down the hall And all the king’s men can’t Can’t sew me up again I’ve got a leaky head Don’t know the full extent I’m drowning in my bed I’m just an accident They chewed and blew me out Until they threw me out Over and over again
If I could tranquilize I might just vaporize They couldn’t supervise They couldn’t criticize I have no evidence I have no reverence It makes no difference I have no innocence
Help me mama help me now
_biblio.bing_

A law student and an avid reader. Along with your desired book reviews you're gonna get great book suggestions. Books of all genre with detailed review. Thank you, Visit Again ❤️

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