Reading time – 3:58; Viewing time – 5:19 . . .
In the 1965 movie classic The Flight of the Phoenix (with a remake in 2004) there is a clash of personalities between the pragmatic airplane captain and a most particular aeronautical engineer. In understated frustration, the engineer at last says to the captain, “Mr. Towns, you behave as though stupidity were a virtue. Why is that?”
I’ve asked that question about Donald Trump many times. Now I think I have an answer.
I founded an industrial water treatment company and ran it for 25 years. We would have monthly meetings to discuss what was going on, plans for future endeavors – standard business stuff. And there was one person in the company who had a way of derailing almost any discussion. He would interject a comment that was far off-topic or just plain nuts, and progress would come to a halt. It took me a long time to get past my boundless annoyance with his behavior and come to understand what was really going on.
This guy was profoundly uncomfortable in his own skin and needed lots of attention. And the only way for him to feel safe was to keep everyone else off balance. Hence, his discussion mangling behavior.
Now about the president . . .
Trump constantly says things that upset others, that jar stability, that unhinge focus, that make heads spin. He lies with every breath and is cruel and has frequently contradicted himself multiple times within a single sentence. He repeats his crazy talk over and over, as though to convince himself that his fantasies are reality. All of these things keep everyone else off balance. And they keep the world focused on him, feeding his desperate need for attention. Perhaps the little man in the big White House has to do that in order to feel safe in the world.
Keeping everyone else off balance doesn’t require the work of consultation with experts on vital issues, or having sound strategy for dealing with complex challenges, or giving even momentary consideration to consequences. All he has to do is to supply a constant stream of lunacy. It’s a truly brilliant tactic to avoid being found out – to keep others from knowing he’s just a scared, insecure fraud.
In addition . . .
The Trump administration has published a final rule change – the “public charge” bastardization of the 1999 rule regarding immigrants receiving benefits. This new rule effectively says we only want rich, educated immigrants. Others need not apply.
One result of this new rule is that immigrant families are afraid to get their kids vaccinated against infectious diseases, because receiving public assistance in any form will count against them when it’s their turn for a green card.
If putting immigrant kids at risk by withholding cheap vaccinations doesn’t trip your trigger, just get that this cruel policy of this hateful president is putting your children at risk.
Next, some math . . .
As has been noted recently – and you may remember this from 7th grade science class – trees breathe, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. In doing so, they become a carbon sink, or storage facility, sequestering carbon in their wood. Because of that remarkable facility, they counter global warming.
As such, It has been estimated that we can dramatically reduce global warming by planting 1 trillion trees worldwide. There are about 8 billion people in the world, so basic math says that to accomplish that level of planting, every person on earth will have to plant 125 trees. That’s challenged by the number of people living in areas where trees just don’t grow, so the number trees the rest of us will have to plant will have to be higher.
The Amazon rain forest is said to be the lungs of the planet, supplying about 20% of the planetary carbon dioxide-oxygen exchange, but vast areas of that life giving forest are burning. That is releasing huge quantities of carbon dioxide into the air and undermining the area’s future capability to store carbon because the trees are gone.
That 125 trees per person number is going up. Better start planting.
And finally . . .
President Trump has repeatedly inquired about using a nuclear bomb to stop hurricanes. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has explained that not only would dropping a nuke not stop a hurricane, it would make the storm radioactive and spread that radioactivity over places where lots of people live.
Just so you know.
Note: My video math is off by a decimal point. The printed number – 125 trees per person – is correct. Apologies for my limited access to fingers. JA
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Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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