TRUMP ADMIN DISSES SCIENCE, DISMISSES SCIENTISTS by L. Milton Hankins

TRUMP ADMIN DISSES SCIENCE, DISMISSES SCIENTISTS by L. Milton Hankins

Most folks like you and me don’t give much thought to “science” per se. After all, we’re not scientists and we are not inclined to contemplate the importance of science in our daily lives.

Because of our lackadaisical attitude toward science and how it affects our everyday lives, many of us (not including this writer) are unaware that the present administration is stripping various agencies of the federal government of its scientists.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION DISMISSING SCIENTISTS

For example, a May 8, 2017 Associated Press article in the Los Angeles Times’ headline read “Trump’s EPA dismisses half of the scientists on its advisory board.” According to Science Magazine (2015), the EPA published “a controversial regulation aimed at improving protection for wetlands and small streams” in a “400-page technical tome assembled by agency researchers as the rule’s scientific foundation and justification.” In March, 2017, President Trump “signed an executive order aimed at gutting the rule.”

PETER THIEL

Although Peter Thiel, a biomedical research investor, is surprisingly one of Trump’s few supporters in Silicon Valley, he is an outspoken advocate for government-fostered science. He says, “Voters are tired of hearing conservative politicians say that government never works. They know the government wasn’t always this broken. The Manhattan Project, the Interstate Highway System, and the Apollo Program–whatever you think of these ventures, you cannot doubt the competence of the government that got them done. But we have fallen very far from that standard, and we cannot let free market ideology serve as an excuse for decline.”

The budget that Trump has sent to Congress “whacks 18 percent from N.I.H.’s [National Institute of Health] budget, and even more from the Department of Energy and the E.P.A.’s [Environmental Protection Agency] science programs.

According to the Editorial Board of the New York Times (March 17, 2017) a “$250 million annual grant program administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ‘supporting coastal and marine management, research and education’ would be killed [in Trump’s budget], including programs that provide important resources to help coastal states prepare for the coming effects of climate change.”

The above paragraphs document my theory that the Trump administration is anti-science. It should come as no shock, especially in the last example, since President Trump admittedly does NOT subscribe to climate change.

RICK PERRY,  SECRETARY OF ENERGY

And, keep in mind, he appointed former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head up the Department of Energy, which is rich with scientists and thrives on scientific knowledge and input. Perry, you’ll recall, when running for the presidency, although he botched remembering the name of the agency in debate (Oops!), was FOR abolishing the Department of Energy…which he now heads!

Science is literally the backbone of technological development and underscores all of the advancements we have made in all of the areas for which the Trump administration apparently has little respect.

The decline of first-rate science and mathematical training in our primary and secondary schools, coupled with the growing disenchantment for these subjects at the highest levels of our government is frightening.

That the current administration is gutting national agencies of scientists is calamitous!

THE ROAD TO FULL RECOVERY BEGINS WITH ADDICT’S CHOICE by J. William St. Clair

THE ROAD TO FULL RECOVERY BEGINS WITH ADDICT’S CHOICE by J. William St. Clair

A recent op-ed piece by a leader of the United Methodist Church, published in the Huntington Herald-Dispatch, urged West Virginia’s U. S. Senators to save Medicaid so that federal funds can continue to help break the grip of the opioid epidemic.

This thoughtful article offers the theological hook–the parable of The Good Samaritan–on which to hang a political imperative to increase access to federal funds for substance abusers to receive care.

Although the story of The Good Samaritan is a good story, another parable–the Prodigal Son–is, in my opinion, more instructional and worthy of being taken into consideration for addressing the current drug problem.

In the story of the Prodigal Son, a young man leaves home and squanders his portion of his inheritance by living a less-than- desirable lifestyle. He eventually finds himself broke, hungry, neglected and living in a pigsty. It is here that he “comes to his senses” and makes a decision to go back home. He then starts walking. As he approaches home, the young man’s father runs down the road to meet his son and hugs him in a welcoming embrace.

The story of The Prodigal Son does not tell us why the young man left home and what motivated him to take a walk on the wild side (I’m sure he had his reasons). The story also does not tell us whether the father knew his son was grubbing around in a pigsty far from home (I think he did, but chose to stay home). But, one thing we know for sure–the squanderer got out of the muck by coming to his senses and beginning the long walk back. His father did not rescue him nor did anyone help him on the way back. The young man made a choice to change and then acted on that choice.

Many substance abusers probably relate more to the young man in the Prodigal Son than to the man beaten by robbers in the Good Samaritan–while one made bad choices, the other had no choice. Many mental health care providers probably relate to the remedy for the young man in the sty more than the care provided to the man found beaten and lying in a ditch. We can pull addicts out of the ditch and take them to a healthy place to recuperate, but they will not walk the road of recovery unless, or until, they make a choice to walk that walk.

Urging senators to allocate more federal funds for treatment through Medicaid presupposes that present Medicaid treatment merits our continued support. That supposition is not supported by what we are finding on the streets. I have a sick feeling Medicaid funds are now, in effect, being used to make cleaner pigsties or to rescue addicts who have not, on their own, “come to their senses.”

We, as a community, cannot beg or bribe addicts with Medicaid treatment to choose a new and better way. Substance abusers have to make that choice to be someone new on their own, and then start living into that new-ness. When they do we, as a community, will celebrate by joyously feasting with them.

 

GOOD FACTUAL INFORMATION TO HAVE AVAILABLE by D. J. Salisbury

GOOD FACTUAL INFORMATION TO HAVE AVAILABLE by D. J. Salisbury

[Editor’s Note: Upon receipt of the following article, I had a number of reservations about publishing it. So, I did my own research and quickly learned that the statistics in this piece are readily available with little research through Google and other political, informational resources.  I am giving D. J. Salisbury credit for putting this information (in this form) with the opening and closing quotations on Facebook; however, the original article appears to have first appeared in Daily Kos.  Be that as it may, the statistics are in the public record and the public domain.]

“I made a comment recently in which I claimed that Republican administrations had been much more criminally corrupt over the last 50+ years than the Democrats. I was challenged (dared, actually) to prove it. So, I did a bit of research. And when I say ‘a bit’ I mean it didn’t take long. There is no comparison. When comparing criminal indictments of those serving in the executive branch of presidential administrations, it’s so lopsided as to be ridiculous. Yet all I ever hear is how corrupt the Democrats are. So why don’t we break it down by president and show the numbers?

BARACK OBAMA - 8 YEARS IN OFFICE. ZERO (0) CRIMINAL INDICTMENTS, ZERO (0) CONVICTIONS AND ZERO (0) PRISON SENTENCES. So the next time somebody describes the Obama administration as “scandal free” they aren’t speaking wishfully, they’re simply telling the truth.

GEORGE W. BUSH - 8 YEARS IN OFFICE, SIXTEEN (16) CRIMINAL INDICTMENTS, SIXTEEN (16) CONVICTIONS, NINE (9) PRISON SENTENCES.

BILL CLINTON - 8 YEARS IN OFFICE, TWO (2) CRIMINAL INDICTMENTS, ONE (1) CONVICTION, ONE (1) PRISON SENTENCE. That’s right nearly eight (8) years of investigations, tens of millions spent and thirty (30) years of claiming the Clintons are the most corrupt ever, and there was exactly one person convicted of a crime. Wishing for guilt doesn’t make it true.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH - 4 YEARS IN OFFICE, ONE (1) INDICTMENT, ONE (1) CONVICTION, ONE (1) PRISON SENTENCE.

RONALD REAGAN - 8 YEARS IN OFFICE, TWENTY-SIX (26) CRIMINAL INDICTMENTS, SIXTEEN (16) CONVICTIONS, EIGHT (8) PRISON SENTENCES.

JIMMY CARTER - 4 YEARS IN OFFICE, ONE (1) INDICTMENT, ZERO (0) CONVICTIONS AND ZERO (0) PRISON SENTENCES.

GERALD FORD - 2-1/2 YEARS IN OFFICE, ONE (1) INDICTMENT, ONE (1) CONVICTION AND ONE (1) PRISON SENTENCE.

RICHARD NIXON - 6 YEARS IN OFFICE, SEVENTY-SIX (76) CRIMINAL INDICTMENTS, FIFTY-FIVE (55) CONVICTIONS, FIFTEEN (15) PRISON SENTENCES.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON - 5 YEARS IN OFFICE, ZERO (0) INDICTMENTS, ZERO (0) CONVICTIONS, ZERO (0) PRISON SENTENCES.

So, let’s see where that leaves us. In the last fifty-three (53) years, Democrats have held the presidency for twenty-five (25), while Republicans held it for twenty-eight (28) [years]. In their twenty-five (25) years in office Democratic presidents had a total of three (3) executive branch officials indicted with one (1) conviction and one (1) prison sentence. That’s one whole executive branch official convicted of a crime in two and a half decades of Democratic leadership. In the twenty-eight (28) years that Republicans have held the presidency, they have had a total of (drum roll would be appropriate) one hundred twenty (120) criminal indictments of executive branch officials…eighty-nine (89) criminal convictions with thirty-four (34) prison sentences handed down. For the Republicans, that’s more prison sentences than presidential years in office since 1968, if you include articles of impeachment as indictments (they aren’t really, but we can count them as an action) both sides get one more. However, Clinton wasn’t found guilty while Nixon resigned and was pardoned by Ford. So those serve only to make Republicans look even worse.

With the Trump spectacle growing more bizarre by the day, it’s a safe bet that Republicans are going to be padding those numbers soon. So let’s just go over the numbers one more time, shall we? Republicans: one hundred twenty (120) indictments, eighty-nine (89) convictions, and thirty-four (34) prison sentences in twenty-eight (28) years. Democrats: three (3) indictments, one (1) conviction, and one (1) prison sentence in twenty-five (25) years.

Those aren’t ‘feelings’ or ‘alternate facts.’ Those are simply the statistics and numbers available [in the] public record.

It appears that the Republicans are, and have been for my entire lifetime, the most criminally corrupt party to hold the office of the presidency.”

ALZHUMOR:  THREE MORE STRATEGIES FOR CAREGIVERS by Maria Deneau

ALZHUMOR: THREE MORE STRATEGIES FOR CAREGIVERS by Maria Deneau

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to be perfect and doing everything perfectly as a caregiver. LOUD BUZZER NOISE. That’s impossible.  So just “be light”…You ARE their light!

Last time here, I shared three examples of what I like to call “Alzhumor” – stories to encourage you to laugh a little as you carry out the day-to-day work of being a caregiver. Now, I share three more stories that I hope will bring you a smile.

Alzhumor Coping Strategy No. 4: Lighten Up!”

One fellow advocate of mine, “Natalie,” has a husband with VERY early onset Alzheimer’s — he is in his late 30s. Devastating to hear, right? This family just rolls with it every day. Recently, she had to take him to get some bloodwork and labs done, and they couldn’t get a needle in his arm for anything. This was important for a recent health test. So, she just looked at him and said “You are a giant weirdo, you know that?! Why can’t you just get sick like everybody else?!” With that, she and her husband laughed until they were crying (he’s still alert and aware) and the phlebotomist was mortified. Natalie just turned to her and said “Honey, you gotta lighten up. We just have that dark humor in our family.” Bravo! Don’t ever feel the need to apologize for your humor if people don’t get it.

Alzhumor Coping Strategy No. 5: Don’t Let ‘em Manipulate You…’Cause They Will.

Another friend of mine, 23-year-old “Thomas,” lost his mom to early onset Alzheimer’s at 48 years old. He was also one of her caregivers.  They had the BEST sense of humor, even before the disease hit. Very dry. One day, he was trying to get her dressed for a family party and she wasn’t cooperating. In a rare impatient moment (he was running late), he finally said “Come on, mom. Please put on your dress so we can go!” Mom, who was still able to dress herself, stated, “I don’t know how to put on my damn dress. I have Alzheimer’s. YOU do it. I can’t remember how.” Convenient for her, right?! What else can you do but laugh? Which Thomas did.

Alzhumor Coping Strategy #6– Expect the Unexpected. There Is No Other Way to Put It.

Then there was that moment when my dad was hospitalized from caregiver exhaustion and burnout after hiding my mom’s new personality traits, and my brothers and I had to take care of her for a few days: worst nightmare. My mom was in dire need of a shower and I finally got her into the bathroom, but she wouldn’t get in without a shower cap. Mind you, her hair was the dirtiest part. I didn’t argue; I just rooted through the cabinet for a shower cap and actually found one. As I turned around to help her put it on, she said “I’m ready, I found it.” Except that she hadn’t. She had found a pair of clean Depends and put them on her head like the Papal crown as she stood there buck naked. My first instinct was to cry, as this was a new frontier for my proper, elegant mom and me. Crying wasn’t what emerged, though. Instead (again), it was laughter. I started laughing, and my mom just laughed right along with me! Are you seeing a pattern here?

Ultimately, our loved ones with Alzheimer’s may not know WHY they love you, or who you actually are, but they somehow know that they love you, even in the oddest of ways. So when times get tough, just remember: keep laughing.

[Maria (Martini) Deneau is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and is the only daughter of four children born to Bernard and Evelyn Martini. She is a graduate of The University of Cincinnati and is currently employed by Kindred Healthcare in Southwest Michigan as a Home Health Specialist (Account Liaison) and has worked in senior healthcare since 2007.  Maria serves as a Board Member for Fund Development at Senior Services of Kalamazoo County and also serves as a Networking Board Member for Professionals Focused on Aging in Kalamazoo, MI.  She has also been recognized by the state of Ohio Senate for Outstanding Achievement and exemplary service to the community and its youth while living in Cincinnati, Ohio.]

 

 

 

 

 

THINK I’LL APPLY FOR A WHITE HOUSE JOB by Milt Hankins

THINK I’LL APPLY FOR A WHITE HOUSE JOB by Milt Hankins

I’ve been thinking about applying for a job at the White House. Seriously! As I understand it, many positions–from chief departmental personnel to ambassadorships–are available. The most noticeable, of course, is (still pending) Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

What do I know about hiring at the highest level? Not much. But, it does seem to me that highly qualified persons would be standing in line for some of these jobs. There’s always the danger, however, if one makes a mistake of hearing those horrible words “You’re Fired!”

QUEEN ELIZABETH II

Let me see. I’ve traveled extensively. I met the president of Argentina once. He’s long gone! I saw the Queen of England in Hawaii while serving in the U.S. Air Force. She’s eternal! I’ve had brief conversations with several presidents of the United States from John F. Kennedy to Richard Nixon to Jimmy Carter.

I have education, administrative experience, years of writing and public speaking experience. I’d be perfect. I even have a passport!

But I wouldn’t stand a chance. One look at my social media accounts, my columns and my webzine and I’ll be dead in the water. I’m an avowed liberal!

Looking over the cabinet positions already filled, I realize I don’t have any money in any large, New York financial institution; I’m not head of a major corporation; I wasn’t a major campaign contributor (to Trump’s campaign); I’m not a congressman or a senator; I believe in climate change and know something about the dangers of polluting our air and water (my father and grandfather were coal miners); I taught school at several levels, so I do know something about education.

         CLIMATE CHANGE

Then, of course, I believe Planned Parenthood is extremely valuable for the women and children of this country. I support National Public Radio, and I believe we must never do anything to endanger the future of our children. And, definitely, I believe every single person in this country has a right to health care–universal, free health care. I wouldn’t turn anybody away from an emergency room or urgent care facility, even if they were illegal immigrants!

So, I guess President Trump will just have to keep looking for “qualified” people to fill all of those federal jobs.

I’ve got it! I think I have a solution! The president needs to take a look at the incredible number of conservative, right-wing columnists, the talking heads at FOX News and read the columns and Letters to the Editor in the major newspapers like the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle. They seem to have all the answers!

If the president can’t tear himself away from Twitter, the National Enquirer, Breitbart and their ilk long enough to search for some good help; perhaps, he can dispatch his son-in-law Jared Kushner to take on the job.

JARED KUSHNER

Kusher already has the largest portfolio in the Trump administration. What’s one more responsibility?

During his campaign, Donald Trump repeated “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” ad nauseum. He promised better health care, tax relief and infrastructure improvement. Maybe, if he hired some qualified staff people and turned to professionals who know what they’re doing, he could fulfill some of those campaign promises.

If the president would just allow one or two people to tell him the truth about himself and show him how to run the Oval Office, he’d be well on his way.

He could start by firing Sean Spicer!

[Milt Hankins is the publisher and editor of Columnist with a View. His weekly column appears in the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch every Monday morning. He has written and published two books, Ashes on the Snow and A Sensible Theology for Thinking People. Both are available through Amazon.com and/or your local bookstore. He is currently working on his third book which is a study of the book of Genesis.]