Why? What For?

I am going to be frank. These last 16-18 months have been hard, VERY hard here in Texas and the U.S. And it is not just me.

I was asked today “Why do you insist on living where you live?” The mere fact that the question was asked was indicative of the ignorance of the person asking. They obviously did not know, could not comprehend—not that they really tried—to have any clue WHY I live where I want to live and WHY I live the way I want to live.

Does it really take such brutal honesty, in their face words, to infer upon them WHY I am who I am and I am where I want to be right now?

Yes.

I have learned over many decades that yes, it does indeed take frank, BLUNT honesty to make many people see, to understand what it means to “be true to one’s self.” And isn’t that what a life well lived is all about? To live true to self? To live in a way that impacts not only others, but also makes yourself whole? That you BELONG in this time, right here, right now if you are acutely aware of your place and purpose… with everyone you are with and your family?

I say yes. Actually, I scream YES!

What else is living life for(?)… with those you deeply love and care for and try to play your important part in the big scheme of everyone in this time, in this moment?

~ ~ ~ § ~ ~ ~

About a week ago I FINALLY went—physically—to my needed in-person doctors follow-up appointment. It had been over a year since I was able to do so. I suspect MANY people were not able to physically, in-person, see their physician… because of the whole COVID-19 disaster.

A week later, after blood-work and necessary lab-work my doctor felt necessary to obtain, for understandable causes that he was seeing in most all of his patients, he wanted additional tests with my blood-work. Unfortunately, a lot more money too for this lab-work. But it was very needed. Most intelligent people/patients understood that going over 1-year without physically seeing your physician and not being able to give your blood to them… was critically important.

My physician reentered my Exam Room and asked, “I would like to also test your Vitamin D levels. Is that okay? It is an additional cost of X-amount of dollars (not cheap), but I really think it is important to check. Is that alright?” I replied yes of course. “I expected the entire gament of whatever you wanted” I said to him “in this overdue visit. That’s fine.

Those results have come back. Not only were they not good, my physician said “Dwain, they are horrendous.

Apparently the healthy range for a person’s vitamin D level is 30-100 (ng/mL). My doctor told me mine was a dismal, shocking “9.” I could hear it in his voicemail to me.

If you do not know why vitamin D is important to our health, allow me to briefly explain. WebMD.com explains Vitamin D Defiency this way:

If you shun the sun, suffer from milk allergies, or adhere to a strict vegan diet, you may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight. It is also occurs naturally in a few foods—including some fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks—and in fortified dairy and grain products.

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rickets, a disease in which the bone tissue doesn’t properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities. But increasingly, research is revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against a host of health problems.

Needless to say, prolonged vitamin D deficiency from not being out and about, in the Sun, with or without others (strangers included) is NOT GOOD for a healthy human life. Well DUH, right? But that hasn’t really been so possible for the last 16-18 months has it?

But in indirect ways I knew this was the sort of sacrifice the team HAD to do. I have been a recluse, a hermit basically, for the last year and four or six months. Why? Because that’s public health & safety. Plain and simple. I also wore a mask every time I HAD to got out in public for necessary life-priority items. I also stayed at least 6-10 feet away from anyone—despite the fact that many DID NOT do that and worse, were not wearing a god dayum mask! Which disturbed me and kept me inside, alone, out of the Sun (for vitamin D) so that I would not contribute MORE death, MORE hospitalizations to overrun, overburdened hospitals and ICU’s.

Despite my happy sacrifice for “the team,” for the public, for a known recovery and possible elimination of this god dayum viral pandemic, I am now Vitamin D Deficient along with 4-5 other medical conditions exacerbated by this virus. This is not to mention the OTHER ripple-effects, impacts (financially) this continued pandemic has caused… because Texas and America DOES NOT have enough “team players.

For the rest of the world, PLEASE PLEASE do not call us by anything other than the Disunited States of America. We have far too many egotistical, self-gratifying imbeciles to be worthy of a name, an honorable team-name such as the UNITED States of America. No, that has disappeared many years ago because we prefer to nurture, promote, and celebrate individuals, those who do whatever they fucking wish “In the name of freedom, liberty, blah blah blah…” and NOT for a greater good, but instead for their own benefit, their own ideology, their own patriotism, wealth and political party. God Bless America and God Bless our opulent Wealth—Screw Everyone Else.

Que the national anthem… “Star Spangled Banner” of American Self, Self, and more wealthy Self. Dog eat dog and screw everyone else. We are the nation everyone wants to immigrate to. HAH! How very very funny and yet, incomprehensibly a Catch-22. Ah, maybe it’s just Texas. 🥴


By the way, I am trying very hard to finish my family vacation posts with pictures, videos and tales of joy, laughter, and foolery of our adventures to the beautiful Mackinac Island, Michigan. Unfortunately, many extenuating circumstances here keep impeding this progress—all due ultimately to new COVID-19 variants and their ripple-effects everywhere in life. Plain and simple.


Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Science Always

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Global Weirding

On February 14, 2021 north Texas was hit by back-to-back “unprecedented” deep-freezing storms Uri and Viola wiping out electrical power for all 254 counties across the entire state of Texas. The temperature bottomed out at −2° Fahrenheit (−19 °C) on Tuesday the 16th, temperatures the outdated equipment, the grid, and high-demand for statewide heat could not handle. Personally, I did not have my electrical power restored until Sunday, Feb. 20th, six days later. Hot water wasn’t restored until late the following day. The internet/WiFi was not restored till Wednesday, Feb. 24th. I was one of the very fortunate 4.3-million Texans without power or heat. Way too many less fortunate Texans are only now getting clean pure water delivered or restored to their homes.

Winter storms Uri and Viola nearly wipe out the entire electrical power grid across Texas – Feb 2021

Since 2002 when the Texas Senate deregulated electricity for most of the state, Texans have had a host of REP’s to buy their power from. That does not include who transmits and delivers it. There are five providers distributing electricity to the state and they are supervised by ERCOT, or the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. This supervision includes state-wide emergencies such as February’s two back-to-back arctic blasts. According to several Texas news reports, we were only a few hours away from total long-term collapse of the state’s five power grids serving approximately 29-million customers.

For most wireless phone customers and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter they were blitzed with anti-science propaganda memes and comments. Many of these particular subscribers posted photos of deep snow drifts and hard ice with a footnote such as “Global Warming? Really?” Another was “If this is a warming planet, then we have three Moons at night! (rolling eyes emoji).” Unquestionably, these remarks were simply gross demonstrations of premature, short-sighted, uneducated arrogance.

Some of you who follow my blog have attained and maintain at least a high school AP-level or higher grasp of Earth Science and our planet’s interacting, interlocking meteorological-ecological systems. You also understand quite well Earth’s growing, intensifying tantrums to humanity’s repeated disregard to her sickly alarms. You know and understand how to read and analyze the exhaustive meteorological and oceanic data. You comprehend the supporting evidence accumulated for two centuries and more importantly over the last 20-30 years. Weather records undeniably show we are trending, headed in one direction if we continue with business as usual.

For those of us who properly discern and follow science, and the over 11,000 climatologists, meteorologists, and oceanographers along with marine biologists in 153 nations, we and those experts have all been warning every First-world nation as well as friends and families exactly what is happening: the early symptoms are the Impending Cataclysm, speeding to the point of no return. Consequential Climate Change is here without question. The first signs of critical climate change are more extreme weather events. If Earth and humanity are not at the No Return door, we are certainly on the front porch.

What Texans and most of the American Southwest and Southeast endured those 2-weeks from Uri and Viola—storms the ordinary Texas customers were wretchedly unprotected and marginalized by the five TDU’s and ERCOT—were events essentially identical to what the world’s collective atmospheric and marine scientists had been repeatedly warning us about over the last 15-20 years:  that all four seasons will become increasingly extreme, increasingly uncharacteristic, most notably winters and summers.

Although the scientific community would not officially announce, “Told you so,” we all know they were completely justified in saying it. Unfortunately, the warnings these expert scientists declared many years ago while dedicating their career-lives studying Earth’s changing climate and ecosystems—which by the way feed and sustain all living creatures on this planet, including most of all we Homo sapiens equally so—their warnings had fallen upon the apathetic deaf ears of governments and corporate industrialists with their sociopolitical cohort-base.

Earth Isn’t Warming Because Cold Weather and Snowstorms Still Occur!

This popular opinion is categorically false. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine based in Washington D.C. is an organization of three honorific societies—the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Joined together these academies marshal knowledge and expertise across disciplines to study complex and sometimes contentious issues, reach consensus based on the evidence, and identify the best path forward. The academies, or NASEM, concluded years ago that frigid temperature drops and snowstorms are not evidence against climate change or global warming:

Cold conditions—even bitter cold—can still happen in a warming world. For example, record low temperatures plunged the Midwest into a deep freeze in late January 2019. But at any given time, the weather in one area may or may not reflect global trends. […]

One way to see this trend is to look at how often new daily high and low temperature records are set. Daily temperatures are measured at hundreds of weather stations around the globe. In the United States, high and low records at weather stations were set at about the same rate in the 1950s. Yet since the late 1960s, the number of record daily high temperatures measured each year has been increasing at a faster rate than record daily low temperatures. This shift is largely due to far fewer record daily low temperatures in recent decades. That pattern was evident in January 2019, when there were 17 cold record temperatures set around the world and 269 heat records.

NASEM – Based on Science: Climate Change,Cold weather still happens in a warming world,” published March 9, 2020. Accessed 2/26/2021.

The fact that there are still climate change deniers today reflects one of two things: 1) a very poor education and understanding of Earth Science, particularly where and how meteorology fits into and interacts with other Earth-systems. Or 2) self-appointed ignorance. I am not going to take readers through a course all of us should’ve completed in middle school and high school. However, for the sake of all non-scientific superstitious believers who are barely novices regarding climate, I will share this quick 4-minute video that explains how Earth’s weather system functions:

Nevertheless, global warming is indeed making weather events more extreme and more frequent. This is a no brainer. Scientists know that since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution ca. 1760, human civilization and manufacturing have significantly contributed to global warming and climate change. Those sectors of industry and manufacturing have expelled untold cubic tons of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide into Earth’s atmosphere for well over 250-years.

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – 2015

Because of human industry and waste, less and less heat from our Sun escapes the atmosphere returning back out into space. This entrapment of solar heat is commonly known as the Greenhouse Effect. One of the symptoms of increased Greenhouse gases pumped into our atmosphere are extreme weather events:

As Earth’s climate has warmed, a new pattern of more frequent and more intense weather events has unfolded around the world. Scientists identify these extreme weather events based on the historical record of weather in a particular region. They consider extreme weather events to be those that produce unusually high or low levels of rain or snow, temperature, wind, or other effects. Typically, these events are considered extreme if they are unlike 90% or 95% of similar weather events that happened before in that same area.

Global warming [contributes] to the intensity of heat waves by increasing the chances of very hot days and nights. Warming air also boosts evaporation, which can worsen drought. More drought creates dry fields and forests that are prone to catching fire, and increasing temperatures mean a longer wildfire season. Global warming also increases water vapor in the atmosphere, which can lead to more frequent heavy rain and snowstorms.

NASEM – Based on Science: Climate Change,Global warming is contributing to extreme weather events,” published August 5, 2019. Accessed 2/26/2021.

Let’s not forget what great achievements have been made in science and medicine/health that have greatly bestowed a better, safer, happier, and longer life-span to the human race than ever before prior. The same science is telling us, no… screaming at us unequivocally that we must change our energy-life habits or soon suffer unimaginable hardships, irreparable devastation, and death for our generation. It also means the same and likely much worse consequences for several future generations, including your own children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. This assumes of course that your grandchildren survive what’s coming and your great grandchildren even exist at that future time.

Humanity’s Greatest Achievements in Science and Medicine

  • Vaccines (1796)
  • Penicillin (1928)
  • Genome editing (2012)
  • RNA Sequencing (2006)
  • Anesthesia (1846)
  • Medical imaging (1895)
  • Organ transplants (1954)
  • Electricity (1750’s)
  • Teamwork/Psychology and Diplomacy (1879 or sooner)
  • Antiviral drugs (1960’s)
  • Immunotherapy (1970’s)
  • Artificial Intelligence (21st century)
  • Germ theory (1861)
  • Interplanetary travel (1960’s)

If humanity’s existence has ever been more improved, more advanced, more knowledgeable, more intelligent, and progressively more civilized, it has been accomplished through the many disciplines of science, not superstitions. Granted, several scientific advances have been made and used for war, for genocide and other atrocities, but over all recorded human history it has been the contributions of science and medicine that have made our existence on Earth more tolerable, and significantly safer as the above list attests. Applying those sciences to Global Warming and Climate Change is what will save the human race, all plants and animals (what’s left of them), and save Earth from becoming a barren planet versus a living, thriving green and Pale-blue planet.

Why Are Scientific Facts, Proofs, and Accumulated Evidence Still Unconvincing to Doubters and Deniers Today?

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation among friends, family, or strangers at a public gathering and someone in the group begins speaking on a topic as if they are the supreme authority on the matter? For example, if I began speaking as if I was an experienced F-22 Raptor pilot with 2-3 tours of duty and then someone asked me where I trained, what squadron and wing I was piloting in, and I answered truthfully “I’ve never stepped into an F-22 cockpit or simulator.” How would that affect the validity of everything I just rattled off? Or a topic I am indeed quite experienced, over 28-years, trained, played, and awarded… soccer or football to the rest of the world, and I was trying to assist a new American fan to learn and understand how offsides worked in a game. How does that affect the veracity of what I speak to others? It seems today the term “expert” is often too liberally thrown around and/or assumed when it is not deserved. This is why I always look to and consult the true “experts” of a particular field of inquiry, i.e. climatology, meteorology, biology, etc. Case and point, Katharine Hayhoe:

Hayhoe explains in her video that often when scientific facts and data are used to argue or convince others of very real Climate Change and Global Warming, they perceive it as a personal attack. Okay, fine. But what else is going on psychologically with the Doubter-Denier? It is literally impossible to be an “expert” in every discipline of science or every possible occupation in the work force or business world. Duh, right? Therefore, why is it such a struggle to plainly, publicly admit/confess that one is NOT an expert in any particular field or specialty? If you have not spent several decades or a lifetime studying and experimenting with theories in a specific field or discipline on an annual basis, then why pretend to speak as someone you are clearly not? Isn’t that an ethical issue for the Pretender?

Therefore, just shut up and quit pretending to be someone you are not! Simple, right? No. Sadly, too many people of the Internet Social-media Age hold themselves in very high-regard and spew out unfounded and/or erroneous information. Honest discretion is becoming a dying art in this age of hyper-technology and Fly-by-Night Ph.D’s. Internet Wizards of Oz are now a pandemic at the expense of true, merited experts from highly reputable institutions of academia.

To conclude, if you are unaware of what exactly “Global Weirding” entails, then here is a common definition. It is a complimentary term to Global Warming which reflects causes by climate change and will subsequently cause various weather-related extremes, including both severe, often unprecedented hot and cold weather. Our four seasons become increasingly more intense, shortened or lengthened, and are more catastrophic over time, unless the Greenhouse gases are reduced and/or stopped being expelled into our atmosphere. The alternative?

Newsflash Texans and Americans! Expect more frequent winter storms like Uri and Viola, as well as Category 4 and 5 hurricanes every 2-4 years instead of every century, what used to be the norm. Those years and decades are gone unless humanity collectively changes our energy-habits and lifestyle. Otherwise, Mother Earth is going to turn into the most vengeful Bitch ever imagined and lay waste to life as we know it. She will humble our arrogance, apathy, and ignorance without a second thought or a bit of sympathy. Guaranteed. She is trying to warn us. Are we going to listen and heed her anger?

∼ ∼ ∼ § ∼ ∼ ∼

If you would like more extensive scientific information, reports, and facts compiled over two decades, go here: the IPCC, or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There you will find regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.


Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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More Evangelicals Turn Against Trump

It’s great news isn’t it? I for one am smiling big with some chuckles. During times like this—and they have been many!—I often say to myself as if I was a Conservative or Evangelical (but I’m not!), with a shocked expression, “Oh SH*T! I didn’t see that coming or happening.” HAH! And surprise surprise, we have yet another one America!

robert-schenck

Rev. Rob Schenck

I typically wouldn’t published a post predominately about and by a religious evangelical activist, let alone one by Reverend Rob Schenck. But this one time I am making an exception because this interview on PBS’ Amanpour & Company with Michel Martin this past Tuesday, June 16th is a remarkably insightful look at the current state of American Evangelicalism in the volatile, turbulent Trump Era. The interview with Schenck is particularly revealing given that it was America’s Evangelical communities and organizations that helped Trump get elected in 2016. Now those same Evangelicals are becoming increasingly disenfranchised with the unstable, impulsively unpredictable President. They are once again justified.

If you are unfamiliar with the Rev. Rob Schenck, he burst onto the scene of public awareness first in 1988 with his “Faithwalk” from Canada, through the U.S., and into Mexico City, then again in 1992 in Buffalo, NY, at an abortion clinic where he affectionately cradled a preserved fetus named “Tia,” grabbing national and global attention for his Pro-life beliefs. Rev. Schenck later became a key role and player in Washington D.C. for The National Memorial for the Preborn, later named the National Pro-Life Religious Council, an annual pro-life event inside the U.S. Capitol complex. Schenck has organized many Conservative-Religious events, movements, and meetings across the U.S. with government officials and has been heavily involved with pro-life projects. His most infamous involvement was with his one or more national organizations paying Anti-abortion poster-girl Norma McCorvey over $450,000 to publicly campaign against and denounce Roe v. Wade and abortions. Schenck now regrets that highly unethical exploitation of McCorvey and has since reversed his position, publicly supporting Roe v. Wade.

With his very controversial background it made Rev. Schenck’s comments in this 17-minute interview that more startling, more eye-opening about Trump’s crumbling support of Evangelicals for his reelection hopes. I urge all of you to watch. If you would rather read the transcript of the segment, click here then scroll down and click “Read Transcript.”

Using the Bible as a prop. Rev. Schenck goes on to say it was a political stunt meant to reinforce the devotion of certain voters. And furthermore, many television viewers do not know what Trump’s staff did to control that predetermined area and church property that he seized control of a church, by using military-grade force, even against the clergy that were present there, evicting essentially an entire sector of the city… Many well-known Evangelicals and Conservatives are rightly doubting and criticizing their elected Administration that as Rev. Schenck regrettably puts it was a Faustian deal made with Donald Trump where he…

promised, I will give you everything you have ever wanted on your laundry list of political deliverables, if you give me what I want and demand, and that is religious cover. I need you to say that I’m blessed of God and that everything I have done is good.

America, all registered voters for this upcoming election, if that isn’t a dystopian political police-state eerily similar to the one portrayed in the 2005 film V for Vendetta, then I don’t know what is. But what I find no sympathy for is with Rev. Schenck and his supporters/followers, Pat Robertson, and all American Evangelicals or Christians who voted for this immoral, incompetent whacko they helped put into the White House. Intelligent Americans for decades knew this about Donny T. and everything about his character, family, personal life, and sketchy, abusive real estate failings and mediocre business practices since his celebratizing in 1982! Trump is very well-known to admire and support powerful, wealthy, corrupt Mafia-style men as well as men known to have abusive, illegally exploitative histories against women and/or girls. Therefore, does Rev. Schenck and America’s Evangelicals and Conservatives really deserve our sympathy now?

Is it worth saying to them in a calm yet firm tone I told you so”?

————

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Republicans Say Trump is Done

When I read this headline The Trump Presidency Is Over followed by the sub-header of It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain. written by a life-long Republican supporter and contributing journalist Peter Wehner for The Atlantic, I was relieved and astonished. I had to stop my current work on a different blog-post and quickly share this news. Really? Say it isn’t so! They are indeed rational?

Finally the moderate, but deeply loyal party-line Republicans who foolishly bought into Trump’s dump-truck loads of ridiculous rhetoric were waking up out of their coma and stupor of hardcore, blind party-lines-first addiction and foremost gaining some rational logic, critical-thinking and assessing, re-establishing needed science, and returning to an old American tradition of the greater good for all Americans. Someone who finally came to their senses, a long-time Republican devotee was finally courageous enough to speak-up and say enough is enough from this Mob-style, audacious, delusional, lying Con-artist! Bravo, bravo, BRAVO Peter Wehner! Here are his opening two paragraphs:

When, in January 2016, I wrote that despite being a lifelong Republican who worked in the previous three GOP administrations, I would never vote for Donald Trump, even though his administration would align much more with my policy views than a Hillary Clinton presidency would, a lot of my Republican friends were befuddled. How could I not vote for a person who checked far more of my policy boxes than his opponent?

What I explained then, and what I have said many times since, is that Trump is fundamentally unfit—intellectually, morally, temperamentally, and psychologically—for office. For me, that is the paramount consideration in electing a president, in part because at some point it’s reasonable to expect that a president will face an unexpected crisis—and at that point, the president’s judgment and discernment, his character and leadership ability, will really matter.

But let me skip ahead in his telling article to correctly be as fair as possible on his own party’s representative, as opposed to a true representative of the American people as a whole or the U.S.’s core principles of a Constitutional democracy and supporter of all its sacred institutions:

To be sure, the president isn’t responsible for either the coronavirus or the disease it causes, COVID-19, and he couldn’t have stopped it from hitting our shores even if he had done everything right.

[…]

That said, the president and his administration are responsible for grave, costly errors, most especially the epic manufacturing failures in diagnostic testing, the decision to test too few people, the delay in expanding testing to labs outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and problems in the supply chain. These mistakes have left us blind and badly behind the curve, and, for a few crucial weeks, they created a false sense of security. What we now know is that the coronavirus silently spread for several weeks, without us being aware of it and while we were doing nothing to stop it. Containment and mitigation efforts could have significantly slowed its spread at an early, critical point, but we frittered away that opportunity.

I hardly need say anymore on this complete failure of Presidential and Executive Branch experience, leadership, and savvy to run a great nation such as the USA that so many duped Americans helped put in the Oval Office on Pennsylvania Ave., Washington D.C. What IS going to be horribly sad and unforgettable for the legacy of one of America’s worst Presidents in all our 244-year history and 4-years of instability is that he was basically clueless of federal protocols and foolish in thinking our nation could be run exactly like his dubious private businesses, six failed bankrupt ventures included, and dupe a large portion of American voters into thinking radical, extreme, bullying, fear-spreading, and reckless business-dealing would EVER work in governing a global economic player-nation with a plethora of other diplomatic and foreign entities, especially when valuable allies and semi-allies require superb grace, wit, respect, and often a show of stoicism and verbalizing less as opposed to bowing up your chest and behaving like a 10-year old school-yard bull in a China closet.

Enough said. Take it on the chin America, learn this painful lesson. Then please read the entire Peter Wehner article in The Atlantic and his critique of our fake, tragically bogus, “unfit” President that duped many, MANY American voters in 2016.

———

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Believe Every Word!

All we’re doing is passing our savings on to our client base.
It’s a proprietary strategy. I can’t go into it in great detail.
But take my word for it, for the most part
you can ignore those market swings.
Bernie Madoff responding to his clients, 2001

————

Lesson 1: Why lying well or sounding truthy can be self-nurturing and very lucrative. I am not saying that one needs to be a conspiracy theorist 24/7. What I am saying is that much of the time you need to stay sharp and not take everything at face value, especially when it is all dressed up looking and sounding pretty. Here are four more examples that beg for fools and fun, or painful trouble, depending on which side of the result you’re on.

  • In order to become old and wise, you must first be young and stupid.
  • The most dangerous animal out there is the shy, silent man.
  • Wouldn’t it be great to have a six-month vacation twice a year?
  • Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life.

The art of verbal flatulence is alive and well today. In all honesty, it has been quite well and thriving for many centuries and likely several millenia. Only today, it is sometimes dressed up and symphonious then other times so audaciously in your face and eccentric that the gullible audience begins to consider “Well, maybe it IS true.” Take for another prime example last evening’s State of the Union address to Congress.

Thanks to the Poynter Institute’s commitment to excellent journalism and its unparalleled non-profit service in providing a resource for anyone who aspires to engage and reliably inform all citizens. They serve 21st-century democracies, around the globe for people who honor all human rights, self-government, and freedom of expression (speech) coupled with a speaker’s or writer’s ownership of truths or lies. They also provide the invaluable Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checking website PolitiFact.com.

Here are some of [President Trump’s] comments [during the SoU address], fact-checked or with additional explanation or context. This report includes information on three accurate statements and 12 claims that are inaccurate, exaggerated or lack context.

Because 25% (to be kind) is such a horrible score at telling the truth, I am picking eight of Trump’s 12 wrong, overblown, and lacking good context comments to illustrate that not every word can be believed by Bernie Madoff President Donnie Trump.

On the Economy

President Trump:  “Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades.”

Wages are indeed rising, but they began their upward trajectory under President Barack Obama, and wages actually rose a bit faster under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

One common measurement of wages is median usual weekly real earnings for full-time wage and salary workers 16 years and older, an inflation-adjusted figure.

During Trump’s presidency, this figure has risen from $351 to $355, an increase of 1.1 percent over the better part of two years.

But the current wage increase began in earnest in the second half of 2014, when Obama was still more than two years away from leaving the White House. Overall, wages increased by 7.5 percent over that period, from $330 to $355.

This rise in wages wasn’t as steep as the country saw in the 1990s. Between the fourth quarter of 1997 and the first quarter of 2002, wages rose from $314 to $341, an increase of 8.6 percent.Louis Jacobson

President Trump:  “African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded.”

This was accurate in 2018, but is out of date. Unemployment levels for each group reached record lows under Trump’s watch.

African-American unemployment fell to a record of 5.9 percent in May, and is at 6.8 percent as of January. Asian unemployment fell to 2.0 percent in May, and is now at 3.2 percent. Hispanic unemployment reached 4.4 percent in December 2018, and is now at 4.9.

But these trends began under former President Barack Obama, and economists say presidents don’t deserve either full credit or full blame for the unemployment rate on their watch.Manuela Tobias

President Trump:  “Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence and not government coercion, domination, and control.”

This is a variation on misleading attacks Republicans repeatedly made on Democrats during the 2018 midterms.

The narrowest definition of socialism is where the state owns all the means of production. Democrats have not called for the government to take over business.

American politicians such as U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., or U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., have used the term to call for a dramatic expansion of the social safety net, including already available health care programs. They typically propose much higher tax rates to pay for the programs.

That resonates with the systems in place in Europe, not Venezuela.Amy Sherman

President Trump:  “We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs.”

Trump is close on overall job creation but less accurate on manufacturing jobs.

The United States has added 5.3 million jobs since Trump was elected in November 2016. Counting from when he took office in January 2017 makes the figure a bit smaller, at 4.9 million.

As for manufacturing jobs, the number rose from about 12.4 million in January 2017 to 12.8 million in January 2019, or an increase of 454,000. We should add that the increase in manufacturing jobs under Trump followed a rise under Obama that began in 2010, when the worst of the Great Recession had passed.Louis Jacobson

On Foreign Policy

President Trump:  “For years, the United States was being treated very unfairly by friends of ours, members of NATO — but now over the past couple of years, we have secured a $100 billion increase in defense spending from NATO allies.”

This could [might] be true two years from now.

NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said that’s what the European members expect to spend, and he credited Trump’s “clear message.”

“By the end of next year, NATO allies will add 100 — 100 billion extra U.S. dollars for defense,” Stoltenberg said on Fox News Jan. 27.

In constant dollars, NATO member defense spending has gone up about $24 billion since 2016. In current dollars, the amount is $48 billion. While we don’t know Stoltenberg’s starting point, $100 billion requires a steep rise, and we won’t know if it comes true until many months from now.Jon Greenberg

On Abortion

President Trump:  “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.”

This distorts the circumstances covered by the law signed Jan. 22 by New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

Previously, women in New York could only get abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy if their lives were threatened. Under the new law, women can also get an abortion after 24 weeks if their health is threatened or the fetus isn’t viable.

The law codifies for New York the same standards established by the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.

Jen Villavicencio, an ob-gyn in the Midwest who provides abortions, told PolitiFact recently that late-term abortions are rare and usually due to medical crises. The Guttmacher Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both report that slightly more than 1 percent of all abortions occur after 21 weeks.

“Abortions are not performed at 40 weeks on healthy, viable pregnancies,” Villavincencio said. “Overwhelmingly, abortions that occur at this point in pregnancy are pregnancies where lethal fetal anomalies have been diagnosed.” —Jon Greenberg and Ciara O’Rourke

On Immigration

President Trump:  “Year after year, countless Americans are murdered by criminal illegal aliens.”

We can’t specifically document how many U.S. citizens have been killed, because there is no national database on murders committed by immigrants in the country illegally. There also is no national data or study tracking the nationality of the victims, experts have also told us.

And while some immigrants here illegally have committed murders, research indicates that immigrants are less likely to engage in criminal behavior than the native-born population. —Miriam Valverde

On Energy

President Trump:  “We have unleashed a revolution in American Energy – the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world.”

This is mostly accurate. The United States ranks first in both, but that’s only new for crude oil.

In 2017, the United States ranked first in the total production of petroleum and other liquid fuels as well as natural gas. Within the subset of crude oil production, the United States edged past Russia and Saudi Arabia in the summer of 2018, according to the Energy Information Administration, the federal office that collects energy statistics.

But the United States has been the world’s largest oil producer since 2012, and the largest natural gas producer for years.Manuela Tobias

Lesson 2: Lying better and sounding sensational doing it can also be very self-nurturing, very lucrative, and somewhat bumpy stepping on and over the many imbecile suckers in your wake of destiny. To the patient, experienced critical-thinker the minute you have to embellish, to sensationalize, hype it up and (try to) push people’s buttons and triggers… you are showing all your cards. Game over. But not everyone understands the con-man’s, showman’s game. Otherwise this man would not be in the White House in the first place.

That said however, Americans are not hard to figure out. The Land of Capitalistic Opportunity” or anything goes unless you get caught does enable the massive egos of the clinically psychiatric to thrive. Many Americans love (are obsessed with?) a great bombastic rebel. Our national history is without a doubt replete with them.

Fyi Nan, the clip is only 2.5 minutes. 😉

To read the rest of PolitiFact.com’s fact-checking on President Trump’s February 5th State of the Union speech, click here. It deserves noting too that the immediate Democratic response to the President’s speech by Stacey Abrams was also without context and more specific facts — hence, leaning to rhetoric and propaganda.

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Look Deeper for Your Own Good, Please!

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