Nevadans: Choose Wisely

Nevadans have the opportunity to choose.
Deceit, manipulation, and lies have proved Ted Cruz to be nothing more than a commensurate Washington politician. He was educated in East Coast schools, practiced law in Washington DC, hid personal loans from Goldman Sachs and Citibank from Texas voters,  and is not respected or liked by Senate peers. In short, he cannot be trusted.
Then there is Marco Rubio who claims more than any to have extensive foreign policy experience when that largely consists of sitting in a chair in a Senate committee room for briefings. He rarely showed up for votes in the Senate and has the worst voting record of any Senator. His prior experience consists of time in the Florida General Assembly. A lot of mouth and no action.
Both are less-than-one term Senators ala Barrack Obama.  Neither has managed anything including a hot dog stand, so know little about business or economics.
Nevadans, please choose wisely.

Indiana HB1082

If you care about Indiana’s natural environment, pay attention.
The Tribune front page Associated Press article on February 16th reported on an Indiana Senate committee hearing about House Bill 1082. This bill passed the Indiana House with co-sponsorship by Representative Heath VanNatter and the “aye” vote of both him and Representative Mike Karickhoff, our local representatives. What are they thinking?
HB1082 strips the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Environmental Rules Board (ERB) of the authority to make or enforce any environmental rules or standards more stringent than the corresponding regulation or standard established under federal law. In short, this says that VanNatter and Karickhoff trust the federal government more than Hoosiers to make the wisest decisions about Indiana environmental protection. They want the federal government to set both the floor and the ceiling on environmental regulations. In the past, the federal government has set only the floor. Under this bill, Hoosiers will not be able to address unique environmental issues with stronger regulations than elsewhere in the nation even if Hoosiers decide they are needed. Any stronger regulations would only be permitted under specific statute passed by the General Assembly. No immediate actions could be taken. The IDEM Environmental Rules Board would be in a straight jacket. One must wonder why.
The IDEM Environmental Rules Board, which makes environmental policy in Indiana, consists of 16 members including 11 appointed by the governor and 6 specifically defined ex officio members.  The ERB came into existence on January 1, 2013, but did not meet until after the inauguration on January 14th of Governor Mike Pence. Under the legislation that established the ERB; the Indiana Air Pollution Control Board, Solid Waste Management Board, and the Water Pollution Control Board were all abolished. Shortly after Pence’s inauguration, he issued an executive order placing a moratorium on new regulations, and announced plans to initiate a process to review all existing regulations with the exception of federal mandates not subject to a waiver request, rules needed to reduce the cost or burden on job creation, and rules to address emergency health or safety concerns. Again, in short, he took action to prevent adoption of any more stringent environmental regulations. Now comes HB1082 which adds to limiting the authority of the ERB. Why?
The AP article tells why. Fred Mills, the director of governmental affairs for the Indiana Energy Association, is quoted as saying “This is not about what is happening today, this is about what could happen.” The article goes on to point out that IDEM’s leadership could be shuffled by a Democratic governor in the future who is “less inclined to give business a break”. So, here it is: control.  The passage of HB1082 cements that control by making it a requirement that any regulation more stringent than federal regulation be approved by specific General Assembly statute. The concern is not about protection of our natural environment. Be clear, it is about political and corporate control.

The Ringmaster

The South Carolina debate was a real circus that had one “RingmasteTrump&GOP 1r“: Donald J. Trump!
Trump has the establishment GOP going nuts. In New Hampshire, he drew support from every demographic one can imagine. People are both angry and afraid. And the establishment GOP candidates are just not convincing they would or could shake up the system that has put the United States at real risk.
The latest that really upset people is the announcement by Carrier Air Conditioning (United Technologies) that it is moving a manufacturing plant to Mexico. Just the kind of corporate thing Trump has spoken about for months.  Some 1,400 people in an Indianapolis plant will be losing their jobs.
The United States has been shipping manufacturing and other well paying jobs out of the country by the millions. The Obama administration via the Department of Labor statistics touts a 5.6% unemployment rate, but here are things you need to know.
If you are so hopelessly out of work that you have stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor does not count you as unemployed. If, for example, you are an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you are not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because that is all you can find, the government does not count you in the 5.6%. Right now there are as many as 30 million Americans either out of work or severely underemployed. So, we have been fed the BIG LIE.
Trump may not be an angel, but he may be our only hope. We must stop the horrible trade agreements, stop the incentives that send jobs to other countries, stop the inflow of immigrants [legal and illegal] that in part take what jobs there are, and stop the ability of corporations to escape their financial responsibilities by locating “headquarters” in other countries while raping the people of the USA. Trump has talked about all of this.
It is going to be interesting to see what the people of South Carolina think.

NOT Cruz

The Kokomo Tribune’s editorial about the dirty tricks perpetrated by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa caucus was on target. Cruz needed to be called to task for the mailer misrepresenting Iowa election law according to the Iowa Secretary of State and for exploiting the erroneous but quickly corrected tweet by CNN that Dr. Ben Carson was suspending his campaign; so vote for Cruz. These actions by Cruz were typical of dirty politicians. There is more.
Cruz bills himself as the true evangelical Christian and Tea Party darling in the race for President. The intended message to this constituency: vote for me. There is an elephant in the room. According to the Associated Press, between 2006 and 2010, Cruz and wife donated less than 1% of income to charity; and NONE to churches. Let me repeat… NONE to churches! Is this the way of a true Christian? I think not. It is politics as usual. All talk; no action. There is more.
Cruz has less than one term in the US Senate. To win his Senate bid, he obtained, but did not report, a several hundred thousand dollar loan from Goldman Sachs, the financial giant on Wall Street at the center of controversy about East Coast and Wall Street power. How was this loan possible? Cruz’s wife, Heidi, is a long time investment banker with Goldman Sachs. He also secured a line of credit from Citibank, another of the Wall Street financial giants. Cruz claimed he and his wife had liquidated their personal

Cruz - Honest?
Look honest?

savings to fund his campaign. This wasn’t exactly true. They used their assets as loan collateral. However, he didn’t want the voters in Texas to know the truth. He was running his campaign as a critic of bank bailouts and corporate cronyism. A New York Times article exposed his loans and reporting failures. When confronted with this during a debate, he dismissed his dishonesty as a “paper error” and attacked the New York Times. He next attempted to fog over his failings by attacking New York values. The buzz saw called Donald Trump made quick work of that tactic. There is more.
Cruz bills himself as a Washington outsider but in truth he is a consummate East Coast Washingtonian. He graduated from Princeton and Harvard. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, and then practiced corporate law. He served George W. Bush as a domestic policy advisor. He was an associate deputy attorney general in the Department of Justice and has argued cases before the Supreme Court.  He never managed anything—not even a hot dog stand. Cruz knows little about business or economics.
Cruz is a politician with a golden tongue and scant business experience. Similar to our current President, he has served less than one term as a United States Senator. Yet, he boldly declares he is the ideal Republican Presidential candidate. I strongly disagree. Seek elsewhere.

Spring is Coming

It is only February, but soon the countryside will be filled with tractors plowing and planting crops for this year. About all that will be seen from horizon to horizon are fields dedicated to growing genetically modified, or genetically engineered, corn and soybeans. The final destinations for these crops following harvest this fall will be livestock feed and, in one form or another, food for our tables. No one will know that though because none will be labeled, “GMO”, or genetically modified.
That label is required for GMO’s in over 60 countries worldwide. These include all of Europe, Australia, Japan, Russia and dozens of others. Some countries ban genetically modified foods altogether. One has to wonder if other countries know something we don’t. The big seed and chemical companies do not want labels. They have successfully stopped labeling in the United States so far. They do not want people to know what is in the food they eat. It is a secret to be kept by them only.
There are many questions concerning genetically modified foods and their long term safety for people and the environment. More and more evidence is accumulating saying all is not well. All is not well for people and animals that eat these foods. All is not well for the natural environment and the genetic contamination GMOs bring. All is not well with the use of toxic chemical poisons, herbicides and pesticides, used on the crops or in the case of GMO corn with the pesticide that each and every cell in the plant produces on its own — and that wind up every corn kernel. All is not well with the pesticide residues on harvested crops. All is not well. But all that is to be kept secret, too.
The historical record shows that even the scientists in the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) were concerned about the safety of genetically modified crops over 20 years ago. That did not matter because the people that approved them were political appointees. One key appointee at the FDA was an attorney for a firm doing work for Monsanto before he came to the FDA. Although he has been in and out of the FDA and Monsanto more than once, he is even now in a key food safety position at the FDA in the Obama administration.
Many states have had GMO labeling legislation introduced. The most visible one was California. The big agriculture and food corporations spent about $45 million on a publicity campaign to narrowly defeat Proposition 37 there. That is a lot of money. The private citizens who believe they have a right to know what is in their food could not match that kind of steamrolling propaganda effort. One wonders what there is to hide if that kind of money is spent to defeat a law that would simply tell people what is in their food.
This is reminiscent of the tobacco companies that kept people in the dark for decades about the bad long term health effects of smoking. The corporate executives even lied to Congress. The largest GMO seed and chemical corporation that wants us to trust them is the one that gave us DDT, Dioxin, PCBs, Agent Orange and more. Do you trust them?

Burlington Clinic Anew

What strikes me as a heart warming story appeared in the February 5th issue of the Kokomo Tribune. It was about the opening of a new medical clinic in the small rural community of Burlington. Now Burlington is no metropolis. It is a community of about 600 or so population located in the far south east corner of Carroll County. Highways 22 and 39 meet in the middle of town. There is a gas station close for fill up for your car and yourself. You see it has a Subway restaurant as a part of the station. Burlington also has a couple of other restaurants, a lumber/hardware store, a couple of antique shops, and the community library. That is about it.
Right outside of town it did have the Wagoner Clinic. The Wagoners have now long gone because they were found guilty of being a major narcotics distribution operation. But, they also legitimately served as the only medical clinic in the area for the folks of Burlington. The problem was that people from all over the place found getting narcotics there extremely easy. With the demise of this clinic, the people have the choice of getting medical services from Delphi, Kokomo, or Russiaville; all about 15 miles or so away. This works for many, but in times of bad weather or for folks with limited transportation or the elderly, it produced hardship.
Many of the people chose to head for the North Central Nursing Clinic at Delphi. This clinic is affiliated with the Purdue University School of Nursing. Susan Overholser, the Director in Delphi, saw a need for the Burlington area. She and Burlington community leaders found a way. Now the North Central Nursing Clinics has a location in the Burlington Community Club building adjacent to Burlington Park.
Amy Aeschliman is the family nurse practitioner that heads the Burlington services. She has a background  of 17 years at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. But, she was raised in Russiaville and has a mother that lives in Burlington. What a perfect fit.
So, Burlington now has medical services close at hand. Major health facilities are in Kokomo and Lafayette for those kinds of needs, but the day-to-day health care needs of a very small community are now more than adequately met. Good conclusion.