The federal government will take action on a petition by the state of New York seeking to close a loophole that currently allows highly flammable crude oil to be shipped by rail through communities in New York and across the country.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is pleased that the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will act on his petition.
“In New York, trains carrying millions of gallons of crude oil routinely travel through our cities and towns without any limit on its explosiveness or flammability, which makes crude oil more likely to catch fire and explode in train accidents,” he said.
In December 2015, Schneiderman filed a petition for rulemaking to the PHMSA that would require all crude oil transported by rail in the U.S. to achieve a vapor pressure of less than 9.0 pounds per square inch.
The petition directly addressed the fact that despite recent derailments of trains carrying crude that have resulted in extraordinary explosions and uncontrollable fires there is no federal limit on the vapor pressure of crude oil transported by rail.
The petition argues that reducing crude oil vapor pressures to levels below 9.0 psi is not only practical, but is necessary for minimizing the risks and severity of accidents involving railroad tank cars.
Citing the Attorney General’s petition, PHMSA announced that it will be seeking comment on vapor pressure thresholds, and will evaluate the potential safety benefits of utilizing a threshold in regulating the transport of crude oil and other dangerous materials.
The comment period will begin on December 30, 2016 and end February 28, 2017.
Vapor pressure is a key contributor to crude oil’s explosiveness and flammability. Crude oils with the highest vapor pressures – such as crude produced from the Bakken Shale formations in North Dakota – have the highest concentrations of propane, butane, ethane, and other highly volatile gases.
While the vapor pressure of the crude involved in train accidents is frequently not disclosed, in the limited number of instances it is known – including the horrific Lac-Mégantic, Quebec accident on July 13, 2013 when a derailed oil train burst into flames, destroyed the downtown area, and killed 47 people – vapor pressures have exceeded 9.0 psi.
The rulemaking announcement can be found here:
© Environment News Service (ENS) 2016. All rights reserved.
Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Moscow centre of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in his interview with Diplomaatia.....
Who in Moscow regarded Trump’s victory as good news and who felt the opposite?
To me it seemed to be good news for the US. Trump’s victory may change the course of both domestic and foreign policy, which can only benefit the US. The US elite have alienated themselves from the majority of Americans. This is a very serious issue. In this respect, Trump’s victory sends the elite a very serious message—do not forget the citizens who live in a world that is materially and mentally very different from that of those who call themselves the leaders of the American nation. The US has always fascinated me with its ability to transform itself without a revolution and, for the last 150 years, without any civil wars. The forthcoming period in US history will be undeniably bitter but beneficial.
Will Trump’s victory improve the alarmingly poor relationship between the West and Russia or make it even worse?
Western-Russian relations are not the most crucial issue from the perspective of US foreign policy. The US has wandered off too far in the world. By that I mean that in my opinion, US foreign policy is gradually moving away from representing America’s national interests. For instance, in her campaign, Hillary Clinton advocated a no-fly zone over Aleppo almost until the very last weeks. If this included Russians, everything would be clear. Yet the question was not put in that way. If the no-fly zone was imposed without Russian involvement…
That would mean war?
…then the US would have to admit that it is pure bluff, because Russian aircraft will be flying in and out of that zone as they please, causing the entire (US) foreign policy to collapse, or the planes would have to be shot down. In the latter case, one must naturally bear in mind that Russian anti-aircraft systems will respond by targeting American planes. This may not yet be considered a war but it is a kinetic conflict. Will it serve the US interests? I do not believe so.
Putin’s telegram to Trump reads “accept my sincere congratulations”. How sincere were Putin’s congratulations?
I do believe they were sincere. To Putin, Trump is a person who has not exactly had anything good to say about Russia, but has at least refrained from attacking or blaming Russia, which has become the norm in America today. Putin was sincere because he sees Trump as a person who has not been afraid to say what he thinks. What he thinks is irrelevant, what matters is that he dared to speak up. This is rare in today’s politics.
When Putin and Trump meet for the first time, what will it take for them to get along?
A lot depends on whether they manage to agree once they sit down—Putin would say, like “two real men” (dva muzhika)—and begin actual negotiations. Putin’s main problem with Western leaders is that the latter are hypocritical, two-faced as a rule. This is the style of today’s Western leaders—they have to be hypocrites simply because democracy involves many different groups who should not be offended; they have to smile and say something to all of them. They have to navigate around everyone.
Are you saying that Putin does not get along with Western leaders because dealing with such hypocrisy is oh so uncomfortable for him?
Yes, he is uncomfortable because this makes it difficult to begin serious discussions.
Putin himself is not hypocritical, I take it?
There is a difference—while the West is overwhelmingly hypocritical, Russia is predominantly cynical. Russia is a cynical country. And when this Russian cynicism meets Western hypocrisy, things just won’t work.
So Putin is a cynic rather than hypocrite?
Of course he is a cynic. He does not need to be a hypocrite because his system does not force him to be. Naturally, he is sometimes hypocritical as well, but he can allow himself to be straightforward and cynical because we are not a democratic country. He is a tsar who controls the whole situation in the country, and therefore, he can allow himself to be blunt. I am exaggerating of course, but only a little.
A new theme park, recently opened by the Iranian government, trains young children to be revolutionaries and fight against the country's enemies. Every couple of months Iranian Govt holds boot camps for children.
A military-religious amusement park, called 'The City of Games Park for Revolutionary Children' in the city of Mashad, where young children 8 years old to 13 years old are given military uniforms and are taught to engage in “battles” against Iranian enemies like the U.S. and Israel.
The Child and the Future Cultural Center' director Hamid Sadeghi said, “At the City of Games, we are trying to convey to the children messages about fighting, the Holy Defense and current global issues, through games, amusements, and group activities.”
After registering at the park for free and putting on uniforms, the children are split up into squads of 8-10, they're issued a "commander".
The young soldiers are then put through 12 "activity stations" where they simulate the Iran-Iraq war, go through a “Revolution chamber,” are trained in defending various holy shrines, fire rubber bullets at an effigy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and traverse a minefield with barbed wire.
The children are schooled about the directives of Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the current supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. At the various stations, the children can launch plastic missiles and fire plastic bullets at targets such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. and Israeli flags, effigies of ISIS fighters, and members of the Saudi royal family.
"At the final station, the children learn that the most important elements for attaining victory are wisdom and intelligence for fighting the enemy." said Sadeghi "At this station, the children are blindfolded and asked to throw a ball at an Israeli flag in the form of a puzzle and knock it down, and then to assemble a puzzle of an Iranian flag."
"So far, this City of Games has been in great demand... if the demand continues, we will extend it..."
For veterans who may have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to wartime trauma, their first step is to contact their local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vet Center or outpatient center.
But if veterans require more care, they can voluntarily check in at inpatient centers such as the Bay Pines VA Medical Center here.
Bay Pines has a 14-bed residential program for veterans with war-caused PTSD.
Tony Taylor, program manager for the warzone PTSD program at Bay Pines, a Marine Corps and Vietnam War veteran who’s worked with the VA for more than 36 years and has PTSD himself.
“I’ve seen tremendous changes,” he said. “We now have comprehensive programs designed to help veterans who suffer from PTSD. It’s a cooperative partnership we’ve established at this hospital where we have teams working together to help the veterans. The primary care doctor does the physical exam. The psychiatrists understand what medications have been proven to be effective for helping veterans with PTSD. We have psychologists and social workers who are trained in providing evidence based care for veterans with PTSD which is throughout the entire VA system,” he continued. “You will get the finest care possible through the VA system if you seek care at a VA hospital.”
Taylor said, "the next step is for veterans to be referred to the voluntary inpatient centers like Bay Pines by local Vet Centers or VA hospitals so there’s a continuity of care, both before the veteran arrives and for follow-up care after the veteran leaves Bay Pines. There are approximately 20 programs like Bay Pines."
Rose Stauffer, a licensed clinical social worker who’s been with the VA for five years and with Bay Pines for six months. She’s been in her career field 16 years.
“We can help bring down the anxiety and provide hope. People do find a way to recover from PTSD in that they can live a life that is meaningful to them, but it’s hard work and it’s a big process. There’s stuff that works and we can help you find it.”
Retired Army Staff Sgt. Manuel “Al” Alcantara, who’d served as a combat medic for more than 21 years, recently graduated from Bay Pines -- his second inpatient PTSD program.
Alcantara served three tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and he said his PTSD symptoms started showing up after his second deployment from 2005 to 2006.
He said he was in denial, destructive and had suicidal ideations. Alcantara went through his first inpatient treatment and was full of hope, but he regressed after he retired, having lost some of his battle buddies. He said he started pulling away from his family and friends and got divorced.
“I felt out of control again and the tools that I used to apply were failing. I was always angry at every little thing,” Alcantara said. “So I ended up here.”
“I learned I need support,” he continued. “I can’t do it alone. I’ve isolated myself, withdrawn and just avoided people for the last three years, and that hasn’t worked at all. I’ve learned how to make new friends and open up a little bit. Having someone who can understand you, someone who can empathize with what you’ve been through just helped me a lot. I’m not alone. Knowing my peers are going through what I’m going through helped a lot.”
Alcantara found a lifelong friend in his peer, Marine Corps and Vietnam War veteran Jim Alderman. Alderman said he plans on teaching Alcantara how to cliff dive and other adventurous sports. Alderman said Bay Pines saved his life and he recommends it to other veterans.
Alderman was a force reconnaissance Marine who taught Navy SEALs ground and water survival. He also served as a drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina, and taught close combat at the FBI Academy.
For 50 years, Alderman said he didn’t admit to himself that he had PTSD -- though he would wear a bulletproof vest and arm himself anytime he left his house. He was hesitant to go to Bay Pines for help but his wife, Pat, who he’s been married to since 1972, encouraged him to go.
Alderman said for years he thought, “I’m tougher than a bucket of nails. I am the best trained Marine the Marine Corps has ever had. I’ve been a drill instructor and a sniper. I’ve killed more people in more ways than you can shake a stick at. I can suck it up.”
“I guarantee you, there’s nobody tougher or more skeptical to do this than me and I would recommend anyone to just give it a shot,” he said. “It’s not going to be perfect. It’s not going to be easy. There’s going to be a lot of tears, a lot of heartaches, a lot of just hope and joy."
“And you need support,” Alderman continued. “You’re not going to do this by yourself. If you think you can figure it out by yourself, you’ll be just like you are for the next 10, 20, 30 years to your family, to your friends and you start getting isolated more and more. You’ll start disliking things you used to love to do. I sat in a chair for 15 years playing a video game. I really isolated myself to absolute oblivion. I had a 9 mm sitting on my stand, and I can’t tell you how many times I thought about using it. And then I joined the VA.”
Wiping tears from his eyes, Alderman added, “I have absolute heartfelt gratitude. I just can’t thank everybody in this place enough. I was kind of embarrassed to ask for help, especially with something going on in my head. I was stuck in time, back in 1967. I’m not expecting to get cured. There’s no way you’re going to cure this but they gave me tools to handle it. If you come here and have the same experience I do, you’ll leave here a better person. You’ll have a little hope and purpose, that’s all I was looking for.”
Alderman recently graduated from Bay Pines and he plans to reach out to other veterans.
DoD News Features
Ed Note: While this facility has been great for these veterans mentioned, and endeavors to do it’s best for our Vets. recent news shows there’s much room for improvement. In light of news that one vet. who passed away, was left in a shower stall for 9 hours.
On Sunday, June 3, 2007 an unknown subject, later identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as 15-year old high school student Charles Jenkins, sent an e-mail containing a bomb threat to numerous teachers and administrators of Timberline High School, near Seattle, Washington. The high school was evacuated the next day. Jenkins e-mailed bomb threats to the school every day of the next week, causing daily evacuations.
Jenkins used “proxy servers” located in Europe to send his e-mails in a manner that would hide his true location. As a result, local law enforcement officials were not able to identify or locate Jenkins and they requested assistance from the Northwest Cybercrime Task Force, which was supervised by the FBI’s Seattle Division. The FBI immediately opened an investigation.
FBI agents developed a plan to surreptitiously insert a computer program into Jenkins’s computer that would identify his true location. An FBI undercover agent posed as an editor for the Associated Press (AP) and contacted Jenkins through e-mail. During subsequent online communications, the undercover agent sent Jenkins links to a fake news article and photographs that had the computer program embedded within them. Jenkins activated the computer program when he clicked on the link to the photographs, thereby revealing Jenkins’s true location to the FBI.
FBI and local law enforcement agents subsequently arrested Jenkins and he confessed to e-mailing the bomb threats. On July 16, 2007 Jenkins pleaded guilty as a juvenile to several state felony offenses and was sentenced to 90 days of juvenile detention, 2 years of supervised release, 2 years of mental health counseling, and 2 years of probation with restrictions on internet and computer usage. Jenkins was also expelled from school.
The FBI did not publicize the assistance its agents provided local law enforcement. However, on July 18, 2007, 2 days after Jenkins pleaded guilty, the online technology news website Wired.Com released an article entitled “FBI’s Secret Spyware Tracks Down Teen Who Made Bomb Threats” that detailed the method by which the FBI identified Jenkins. Seven years later, on October 27, 2014, The Seattle Times released an article based upon e-mails obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation through a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI. Those e-mails disclosed the fact that the FBI posed as a member of the news media when it contacted and then identified Jenkins as the author of the bomb threats.
On October 30, 2014, the AP sent a letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder protesting the FBI’s impersonation of a member of the news media in connection with its investigation of the bomb threats. In addition, several newspapers wrote articles questioning the tactics the FBI used to identify and arrest Jenkins.
One week later, on November 6, 2014, FBI Director James Comey wrote a letter to the editor of The New York Times defending the FBI’s actions. In particular, Comey stated that the “technique [the FBI used to identify and apprehend Jenkins] was proper and appropriate under Justice Department and F.B.I. guidelines at the time” and that “today, the use of such an unusual technique would probably require higher level approvals than in 2007, but it would still be lawful and, in a rare case, appropriate.”
The same day, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP), on behalf of 25 other news organizations, wrote a letter to Comey and then-Attorney General Eric Holder voicing its objection to the practice of FBI agents impersonating journalists, saying the practice endangers the media’s credibility and undermines its independence, and that it appeared to violate FBI guidelines for when such tactics are permissible.
We initiated this review to examine whether under Department of Justice and FBI policies in effect at the time of the 2007 investigation, agents obtained the appropriate approval for the undercover activities the FBI conducted to locate Jenkins. We also examined whether the undercover activities in 2007 would require a higher level of approval if conducted today under current Department and FBI polices.
We concluded that FBI policies in 2007 did not expressly address the tactic of agents impersonating journalists. We further found that the FBI’s undercover policies then in effect provided some guidance, but were less than clear. As a result, we believe that the judgments agents made about aspects of the planned undercover activity in 2007 did not violate the undercover policies in place at the time. We also determined that once the undercover plan was launched, certain investigative decisions were made that could have increased the level of approval required, a possibility the investigative team did not appear to fully consider.
On June 8, 2016, as we were finalizing this report, the FBI adopted a new interim policy that provides guidance to FBI employees regarding their impersonation of members of the news media during undercover activity or an undercover operation (defined as a series of related undercover activities over a period of time). Under this new policy, FBI agents may only represent, pose, or claim to be members of the news media when authorized by the FBI Deputy Director, after consultation with the Deputy Attorney General, as part of an undercover operation reviewed by the Undercover Review Committee (UCRC). The policy expressly prohibits FBI employees from engaging in such activity if it is not part of an undercover operation. Therefore, the undercover activities in 2007 would be prohibited today unless they were part of an undercover operation reviewed by the UCRC and authorized by the FBI Deputy Director, after consultation with the Deputy Attorney General.
Based upon our review, we made three recommendations to help ensure that FBI policies governing certain undercover activities and operations are well known, clear, and understood. The FBI concurred with the recommendations.
Recommendation 1: The FBI should move expeditiously to update its undercover policy guide to incorporate the June 2016 interim policy on undercover activities in which FBI employees represent, pose, or claim to be members of the news media or a documentary film crew; and widely inform and educate FBI employees about the policy’s existence and application.
Recommendation 2: The FBI should consider the appropriate level of review required before FBI employees in a criminal investigation use the name of thirdparty organizations or businesses without their knowledge or consent.
Recommendation 3: The FBI should consider whether revisions to the USOPIG are required to ensure that undercover activity involving a significant risk that a subject believes he has entered into a privileged relationship with an undercover agent, is treated as a “sensitive circumstance.”
Office of the Inspector General
For complete report:
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is under enormous pressure from the left to crack down on the "fake news" circulating on the social-media giant. He is well-advised to run as far as he can from the News Police.
In a recent note on Facebook, Zuckerberg claimed he wanted to err "on the side of letting people share what they want whenever possible. ... We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead rely on our community and trusted third parties." The hard left, beginning with President Obama, wants to be that community, that supposedly disinterested third party. It is another step in the long march toward silence conservative thought in America.
Make no mistake about it: Fake news does exist. Everyone is used to false click-bait, like the recent "Megyn Kelly leaving Fox?" story floating around the internet, which claims she's leaving to promote some blah-blah-blah skin care product. Then there are the offshore fake news factories churning out "shocking" reports about Pope Francis backing Donald Trump.
Are these annoyances? Yes. Are they threats to Western civilization? Hardly.
he left saw an opening with talk of fake news and pounced. On the campaign trail, Obama said: "If they just repeat attacks enough, and outright lies over and over again, as long as it's on Facebook and people can see it, as long as it's on social media, people start believing it. And it creates this dust cloud of nonsense." It was an obvious slam of the Trump team.
If what Trump states is false, then to give it endless oxygen by writing story after story on it is to engage in fake news.
Fox News is mocked as Faux News by this camp. Obama told Rolling Stone that part of the problem is seeing "Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country," which is as inappropriate a complaint as it was exaggerated. He doubled down and praised the hippie hoaxmeisters of campus rape, saying: "Good journalism continues to this day. There's great work done in Rolling Stone."
Are the red flags for fake news only going to target stories that upset liberals? The leftist group Media Matters for America is claiming it will de-emphasize its Fox News obsession to focus instead on websites like Breitbart and the "alt-right" platforms in an effort to be that "trusted third party" to help run Facebook's algorithms.
Do you think they would ever call out leftist fake news outlets like, oh, themselves?
The networks have labored mightily to avoid videotapes demonstrating Planned Parenthood allegedly sold dead baby parts to fetal-tissue researchers. The left said those taped admissions are somehow faked, even after all the footage, which shows no such thing, was made available. Then there's hidden camera footage of Democratic operatives who discussed sending thugs in "Trump is a Nazi" T-shirts to agitate Trump supporters and "draw them out to punch (them)" in front of the cameras. Clearly that is fake news. Where are Obama and Media Matters when we need them?
If messing up and publishing or broadcasting false news ruins an entire outlet as fake news, then goodbye, mainstream media. ABC faked the sales of rancid meat at Food Lion. CBS offered unverified Texas Air National Guard memos against former President George W. Bush. NBC faked a pickup truck explosion. The Washington Post had Janet Cooke. The New York Times had Jayson Blair. CNN had Peter Arnett ... and Brian Williams, Brian Williams and Brian Williams.
Mark Zuckerberg really doesn't want to mess with this mess. It is censorship at its ugliest.
L. BRENT BOZELL III
AND TIM GRAHAM
The cultural problems in this country are getting out of control. Now, asking people to speak English on the job is a violation of their rights!
A new document originated by the office of legal counsel last month, the EEOC enforcement guidance on national origin discrimination transmittal covers the insurance of a sub regulatory document that provides guidance regarding the statutes enforcement. It is intended to communicate the commission's position on important legal issues.
The Obama administration went further into the affairs of businesses across the nation stating that any business that requires employees to speak english only violates federal law under a sweeping order that cracks down on
“national origin discrimination” in the workplace.“
However the document goes on to say that requiring an employee to be bi-lingual is allowed ?????????
The administration claims the new rules, which cover various scenarios that could possibly get employers in trouble, were enacted because the workforce is “increasingly ethnically diverse.”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces the nation’s workplace discrimination laws, made them public last month. “The increased cultural diversity of today’s workplaces presents new and evolving issues with respect to Title VII’s protection against national origin discrimination,” the document states. “This enforcement guidance will assist EEOC staff in their investigation of national origin discrimination charges and provide information for applicants, employees, and employers to understand their respective rights and responsibilities under Title VII.”
Two years ago, the administration sued a private American business for discriminating against Hispanic and Asian employees for not speaking English on the job.
The case against a Green Bay Wisconsin metal and plastic manufacturer for firing a group of Hmong and Hispanic workers over their English skills. “Forcing employees to speak English in the U.S. violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC“ claimed the lawsuit.
The Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination based on national origin, which includes the linguistic characteristics of a national origin group. Therefore, the EEOC argued, “foreigners have the right to speak their native language even during work hours at an American company that requires English.”
Now the agency has official federal rules to support this theory as well as other innovative discrimination categories, including “multiple protected bases.”
The new rules mention discrimination against Middle Easterners perceived to “follow particular religious practices.”
Among the ‘scenarios’ in the rules is an Egyptian, “Thomas” who claims he was harassed by his coworkers about his Arab ethnicity and Islam. “Thomas’ charge should assert national origin, race and religious discrimination,” the EEOC writes, referring to its new “multiple protected bases” category. Reassuring that it will protect Middle Easterners, The agency stated that “Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on the perception that someone is from the Middle East or is of Arab ethnicity, regardless of how she identifies herself or whether she is, in fact, from one or more Middle Eastern countries or ethnically Arab.”
Wait, there’s more...
Employers using Social Security requirements to screen applicants are warned they may be charged with discrimination because it disproportionately eliminates individuals of a certain national origin and has a disparate impact based on national origin. Making Social Security screening “unlawful under Title VII unless the employer establishes that the policy or practice is job related and consistent with business necessity,” the new rules say.
It further adds “Reliance on word-of-mouth recruiting may magnify existing ethnic, racial or religious homogeneity in a workplace and result in the exclusion of qualified applicants from different national origin groups,” That would constitute a violation of federal law, the EEOC points out, because the employer’s actions have a discriminating effect based on national origin.
The agency has been on a roll since, taking legal action against businesses across the country accusing them of discriminating against minorities for running criminal background checks and to discriminating against Muslims for not permitting hijabs on the job. “The criminal background disproportionately exclude blacks from hire,” according to EEOC lawsuits against several companies and businesses that forbid Muslim women from wearing a hijab on the job violate religious rights guaranteed under the nation’s civil rights laws even when all head coverings are banned for all employees, the EEOC states.
This is ridiculous, but fortunately this document has and expiration date listed at the top that states “This Notice will remain in effect until rescinded or superseded.”
Hopefully we can get our president elect to act on this when sworn in.
Personally I believe that if you come to America, you should learn to speak English as our forefathers did. You should be able to communicate effectively with almost everyone in this country. I believe that all government testing for any licensure should be in English, I can say this, because English isn’t my native language (keeping our editing staff busy)
I believe myself to be an American with Italian heritage, not an Italian-American, I think immigrants that come to the US should want to assimilate into our society and not try to change our society to be more like where they came from, otherwise why are they here?
If you want what you had in your home-country, then stay there.
Dear Readers: Welcome to the launch of a new column:
The Sun Bunny Diaries
by Serena MacNicol,
She lives in Bonita Beach
Being single is an adventure for everyone who finds themselves in that boat—and if you’re in your late twenties or early thirties, said boat is as packed as a makeshift raft from Cuba washing up on Little Hickory Island.
Living single in a tourist mecca like Southwest Florida, I’ve seen it all.
I’m Serena, and in the coming weeks and months, I’m going to share the good, the bad and the ugly with you—relationships, dating disasters and what it’s like to navigate the social scene flying solo.
You see, I love being single. But it’s not always a day at the beach. A lot of people have the
mindset that if you’re not married with several kids by the time you’re in your midtwenties, there’s
something wrong with you. “Oh, it’ll happen for you someday, don’t worry, dear.” If I had a dollar for
every time I heard that phrase, I wouldn’t be lurking around the Tiki Bar at the Lighthouse Resort to take advantage of Taco Tuesdays; I’d be living it up with 5 course meals at the Ritz! Unfortunately, the world is not a wish-granting factory, it would seem. Finding someone with no baggage or baby mama drama—
someone who doesn’t live in mommy’s basement on a futon—that’s no cake walk, let me assure you.
I’ve got plenty of education, and that can be a deterrent to plenty of men—especially if they’re looking for something serious. Having to dumb yourself down just to get a date is pretty weird. Of course, there are men out there who look for more than just a pretty face, but that’s as rare as the
green flash on the beach at sunset!
What I prefer to do? Look for Mr. Right Now. If he’s worthy,
eventually, that ‘now’ part will fall away—naturally. In the meantime, I get to deal with a parade of
workaholics, alcoholics, mama’s boys, porn addicts, sex addicts, and the occasional illegal substance addict...
I think my favorites honestly have to be the Gold’s Gym beta males who spend more time checking in at the gym on facebook so everyone knows they’re going there. They then spend the next half hour preening in front of the mirror and flexing their muscles at the girls who come to the gym in lots of spandex, makeup and perfectly coiffed hair with no intention of actually working out.
But you’ll get to hear all about the alpha and beta males, bimbos, narcissists and even the sweet but utterly boring men I encounter on a daily basis on the beach and in my travels.
I can promise some super
stories guaranteed to make my readers flush with embarrassment and some cringeworthy first date disasters. Crushes, love, summer flings and the whole crazy thing—
I’ll impart the good, the bad and the ugly, Southwest Florida Sun Bunny style.
Stay tuned—it’s going to be quite a ride!
For those who hoped against hope that Trump could be kept out of office, the time to fight his election is now at an end, and the time to begin the real political work America needs has arrived.
And whatever is to be said about Trump, his presidency will be one where new political coalitions are possible and likely influential. Right and left, his foes ought to take heart. He is a Washington, D.C., novice who needs to establish some track record of success. Even in his comfort zone, he much prefers cutting deals and notching victories to simply stonewalling. His base of power is small, shifting and potentially unreliable -- characteristics President Barack Obama found among his own voters.
Nevertheless, too many of Trump's opponents still see him as someone who must be repudiated and rebuked at every turn. Cooler heads will have to prevail over those who reveled so desperately in fantasies of saving the country by stopping Trump at the electoral goal line.
Trump comes into office with an unusual set of weaknesses and liabilities -- from the popular vote to Russia to his sprawling businesses. But that can't justify grinding America's political and economic progress to a halt, the likely result of reflexively blocking Trump's proposals and sapping energy in an effort to hobble his administration. Trump's supporters, opponents and those in between have a patriotic obligation to tackle the country's structural challenges, not just to talk about it.
The American people are in a mood to demand results. Presidents Obama and George W. Bush left the U.S. strong enough for what is to come but weak enough to have left Trump with a daunting list of major tasks.
Americans know our infrastructure and energy needs must not only be met but well-exceeded to set the economy on a sounder footing and maintain our primacy on the world stage. Immigration law has been neglected for so long that its illegitimacy has begun to bleed over quickly into other regulatory realms, such as health care. Whatever the particular outcome, rules must be redrawn with clear, authoritative lines. Economic activity is concentrated too strongly in enterprises where only experts in speculation can participate and profit. Trump can't fix these things alone. Disgruntled Republicans and Democrats must help.
Until they do, with problems as deep as today's, popular frustration will continue to vent itself on smaller struggles, such as identity politics and political correctness. Although there are real issues at stake here as well, the fruitless vitriol and exhausting performances surrounding them will only make it harder to focus on ensuring a dynamic but stable future over the next several generations, while huge global and technological changes will continue to whipsaw the beleaguered American people.
Elected officials must join with Trump on enough fundamental reforms that where the typical inevitable disagreements remain, we will continue to enjoy the privilege of our cherished political disagreements.
REPRINTED FROM THE
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER