Archive for There’s No Planet B

Spaceship Earth

The Trump administration’s assault on the environment continues to go unabated. We’ve commented several times on the Republican’s War on Science, so much so that we’ve created a category for it. But Scott Pruitt continues to dismantle our environmental protections, all to benefit the greed of oil, gas, coal, lumber, mining and other companies which have bought the loyalty of Republican ‘lawmakers’. Why this past week, Pruitt’s EPA announced it wants to lower gas efficiency standards for automobiles not only because that extra care and concern about the environment is cutting into the corporate executives profit too much but also because President Obama put them into place. And they’re auctioning off federal land for oil and gas development. Our capitalistic overlords are using up resources, killing species and fouling our environment like we’ve got a Planet B ready to travel to when we’ve completely trashed our own precious Earth. But guess what…there is no planet B!

One of the 20th century’s greatest scientific minds, Stephen Hawking recently passed away. We here at the Bucket liked Hawking, but editor Dex Rexter, who used to be a huge supporter of human space colonization (with memberships in the Planetary Society and the L5 society), after years of research on the subject, profoundly disagrees with many scientists, including Hawking and Bill Nye, who are calling for immediate human colonization of Mars and outer space. Yes, it would be fun to play Star Trek or Star Wars and zip around the universe in a spaceship. But to seriously consider extended space travel or colonization, we have to develop artificial gravity spaceships first. The best way to do this is the way the space station in 2001: A Space Odyssey did it: using a rotating wheel. The astronauts would experience centripetal acceleration, which would mimic the gravitational force humans need for normal activity. But we’re not even close to developing anything of that sort, which would be a colossal endeavor financially, not to mention logistically. And let’s say we actually get humans to Mars. We would have to completely terraform the surface and atmosphere to make it inhabitable: another gargantuan undertaking.

Like Buckminster Fuller stated a half century ago, we need to look at the big picture and see the Earth as what is it: a spaceship with all living things on the planet as inhabitants of the spaceship. Instead of continuing to befoul and pollute our planet like there’s no tomorrow, it is paramount that every human on Earth, to take action and conserve our planet. It’s necessary for people in the industrial, capitalistic countries to start eschewing materialism and living more simply, like the people in lesser industrialized countries, if we are to save our planet…and ourselves.

The bottom line is this: We will never find a better spaceship than planet Earth. It has everything we need to survive and live happy, peaceful, wonderful lives. The best, most efficient solution is not to put humanity out into the hostile environs of space or a desolate planets like Mars, but for everyone to change our lifestyles and preserve the already spectacular life on our home planet: Earth.

Dear denizens of planet Earth: There is no Planet B. Let's start taking care of our own wonderful planet. The best spaceship possible is planet Earth.

Dear denizens of planet Earth: There is no Planet B. Let’s start taking care of our own spectacular planet.

GOP: The Government Wrecking Machine

The big news this past week was the government shutdown which showed to all how inept the Republicans are and how truly spineless the Democrats are and how truly screwed the American people are. The Republicans control the House, Senate and White House and yet couldn’t agree to anything. The Democrats, led by Chuck Schumer, caved on DACA and immigration. We’ve mentioned before here at the Bucket, how we think that the Democrats and Republicans are just good-cop, bad-copping the people of America so that their corporate overlords can make ungodly amounts of money at the taxpayers expense. The latest tax bill sure benefits the rich at the expense of the rest of us. And the stock market taking off clearly indicates that Americans are beholden now to corporate interests: you better please Wall Street or else.

Of course, the Republicans are conning the nation like they’ve been since the days of Nixon; they truly put the CON in CONservative. They keep preaching that they’re the party of small government. But their actions tell a different tale. In addition to the shutdown of the government, which the Republicans didn’t really mind, just like 2013, all of Trump’s executive orders reversing the much needed regulations on industry and the generous tax bill, which pretty much kills any government income, seem to show that the Republicans don’t just want small government, they want NO GOVERNMENT! It’s no secret they want to privatize everything including infrastructure, social security and medicare and dismantle any government agencies which may provide protection for the average American citizen, like the Consumer Financial Protection Agency or the Environmental Protection Agency. This is a complete seizure of power by corporate America and their willing lackeys in congress who will bring down the government from the inside. Ladies and gentlemen; this is what a corporate oligarchy and fascism looks like.

The Republicans don't want small government, they want no government.

Thanks to the Republican party and American CEO/Dictator Donald Trump, Americans don’t have to be bothered with the burden of a democratic government and stupid things like laws and regulation.

A Little Toxic Crude Oil On Your Vegetables

There’s one thing that is working well in the Trump administration and that is the flak generator of meaningless crap that America’s CEO/Dictator, Donald Trump, spews forth on a daily basis. This drivel distracts the general public from news like the Keystone Pipeline spilling 210,000 gallons in South Dakota a couple of weeks ago. Of course, this news flew under the radar thanks to our orange haired man child in the White House.

This leak came at a crucial time as construction of the Keystone Pipeline was up for approval in Nebraska. Many citizens of that state are concerned that leaks will become commonplace and ruin their drinking water, provide toxins for the cattle and destroy crops of vegetables. But unfortunately, in typical conservative fashion, Nebraska chose short monetary gain over environmental health. The Nebraska Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to allow the pipeline thus bringing potentially thousands of jobs temporarily but only about 50 permanent positions.

EPA chief and anti-science, know nothing lawyer, Scott Pruitt, (we openly despise this man!) always touts the oil industry’s position of how safe drilling and transporting the oil is. We’ve mentioned repeatedly the lies and deception Republicans spread about drilling.  It bears repeating this fact that there’s been 3,300 pipeline incidents since 2010. Yes, 3,300 incidents!!!! The fact is that numerous things can go wrong in drilling and extracting oil, especially in the midwest where temperatures regularly flux between brutal hear and mind numbing cold. Well, we hope Nebraskans enjoy a little toxic crude oil on their vegetables.

Trump administration EPA chief, non-scientist and oil industry lackey, Scott Pruitt, explains that the important thing is oil corporation profits, not oil spills, while a pliant rube touts his love of vegetables covered with toxic crude oil.

Trump administration EPA chief, non-scientist and oil industry lackey, Scott Pruitt, explains to a pliant rube that the important thing is oil corporation profits, not oil spills.

The Normalization Of Dubya

The Trump presidency has been frightening enough, but another disturbing trend is becoming more frequent since Trump’s election: the normalization of right wing conservatism. For some reason, only Republicans like Bob Corker and super-hypocrite Jeff Flake are heralded for ‘standing up’ to Donald Trump, even though they’ve voted for everything he’s pushed forward.

Now for some reason, some people, including Democrats are willing to forget the horrendous presidency of George W. Bush or at least say he wasn’t all that bad. Are you freaking kidding???!!!! Bush and his cadre royally fucked this country up and now people are embracing him just because Donald Trump is so awful?  Bush even recently gave a resounding well received speech about the evils of Trumpism. That’s right, DUBYA!!!! This is how screwed up this country is! We commented before about how Megyn Kelly has been hired to try and normalize right wing conservatism. We’re seeing it all over the place in the main stream corporate media. Chris Wallace has been presented as a somewhat sane veteran ‘journalist’ now instead of the partisan hack he truly is. If you ask us, you should never trust Fox News, a.k.a. the Republican Propaganda Network and you should never praise Dubya as being a font of wisdom. In case you’ve forgotten, he was the worst president since Nixon. He should never be forgiven for the clusterf*ck that was Iraq, the Great Recession, which his policies help create or for his almost completely running this country into the ground with his massive tax cuts for the rich, not to mention gutting environmental regulations and denying climate change like Trump is doing. From 2003-2009, we mocked and ridiculed Dubya and his fellow Republicans for the lies and deception they spewed on the American public and now the Republicans are doing it again, with a different moron in charge.

We came across one of our old photo-toons from 2006, when Dubya got counseling from James Baker through the Iraq Study Group that staying in Iraq was a bad idea. Hell getting into Iraq was an even worse idea. But typical of all conservative Republicans, they will never admit that they made a mistake. To this day, Bush won’t admit that his decision to unilaterally invade Iraq was a mistake, despite the fact that it has brought turmoil to the Middle East likely for the next half century. His trillion dollar debacle destabilized the whole region and gave rise to not only Al-Qaeda infiltrating Iraq, but the rise of ISIS later on during Obama’s presidency. His stubbornness to listen to any other voice other than Republican Neo-cons like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, put this country in the dumper. It was only the political ‘thumping’ the Republicans took in the 2006 election, which brought Democrats back into power that he considered other options about Iraq. And now were seeing another conservative Republican named Donald Trump pulling the same ‘I’m the Decider’ crap that Dubya pulled. The only evolution that is occurring in the Republican party is from having a President who is a moron to one that is a f*cking moron.

The Republican President has evolved from being a childish moron to being a childish f*cking moron.

The Republican President has evolved from being a childish moron to being a childish f*cking moron.

Trump and Pruitt’s EPA: Nothing To See Here Folks

Trump’s EPA, with Scott Pruitt at the helm is the planet’s worst nightmare. We’ve commented before about this climate change denier and complete jackass here and here. This corporate lackey has been single-handedly destroying all the mechanisms in place to keep the coal, gas, oil, mining, logging and polluting industries from running amok and destroying what’s left of our environment. We claim to be a nation of laws. Regulations are laws that corporations have to abide by, just like citizens have to obey civil law. Regulations are an essential check and balance to guarantee that corporations don’t go too far like they did in the twentieth century before the creation of the EPA.

Among the things Pruitt has done recently:

Pruitt and his EPA attacked an AP reporter for reporting about flooded Superfund sites in the Houston area. But apparently journalists are supposed to turn a blind eye, like Republicans do, if there’s any environmental problems. Nothing to see here folks!

Pruitt has gutted water regulations that will allow fracking waste dumping in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf is still recovering from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill and is now dealing with a new 600,000+ gallon oil spill that the national press doesn’t seem interested in covering because…you know…stock prices might go down. Nothing to see here folks!

Pruitt has issued a directive to curb settlements with outside groups, otherwise known as sue and settle. Showing that he’s a true corporate lackey, this is another attempt by corporations to limit the harm the public can do. On the finance front, look at this week’s vote by Republicans to make it harder for class actions suits against banks and credit card companies. This is because the Republicans care only about their corporate benefactors. They could give a rat’s ass about the consumer protection. Nothing to see here folks!

Pruitt pulls climate change scientists out of a climate change conference because…you know…they might actually show that Pruitt is full of shit. Nothing to see here folks!

Pruitt announces that the EPA will repeal the Clean Power Plan enacted by President Obama. Like other conservative Republicans, they just can’t accept the fact coal is a dying industry and like oil and gas,a thing of the past. It would be much better to invest in clean, renewable energy solutions like wind, solar, hydrogen and biofuels. But again, nothing to see here folks!

Let’s get one thing straight: Scott Pruitt is a lawyer. He knows squat about science. How is it that a lawyer is telling scientists what science is good and what science is bad? He’s got about as much business being head of the EPA as a wolf should be in charge of the hen house. Maybe that’s why he’s increased the security detail around him. He knows he’s being an asshole and he thinks some environmentalist may actually get sick of his shit enough to do something drastic about it. We’ve got a solution Mr. Pruitt: quit being a goddamn dick!!!

Trump administration EPA chief, non-scientist and friend to polluters everywhere, Scott Pruitt is now attacking the press for reporting potentially dangerous leaks and spills to the general public because the precious energy companies may lose their stock value, which in this country is more important than human lives.

Trump administration EPA chief, non-scientist and friend to polluters everywhere, Scott Pruitt is now attacking the press for reporting potentially dangerous leaks and spills to the general public because the precious energy companies may lose their stock value, which in this country is more important than human lives.

Phony Feckless Flake

We’ve commented many times before about Arizona’s junior Senator Jeff Flake. Why? Well, we live in Arizona for one thing and it’s our duty and right to comment about our government representatives. We also happen to think he has Mitt Romney-esque used car salesman abilities. He was for and against gun control. He claims to be a champion of the people, and yet continually votes in favor of corporate interests. He claims to be Mr. Bipartisan, but continually votes with along party lines with his Republican colleagues. If you’re looking for a hypocrite of the first order, look no further than Flake.

Flake made a big deal about not endorsing Donald Trump for President. Even now he’s come forward stating that Republicans need to stand up to him. Of course, in true salesman fashion, he’s also plugging his new book, which we will not provide a link to because we have no doubt it’s loaded with self serving bullshit. While stating how against Trump he is, he’s voted for most of Trump’s agenda 95% of the time, including his horrendous health care bill, which didn’t pass because Arizona’s senior Senator (in more ways than one) voted against it. Flake’s behavior is pretty much the actions of a feckless enabler.

To show you how much he’s in step with Trump, here’s a statement by orange haired rage monster’s about rolling back ‘job killing’ regulations for the polluting oil, gas and coal industries:

…We’re going to get real results when it comes to removing job-killing regulations and unleashing economic opportunity

Compare them to a blurb from Flake‘s own newsletter that he mails out to Arizona constituents touting his great actions:

Arizona ratepayers and businesses shouldn’t be forced to shoulder the burden of EPA’s costly, convoluted regulations. By holding EPA accountable for its actions, we can keep our air clean without creating job-killing regulatory uncertainty.

Yes those nasty ‘job-killing regulations’, what an annoyance they are. Why not just get rid of all of them, then industry can dump their waste where ever they want and pollute the air just like China. But the point is made; Trump and Flake are on the same page, just like all the other Republicans. The GOP’s so called opposition to Trump is nothing but bullshit!

It’s no secret that Flake supports corporate America over average Americans. But he is also a big time corporate lackey, like most Republicans are, of the big polluting industries in this country. As a matter of fact, Flake has a career 9% lifetime score on the League of Conservation Voters Environmental Scorecard. So we ask Mr. Flake, what’s the point of repealing ‘job killing’ regulations if those said jobs end up killing people with the resultant pollution and poisonous wastes and by products?

Finally, Trump has launched attacks on Flake because of what he’s said about Trump in his book. Trump has announced support for nutty Teabagger patriot Kelli Ward (known by her moniker ‘Chemtrail Kelli’) in the upcoming 2018 senate race. But again, this is just political theater because Flake has sided with Trump 95% of the time like this article at FactCheck.org states. So now, not only is Flake being attacked by the Democrats, but the radical right wingers in his own party are attacking him as well.

So we implore Arizonans to send Mr. Flake back to his hometown of Snowflake, AZ, which is a truly appropriate place for this Republican to live. We certainly hope the Democrats in Arizona get their act together and put forth a decent candidate to run against this hypocritical used car salesman in 2018.

Dressed in his finest used car salesman ensemble, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake tries to sell people that he's against America's CEO/Dictator Donald Trump, when actually he has supported nearly everything he's done, to which Arizona voters call him on his hypocrisy and suggest he move back to his hometown of Snowflake, AZ.

Dressed in his finest used car salesman ensemble, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake tries to sell people that he’s against America’s CEO/Dictator Donald Trump, when actually he has supported nearly everything he’s done.

Republican Crimes Against Nature

While the Republican Health Care Plan failure, Trump’s Russia connections and a multitude of other daily flak from Trump’s bumbling acolytes like Devin Nunes, Sean Spicer and Jared Kushner have taken center stage, the Republican’s war on the environment has commenced in the background and it doesn’t look good for nature, science and the general well being of every living thing on this planet.

Trump approved going ahead with the Keystone XL pipeline despite protests from native Americans and environmentalists citing that it will only exacerbate climate change. But of course, new EPA administrator and lawyer (non-scientist), Scott Pruitt, despite overwhelming scientific consensus by climate scientists and experts, says that climate change isn’t real. Basically, Pruitt is just a lackey for the fossil fuel industry and will anything to deceive the public about climate change. Therefore, the Keystone XL pipeline can commence and oil barons like Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, can reap the benefits.

Unfortunately, the environment and humans will suffer the horrible consequences. It turns out that the December oil spill of 530,000 gallons in North Dakota (the biggest in that state’s history) was three times larger than previously reported. This brings to light a couple of things. One, the oil spill barely got coverage from the corporate media because that would put the oil industry in a bad light and might hurt business. And two, the oil industry lied about the size of the spill because reporting the real size would put the oil industry in a bad light and might hurt business. Get the picture. The only thing that matters is business and profit. If there’s an oil leak, learn to love the taste of oil in your drinking water.

To illustrate how inept and corrupt the corporate media is about reporting anything bad about the oil industry, take a look at this website which reports oil and gas pipeline incidents from 2010 to the present. 3,300 incidents! That’s a hell of a lot of incidents! So why haven’t we the citizens heard about them in the news media?

The Republican’s war on science is nothing new. Read the books Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney and Crimes Against Nature by Robert Kennedy Jr., both released during the Bush Administration, and you’ll see that the GOP has repeatedly put short term profit of the coal, gas and oil industries (major contributors to the GOP coffers) above long term consequences for the environment. To illustrate this, CEO/Dictator Trump signed an executive order last week which rolls back more of Clean Power Plan Obama’s regulations and enabling the oil, gas and coal industries to pollute to their hearts content. According to the GOP’s spiel, they’re getting rid of job killing regulations. Big deal, so we can have jobs that kill people in the long run? Besides that the promise of jobs coming back is another con. According the article linked above, “rolling back the Clean Power Plan and other environmental regulations won’t restore jobs”. So Trump and his Republican cohorts are once again conning the American public. But this con will have nasty repercussions for all of us, in the form of more pollution, risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals and gases and creating an unhealthy environment for humans and other species.

EPA director Scott Pruitt and Secretary of State and oil baron, Rex Tillerson, announce that the Keystone Pipeline will be constructed and that climate change and oil leaks don't exist despite obvious evidence that they do.

EPA director Scott Pruitt and Secretary of State/Oil Baron, Rex Tillerson, perform their patented gaslighting trick on the citizens of planet Earth by denying the existence of climate change, oil leaks and anything else which may disrupt their agenda of profiting off the environment at any and all cost.

GOP’s Environmental Plunder Agency

While America’s CEO/Dictator, Donald Trump, provides insipid daily distractions, the Republicans are in the process of wrecking the government of the United States. One of the worst cabinet appointments Trump has been Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has it’s beginning back in 1970 thanks to Republican Richard Nixon, of all people. It’s purpose is to regulate corporate America and protect the people of the United States from unscrupulous pollution by mining, gas, oil, chemical and other industries that endanger life by dumping pollutants into the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. It’s a good thing!

But Scott Pruitt, like so many others in the GOP, is firmly in the back pocket of the gas, oil and coal industries. His selection as head of the EPA is like putting foxes in charge of the hen house. The reason why the Senate hurriedly and narrowly confirmed him is that email have surfaced which prove how much of a lackey Pruitt is for the dirty energy industries.

Pruitt is like an old-timey Snidely Whiplash robber baron type who will change the meaning of the EPA’s acronym into the Environmental Plunder Agency. Yes, we have no doubt that Pruitt and his Republican corporate lackey buddies in congress will be trying to convince Americans very soon that mercury and sulfuric acid in your drinking water is good for you.

New head of the EPA and gas, oil and coal industry lackey, Scott Pruitt, declares that the agency's acronym now stands for the Environmental Plunder Agency and that mercury and sulfuric acid in your drinking water is good for you.

New head of the EPA and gas, oil and coal industry lackey, Scott Pruitt, declares that the agency’s acronym now stands for the Environmental Plunder Agency and that mercury and sulfuric acid in your drinking water is good for you.

If You Got The Oil, We Got The Time

Now that oil baron, tycoon and former Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson has been confirmed as Secretary of State, the United States has sent a message to people in America and around the world: America is officially a corporate oligarchy governed primarily by the oil, gas and coal industries and that just like the Bush Administration, which, like Ralph Nader said, was marinated in oil, America is open for business with any country that has oil. Even Alan Greenspan said in his book The Age of Turbulence, (page 463), “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Does that mean that we’ve got another war for oil, like the Iraq War, (possibly Iran) coming? Donald Trump has said the Iraq War was a mistake but since the Republicans never seem to learn from their mistakes and America’s CEO/Dictator  will always take the side of money and machismo; probably.

But another factor figures in here as well and that is the fact that Tillerson is good buddies with Russia and Vladimir Putin; so much so that Tillerson was named a Friend of Russia in 2013. Can you imagine how pissed the Republicans would be if Obama would have been named a Friend of Russia? So not only is America dependent on Middle Eastern oil, we could very well become dependent on Russian oil as well in the very near future. But hey…business is business.

Then there is the conflict of interest with a former CEO of a major oil company controlling the Department of State. Tillerson is a complete newbie when it comes to diplomacy and international relations. Although Tillerson is supposedly a great business negotiator, dealing with governments of the world is not the same as dealing with corporations of the world.

We were initially glad that Trump decided to get out of the TPP, which would have been a disaster for the environment. But with Rex Tillerson at the helm in the State Department and climate change denier, Scott Pruitt, selected to head the EPA, the new motto of America very well may be Sarah Palin’s mantra, Drill baby Drill! So screw the burgeoning alternative, clean energy industry. Let’s continue to pursue 20th century technology. Oh and don’t worry about more oil spills, environmental contamination and flammable drinking water…there are profits to be made. Cha-ching!

Oil baron, tycoon, Grand Old Plutocrat and Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, greedily proclaims that America is open for business, especially if you have oil, like his Russian pal, Vladimir Putin.

Oil baron, tycoon, Grand Old Plutocrat and Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, greedily proclaims that America is open for business, especially if you have oil, like his Russian pal, Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s Law Of Scientific Truth

A disturbing trend emerged from Con-a-thon 2016 that is already becoming the Orwellian standard for the Trump Adminstration: facts don’t matter and the truth is what Donald Trump says it is.

In his first week, he’s already done several things that are threatening democracy. But probably the most dangerous is the shutdown of the scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency. We’re big fans of science, logic and reason here at the Bucket and we find these actions frightening. Apparently, from now on, CEO/Dictator Trump, who knows nothing about science, will be deciding what science is good and bad. Of course, if his pals in the oil, coal and gas energies are affected adversely, like in the case of climate change, the science is bad and will be stifled.

Scientists have already started rebelling. They’ve planned a March for Science in the near future. We’ve placed a link for it on the right side of the page. They’re also saving the volumes of data collected before Trump burns it in the name of corporate fascism.

Welcome to Fascism, America! It is happening here!

CEO/Dictator Donald Trump, in front of the redecorated Trump White House, proclaims that the truth is what he says it is and that some inconvenient laws of science, such as gravity, don't actually exist, much to the delight of Trump acolytes everywhere.

CEO/Dictator Donald Trump, in front of the redecorated Trump White House, proclaims that the truth is what he says it is and that some inconvenient laws of science, such as gravity, don’t actually exist, much to the delight of Trump acolytes everywhere.