Day 191: Better Mousetrap

The state of modern drug testing in the workplace has barely improved since Reagan started the trend. I cannot understand why. Failed tests take a toll on the economy . At a least one plant, half of a failures are due to positive marijuana results. I’m pro-marijuana but safe work places especially when working with literal tons of metal are more important. The problem is current testing can’t tell if you are high now or were a month ago (just for thc, other chemicals fade faster). This means workers even in states where it is legal. Workers can’t enjoy the fruits of their labor without fear of being flagged. We can implant a microchip to operate as a credit card but we can’t tell when one last smoked is ridiculous. 
 Marijuana is safer than Alcohol and better for dealing with long term chronic pain than opiates. We can talk in circles all we want about mental addiction but you can be mentally addicted to any reinforced action and physical addiction that comes from alcohol, opiates, and other drugs has a far greater toll. I’m sure all physically addicted (to which there is no cure just the continuous work of recovery) would trade for a mental addiction (closer to a bad habit and can end). Studies have disproven the gateway theory. To deny the healthiest high on the grounds of tradition is bad policy. 
To those who preach sobriety, I would argue without the human desire to get high, we would not have society and civilization as we know it. The history of beer is the history of us. That being said there is virtue in moderation and a balance between states is needed. Theres no reason or need to be high in most jobs. There can be great danger. Your supervisor might be a son of a bitch but he’s the son of a bitch whose job it is to get you back to your wife and kids. He needs better tools. 
Perhaps it is a generational gap but we need 21st century solutions today because the century is going to pass us by.
-E.C. Fiori

Day 174: The Government is not a Business

Trump and his family are self described business folks. While their legacy in business is debatable, that they come from the corporate world not political becomes more obvious everyday. We don’t know yet if Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia last year but the Trump family isn’t making it easy for innocence to be considered. 
This week Donald Trump Jr. became the center of the Russian storm. After days of having his ever changing story disproven by leaks, he released the emails in question. They did not vindicate him. When asked if he would like information on Clinton gathered by Russia to aid his father, he says he would love it. He brought Kushner and Manafort to the meeting, the Russian lawyer ended up not having anything on Clinton. Leaving us in a situation where we know that the Trump campaign would have colluded but not if they did. 
Ignore the discussion of impeachment for a moment. What other implications are there? One is a revelation behind the curtain. Political operators have long been portrayed as ruthless anything goes types in movies but the real political world always had norms and bounds. I’m not saying they are knights of the round table. Yet even the Gore campaign called the FBI when someone leaked Bush’s campaign bible to them. This event shows the business world core of the Trump universe one where damning emails end in a fine and mea culpas but in politics things end differently just ask Abramoff.
The anti-left media keeps yelling Ukraine like its Benghazi (as a waste of time). A low level former staffer is not the same as a high campaign advisor and candidate’s child. Manafort did in fact lobby for pro Russia candidates in Ukraine and was unable to hide it. Whether the decision to remove support for Ukraine in its war against Russian invasion from the GOP platform came from Manafort is unknown. In the end, evidence from a foreign public investigation is not close to the same as a foreign nation stealing documents from a political opponent to aid a candidate. As Watergate taught us having your own countrymen steal documents is damning without foreign involvement. 
The emails aren’t a smoking gun for criminal proceedings but they without a doubt bolster Mueller’s investigation. One can only wonder what subpeonas will uncover.
-E.C. Fiori

Day 151: Found Them

Day 43: The Wars on Christmas

I know many on the left will give this post title an eyeroll but I must speak about the two wars on Christmas: one waged by the secular leftists and the other from Radical Islam. The left has long sought to undermine the separation of church and state by submitting religion to federal control. People must petition Congress for religious exemptions. That is not what this country was founded on. The government does not grant us rights. Our religious institutions Christian or other are not granted passage by Big Government. This is why battles over the building of Mosques disturbs me. It isn’t for the President or the selectmen to decide. We do not have the right to stop peaceful worship if they own the property or at least have legal access. I believe both the the left and the right have assaulted our religious rights.

 

The war on the Western world from Radical Islam is a clash of civilizations. Christianity and Islam can and do coexist in Western Civilization. Not that there aren’t conflicts between religious groups under liberal order but our values as a society push us towards unity and respect. Radical Islam under its strict literal theology cannot exist within the West. It’s practice goes against all of our values. If the West is defined as uncertain and fluid then Radical Islam is defined by the opposite. The temptation is it promises a known purpose in life. In the West, religion and work (our institutions of purpose) have been under attack by the political elite. The resulting society promotes unlimited freedom by removing dedication and devotion as values. Purpose limits choice. True freedom is being adrift in space without a footing to stand on. People want to have a purpose, at some level we need it. As the work that gave employee’s pride is automated, a pillar of society teeters. We don’t need more stuff to throw away, we need more purpose in our days. I have been told of a notion where freedom from work allows us to achieve higher purposes. I don’t agree with it. An attempt by the left to marginalize people’s lives. Autowork gives more back to the community than art and is no less noble. That’s the problem with the Progressive goal to achieve the end of history. People want to be a part of their lineage, not escape it.
The converts to the radical civilizations (Radical Islam and Neo-Nazis are just the most aggressive) flee the increasingly inhuman West shedding its values without replacing them. Multiculturalism isn’t a value as much as the absence of one. The American Melting Pot wasn’t a place where you kept your way of life as much as subvert your rituals to the American way. You came to America to be American. Immigrants make America great by becoming American. Entangling the threads of their traditions into our quilt. The american ethnicity is multiracial and our DNA is global but at our heart we are all brothers and sisters under and for the Republic and all for which it stands. In reading the Atlantic review of “Silence”, one would assume Art was created outside of religion when until recent history it was a tool of faith. The reviewer believes taking religion seriously is radical. I find that to be belittling to say that the ancient mysteries of religion especially the inevitability of suffering were not a legitimate source of Art. The left has turned tradition radical. Until the liberal order reclaims its history it will be on the losing end of a war they refuse to admit exists.

Day 40: What is the Ministry of Truth?

Facebook’s announcement of an experimental partnership between third party fact checkers: Snopes, PolitiFact, the AP, ABC news, and factcheck.org. Where people request certain links to be factchecked and if they are and found to be false or misleading a warning without reasons behind the warning will pop up before the article opens. Many people on the left and right are wary of this development. For many conservatives, a third of the fact checkers (AP and ABC news excluded) have a liberal bias. For many on the left, this is an expansion of corporate control of media trying to take away their “truth”.

 

Facebook has the legal right to control its platform that it lets us use. I do think that it can be worrisome to think that there will be blind faith in the warning. I think that this is an opportunity for us all to challenge our dogmas. We all could use a hand in expanding our worldviews and many times that hand needs to come from the opposition. Not saying we are all wrong all the time, but we need to be fluid in our responses. Adapt to the situation at hand not the one in the mind. I think that this experiment is a good step forward and should be expanded to include more viewpoints. We need some radical changes but those changes aren’t possible without agreement and I am speaking about Climate Change. It truly is a bipartisan problem that will alter every human’s life. In the age of Elon Musk, no one can question the possibilities in renewable energy that could occur. I believe we need to support if not with funds than beneficial regulations that aid his innovations while improving the quality of life for his labor. We need to use Capitalism to challenge ourselves for real innovation rather than use our money for novelty add ons. We need the hoarded wealth to be reinvested into the American Dream. None of which is possible without dialogue. If fact checking and discussions not in comments but in researched detail can engage us with each other than it is worth trying. Facebook as a form of communication and a company must respect their power. I think this is a step towards a better social media environment in the age of bullshit heralded by Trump and Putin.
-E. C. Fiori

Day 26: There is no House

Everyone knows the house always wins. The American republic may have an elite, but as this election show, they don’t own the system. Trump showed that for both media output, both left and right publishers endorsed Clinton. They might pay eighteen bucks to see a celebrity, but they won’t let that celebrity decide their fate. There is no house in America, just we the people.

-E.C. Fiori

Day 24: The Bite is Worst

Much of the news, I have seen lately has discussed the president elect’s tweets or phone calls to foreign leaders while the content is not presidential at best and possibly damaging. It has obscured the creation of a vile machine. Steven Mnuchin was a Goldman Sachs executive is going to lead the Treasury department. Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary will oversee the destruction of the ACA, which will be most likely repealed and delayed. The GOP hasn’t come up with a replacement concept in the past six years. I think it deserves attention that they campaigned on repeal and replace in 2010,2012, 2014, and 2016 without figuring out the fix. Even now, they want to repeal it and buy time. The market will panic with any repeal even with a delay. Maybe it is another nuclear tactic of negotiation. The Democrats don’t want to cause the people to lose their insurance, but voters didn’t hold any of the government shutdown against the GOP and that was over the funding of the act that came them the insurance in the first place.

We have a problem in our country and it has existed for a good amount of time. We cannot handle our technology in many ways it drives us more than we let ourselves believe. In Bill Moyers documentary “Illusions of the News” back in 1989, there is a great discussion about the ear vs the eye in news. Michael Denver, an advisor to Reagan, says “The problem with it was that she had to put on during her piece all these wonderful visuals that we created. And if you really believe that the visuals are going to outlast the spoken word in the person’s mind, then we were delighted with it. We’d gotten one more shot of all the things that we created that we wanted on television.” The White House media strategy would place Reagan at an event looking great and nice like the Handicapped Olympics while defunding the disabled safety net. The scathing reporter critique wasn’t remembered by most after. The image remained context-less within the viewer until it became its own context.

Trump takes this further and harder than Reagan than Bush who failed spectacularly with “Mission Accomplished”. The Teflon Don survives by creating outrage. Impotent outrage, we must of course object but with so much rejection the pressure cannot pierce his orange skin. His refusal to behave as a man of his position should is the most media outlet friendly way to interrupt the news cycle. There are so many different experts in manners, historically statistics to divulge in the notion of creating context to a contextless narrative. His social media musings are no more a window into his mind’s eye than his speeches or proclamations. He used the new legal bribe tax incentives, which go against the spirit of the constitution. Taxes are the shared burden of liberty for all citizens to be used for the public service. Medical and technological research especially military are within the shared purview of the public. We all have life as a right. When it goes to private interests who personally profit from the exchange, I think a line has crossed. At some level the government is payrolling private industry. Unlike previous government work programs like the CCC where roads and bridges and parks the things we love to have and use. We still have to pay the same price as the air conditioner. At least in the bailout, we made money. I believe the bailout shortended the working class. I think that the inequality in this country has created a crisis. But as long as we the citizen expect the government to fix our problems, there will be no tomorrow that wasn’t today.

We must address the inherent moral decay that creates such disparity in quality of life. America was founded on the notion that the revolutionaries were one people of a large (and getting larger) country that agreed to be civil to another with freedom being the ultimate civility. The experiment had its own moral failing that have been corrected no without regrettable horrific suffering by millions and some of those moral failings continue today. That must be addressed as well I speak of discrimination and hate crimes. We must consider not just class but what is the ceiling and how long entrenched can wealth be before their is an aristocracy and effectively a noble ruling class. It must be a choice of the citizens not forced on them by big government that will correct the ills. A revival of the public commons and modest luxury.

-E.C. Fiori