Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

In Response to John Goodwin’s FaceBook Post

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 5, 2016

A man named John Goodwin made a public post on FaceBook, which also included a link to an OpEd published in the Washington Post on November 9, 2016, which was written by Charles Camosy (PhD, University of Notre Dame), and entitled “Trump won because college-educated Americans are out of touch.” Dr. Camosy is an Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University, and the author of a book entitled “Beyond the Abortion Wars: A Way Forward for A New Generation.”

Mr. Goodwin’s FaceBook profile is sufficiently ambiguous of himself, though in his public post which is time & date-stamped 9:45AM, November 10, 2016, and ostensibly geolocated from Washington, D.C., he wrote of himself that, “I haven’t posted about the election mostly because 1) I do this for a living and most of you don’t,” which would lead one to suppose that at some level, he works in or with public policy, or more likely, with politicians.

I do not.

However, suffice it to say, that for many, many, many years, I have remained immensely interested in public policy, though I do not now, nor have I ever made my living from it, or influencing, or attempting to influence others in elected office.

In other words, I have taken the high road.

Mr. Goodwin’s public post to FaceBook is linked herein, as is the article upon which he expounded.


In order to fully understand the matter of discussion herein, I encourage the reader to fully read this item following herein, as well as Mr. Goodwin’s post, and the OpEd upon which he opined

I have responded to Mr. Goodwin’s post as follows:
His words appear italicized, and in “quotation marks.”
My commentary follows immediately after.

“…not everyone lives in big cities.”
• That is correct. The United States Census Bureau says that 80.7% of American reside in urban areas. In fact, they report that “the population density in cities is more than 46 times higher than the territory outside of cities.” So that leaves a whopping 19.3% in rural areas.

“I didn’t grow up with money.”
• Money had been invented by the time I was born. But seriously, someone votes for Donald Trump as if the wealthy are advocates for the impoverished or even the average American? C’mon. Mr. Born-With-A-Silver-Spoon-In-His-Mouth? Really?

“…not everyone went to elite colleges.”
• According to the United States Census Bureau, “in 2015, almost 9 out of 10 adults (88 percent) had at least a high school diploma or GED, while nearly 1 in 3 adults (33 percent) held a bachelor’s or higher degree.” I’m in the 33%. So I’m an elite. Thanks!

“You think they (people who eat at Applebees and shop at Walmart and watch NASCAR) are lesser people than you and don’t deserve a voice or an opinion.”
• That’s mighty presumptuous, and high-minded of you to make such a statement. But hey… just remember what was said to me many years ago by one of my patients: “Watching NASCAR is watching rich men play.” I’ve not been to Applebees in a long, long, long, long, long time. I just don’t eat out much at all, anyway. As for PeopleOfWalMart dot com, and my not shopping there, I’m one of those evil people who have options where I live, and even when WMT wasn’t on every street corner in America, I still didn’t shop there because of their business practices, not the least of which include putting small “Mom & Pop-owned shops” out of business in small-town America when they came to town, along with their historically low wages which keep employees in poverty and push them onto the public dole for the basis necessities of life (notably food and healthcare), well-documented practices of hiring Illegal Immigrants, not paying overtime, paying women less than men, the abundance of made-in-China crap they sell (remember their “We buy American, so you can too” slogan?), and so much more.

“…the average people who work in manufacturing, own their own business or used to anyway.”
• According to the US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in domestic manufacturing has been in a steady state of decline since an all-time high in March 1979, and is the lowest since July 1941, and December 1945. That is a policy matter which our Congress put to bed with so-called “Free Trade” deals which were the brain child of Republican President George HW Bush. They were further pushed by his son, George W Bush. And yes, Bill Clinton signed the NAFTA deal, but it was authored by GHW Bush. And then W gave us CAFTA.

“…states where 60% of the land is owned by the government.”
• According to research performed by the Congressional Research Service and dated December 29, 2014, “the federal government owns roughly 640 million acres, about 28% of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the United States. Most of these lands are in the West and Alaska. In addition, the Department of Defense administers 14.4 million acres in the United States consisting of military bases, training ranges, and more. The lands administered by the four land agencies are managed for many purposes, primarily related to preservation, recreation, and development of natural resources.” The CRS writes further, that “specifically, 61.2% of Alaska is federally owned.” It’s handy to remember that only about 1/4 of Alaska is habitable. Almost 33% of Alaska is situated inside the Arctic Circle, and with an elevation of 20,320 feet above sea level, Mt. McKinley, the tallest peak in North America, lies in the center of Alaska. Author Graham Thomson wrote in “Eight Stars North: A personal journey to the last frontier,” that “The vast ice field of the southern Alaska coast remain uninhabitable as do the myriad enormous mountain ranges. The vast expanses of tundra and taiga will probably remain more or less unmolested for the near future. There is little there to support human existence.” The state’s low population (710,231 in 2010) is evidence of that fact. Similarly, about 47% of the United States remains unoccupied – literally not even one human being in a square mile – because the conditions are harsh and uninhabitable, mountain ranges, for example. So clearly, 28% is a minority. But nice try on the spin.

“Have you ever been to a working farm for more than an hour to pick apples? Have you driven through South and North Dakota or Idaho and tried to understand the people who live there instead of mocking them?”
• Yes, and yes – and I’ve not mocked them. I was taught that it’s impolite, even rude, to speak with a mouthful of food. But again, one must remember… I’m an elitist.</sarcasm> A question for Mr. John Goodwin: Have you ever tried to understand migrant farm workers, whose children move with them (and are plucked up out of schools) to Washington to pick apples when they’re in season, then move back to California’s Central Valley to pick lettuce, almonds, garlic, or whatever fruit or vegetable is being harvested?

“Do you understand the damage Hillary Clinton did to her chances when she said “she was going to put the coal industry out of business?””
• Granted, that was probably not the wisest choice of words for a political candidate to utter. But then, no one has ever accused Hillary Clinton of being an expert campaigner. And yet, lifting one phrase out of context (her complete comments at the March 13, 2016 CNN Democratic Town Hall are found here) to support your point is not only manipulative, it is dishonest, and intellectual fraud. It’s like saying “Judas went and hanged himself… go and do thou likewise” to claim that the Bible supports suicide. More to the point, however; the Law of the Conservation of Mass states that “matter is neither created nor destroyed.” (I know that because I’m an elitist</sarcasm>, and learned it in school.) So when coal is burned, it leaves behind ash, which takes up at least as much space as the coal did before it was burned. Much of that space is in the form of ash, while another portion has gone into the air. The remaining ash – often called “fly ash” – must be stored somewhere, and that takes up space – lots of space. In fact, such “fly ash” is stored in “sludge ponds” because there’s nowhere else for it to go. Further, that ash is often very toxic, and frequently radioactive. In short, it’s a very bad player. The problem with “fly ash sludge ponds” is that they fall apart, then spill their contents. In fact, one of the worst such disasters was TVA’s infamous Kingston Fossil Plant when on Monday, December 22, 2008, an ash dike ruptured at an 84-acre storage facility in Roane County, Tennessee, and released 1.1 billion gallons (4,200,000 cubic meters) of poisonous “fly ash” slurry – the largest in US history. So much was released, in fact, that houses were literally inundated by it, totally destroyed in a tidal wave of “fly ash” slurry. That area is in East Tennessee, adjacent the Smoky Mountains, and mere stone’s throw (that’s a country-folk euphemism) from Knoxville, and Oak Ridge… where once-secret scientific research was performed by the United States Government. (Oak Ridge is another one of those “liberal elite” areas, because they are educated… and highly so.) By the way, it’s not too far from Rocky Top… yes, good ol’ Rocky Top, Tennessee. Anyway, all that crappy “fly ash” slurry polluted a whole lotta’ land, and water (posing significant birth defects risk), and caused all kinds of problems for folks in those parts. And 8 years later, they’re still not fully recovered. Point being, neither industry nor government has done a good job of remedying the problem, and clean, renewable energy – so-called “green” energy – is a far safer solution, and it takes people with “liberal elite” education to design, build, and maintain those facilities. Folks should be educated and trained for those new jobs. We can’t still keep on making buggy whip factories.

“I grew up hunting and fishing with my father and uncles and cousin.”
• I’ll bet you didn’t hunt or fish in Roane County, Tennessee. Because of that largest ever “fly ash” slurry spill, State and Federal agencies have required TVA to monitor wildlife in that area for the next 30 years.

“Most of you haven’t been around them [guns] or used one for hunting or self defense.”
• No one uses an AR-15, or AK-47 for hunting. No one uses an AR-15, or AK-47 for self defense. Common-sense has gone out the window ever since Obama started invading people’s houses and snatching up their guns. Folk in marital discord don’t need guns. Mentally deficient folks don’t need guns. Ex-felons shouldn’t own guns. No one at a school, or church, or work, or grocery shopping, or at Wal-Mart needs guns. I view such men who “Open Carry” much like sexual exhibitionists who pervertedly display their genitals exclusively for shock effect.

“Tragedies happen.”
• Shit happens, too. But eventually, babies learn how to be toilet trained and stop wearing diapers. Interestingly, firearm-related “tragedies” seem to be occurring with greater frequency these days, too. Of course, “correlation does not imply causation” (I learned that phrase in my “liberal” university education) but it sure as Hell has a damn close kinship. But what would be even better is if the Congress would rescind their edict forbidding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun violence. For over 20 years – specifically, since 1996 – using the Dickey Amendment (named for former Pine Bluff, Arkansas Rep. Jay Dickey (R,4)) – Congress has denied funding to the CDC to perform any kind of study on gun violence of any kind whatsoever, for any reason. In fact, in a cowardly move shortly after the killing of worshipers in a Charleston, South Carolina church by Dylann Roof, using an unrecorded vote procedure, the US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee quietly rejected an amendment that would have allowed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the underlying causes of gun violence. The vote was unrecorded. Mr. Dickey, who is now a federal lobbyist on matters of – ironically, children’s healthcare, among other areas – regrets his amendment, and said, “I wish we had started the proper research and kept it going all this time. I have regrets.” And now, the powerful lobbying group called the National Rifle Association, does everything within it’s power to repeal practically every bit of legislation at any level – local, state, or federal – that they deem unsuitable for their A-Gun-In-Every-Hand agenda. Reckon why Congress would enact rules forbidding scientists from doing what scientists normally and naturally do, which is perform research using the scientific method? Perhaps we ought to ask the NRA. Seems the NRA didn’t want to know the truth. Ironically, knowing the truth will make us free. At least that’s what Jesus the Christ said.

“…professional protesters and anarchists over the police officers who put their lives on the line every day and whose families don’t know if they will be coming home for dinner or breakfast.”
• Again, that’s mighty presumptuous of you to make such a remark. But you certainly seem to make up for it by adding that “I do not believe most of those victims deserved to get shot and I have sympathy for the families of those who died unnecessarily.” Is that like calling you a SOB, apologizing, and then buying a can of Alpo for your mother?

“So, liberal elites. Stop making blanket statements about people.”
• I’ll use Jesus the Christ’s words here, since they seem entirely apropos: “Physician, heal thyself.”

“Donald Trump is president in part because…”
• A reminder: Donald Trump will not be POTUS until after the administration of the Oath of Office January 20, 2017.

“Keep making fun of the Robertsons from Duck Dynasty, who I count as friends…”
• Aren’t you special & privileged?!?

“Their family life is what most people should strive for.”
• Glad you know what’s best for everyone.

“You think because they believe in God and enjoy hunting and wearing camo, they are lesser people.”
• Wow! You’re a mind reader, too! Y’know, I’ve never thought anything remotely like that… ever.

“Not everyone can afford a ticket to Hamilton.”
• Regular seats for the musical “Hamilton,” range from $179–$199. In contrast, the average ticket to see the Rolling Stones in 2013 fetched $624. The average ticket to see Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame in 2013 was $314. Paul McCartney charged $241 in 2012. Elton John’s upcoming dates in Las Vegas range in price $55.00 – $500.00. The most expensive tickets for Eric Clapton in Madison Square Gardens in March 2017 are $4,898.33 each, and none are under $250. So, in comparison, that’s a bargain.

“Some people think Guy Fieri is a good chef and his food is delicious.”
• Some people think the Earth is flat. But I’ve never eaten at Guy Fieri’s restaurants, nor have I ever read or heard any commentary about him, so I can’t make a personal assessment on that matter. But I have seen him on teevee.

“People are allowed to enjoy shooting guns and hunting.”
• There are also nudist resorts and beaches in the United States. What’s your point?

“People are allowed to seek comfort and joy in prayer and religion.”
• See above.

“You have the right to disagree and do your own thing.”
• Where is that written in the Constitution?

“Stop judging and insulting and…”
• Again, Jesus the Christ’s words seem apropos here: “Physician, heal thyself.”


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