Friday, June 28, 2019

Record Spending for the Environment in Florida

One of the really important headlines coming out of Florida this last week was about the just-passed budget for the coming year and how it highlights new priorities in the Sunshine State.

Make no mistake, this thorough re-ordering of spending priorities is a direct result of Gov. Ron DeSantis replacing former Governor and infamous boot-licker Rick Scott.

Some quick facts to help you get a feel for what this new budget in Florida can mean:

  • $100 million for spring restoration in several locations
  • $417 million for Everglades restoration in particular
  • $40 million for alternative water supply
  • $25 million for research to combat blue-green algae and red tide, specifically.

If you’d like to dive a little deeper into this issue of the new budget and how it impacts our Florida environment, here’s a link to an excellent article that just ran in the latest issue of Florida Weekly.

This development has certainly been heartening for those of us who keep a close eye on environmental issues in the Sunshine State. Governor DeSantis has been commended over and over again for stepping up on this issue, as well he should be.

I’m hopeful that we all will still be offering kudos to Mr DeSantis for his wise and serious advocacy for Florida’s environment as his time in office draws to a close.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

ICE Agents Losing Patience with trumpian Chaos

There are so many who've seen from the very beginning that, in addition to being a grifter and con man, trump was thoroughly, irredeemably incompetent.

A few million more Americans picked up on that a few months in. Many of whom had bought in to the "it's a good time to shake things up" idea spouted by so many in the lead-up to Election night.

It's an indicator of just how many are now on to trump's con that a lot of rank-and-file ICE Agents are now waking up and smellin' the covfefe!

Trump's pronouncement that it was time to round up millions of illegals had a nice ring to it for those who'd already quaffed the Kool Aid, but the impossibility of actually carrying out this cruel and insane PR ploy began to dawn immediately on the folks who were actually going to have to carry it out.

They honestly didn't even know how or where to house those sinister illegals once they were properly rounded up!

It turns out there were no adequate facilities, what with all the previous rounds of "rounding up" and all the detentions of asylum-seekers, many of whom broke no laws when they presented at the border to pursue their cases.

An article in The New Yorker shines a bright light on how this story is unfolding and I recommend it highly. It came out yesterday and you can read it here.

This is just one more crystal-clear indicator of how thoroughly incompetent our liar-in-chief  truly is and how breathtakingly impossible it is to even make sense of his ideas and policies, much less to implement them.

How, in God's name, can the U.S. take another 19 months of this insane, unparalleled combination of cruelty and incompetence?

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Monday, June 3, 2019

Trouble in the Arctic, Trouble everywhere

As many of you no doubt know, I post about environmental issues regularly. That's true of thousands of bloggers, of course.

I usually give a great deal of thought to whether the tone of my posts is too dark. I often agonize over such things, truth be told.

But the news is so overwhelmingly bad as the bill comes due, so to speak, for humanity's stunning and persistent failures to take care of our planet that merely passing along the plain truth about all this can sound like some blogger woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

I came across writer Dahr Jamail's article in Truthout yesterday and could see right away that its message was timely, spot-on and needed the widest possible dissemination.

It details a lot of the most recent events that have those of us who keep an eye on environmental issues from getting much sleep. It's not an easy read.

But you should read it. All of it.

The part of the article that deals with the importance of feeling the shock and grief that any of us feels when coming to grips with the reality of our planet's degradation is vital. Don't shrink back from that part of the piece. Let it all the way in.

There are so many engaged in this work. The work of sounding the alarm as we rush ever-closer to the abyss.

Don't stop reading. Don't turn a blind eye.

It's time for all of us to look unflinchingly at the truth and take the actions this grave situation demands.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Orwell and trump's lies

The squatter who currently occupies our White House lies so outrageously and so often that it's easy to just tune out and let him flap his gums and talk shit about everybody he hates.

That's so common. And it's big mistake.

In this recent dust-up with Meghan Markle, trump resorted to his usual trash talking; he called Markle "nasty" and it was recorded by the media.

And then his re-election staff sent a tweet with a link to what trump actually said. In it he can be heard calling Ms. Markle "nasty!"

Yes, the campaign staff tweeted a denial that trump had done what they know full well he did and included the evidence that showed that they--and trump--were lying, plain and simple.

In this piece from Political Wire this morning, Teagan Goddard writes about how this is exactly the kind of deception and doublespeak that Orwell's 1984 highlighted.

Is anyone surprised that trump and his incompetent and criminal administration would engage in this kind of mind-blowing manipulation and gas lighting?

It's no surprise to me. Not at all.

And outrages like that one will continue unabated until this thuggish con man is finally removed from power.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Beer, the Beach and The Meaning of Life

This brief blog entry simply cannot be appreciated or understood unless you’ve cast your eyes over the accompanying photo. And, yes, I took the pic myself. No issues about ownership, copyrights or any such thing. And, if you must know, this humble sign adorns the north wall of the bar in my fave barbecue joint. In my fave beach town.

Having gotten the preliminary stuff out of the way, let me state for the record that I do not believe that the true meaning of life can be found in this lighthearted aphorism; it’s merely there to keep the wall from looking bare and, perhaps, to amuse the drunks who spend way too much time and money reading silly plaques tacked to the walls of our many infamous watering holes here in the Sunshine State.

The message of that damned sign does not seem to grow more profound with each lager lifted to my lips. I’ve never shared this barroom bromide with friends, nor incorporated it into an update on Facebook. (No need going to my Facebook page to verify that statement!)

Let’s be real. Life’s true meaning cannot be divined by reading this sign no matter how much beer you’ve quaffed. I just like it because, as I stand right on the threshold of qualifying for social security, I think it just might be true! Not sure my doctor would vouch for that, but, it could be!

Now I think I’ll ponder that message one more time as I order one more beer… Ashley!

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

This gem of a post comes around every now and then. It's up today because summer's the perfect time to explore that awesome place where beach stuff and beer stuff meet.

© 2016 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile