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By Mike Cronin

Recycling reduces waste and saves energy! How much energy do we save by making and distributing twice as many plastic bins and running twice as many diesel-guzzling, CO2-spewing, traffic-increasing, infrastructure-damaging collection trucks?

Zero emission vehicles have no tailpipes. They have smoke stacks and cooling towers. They emit CO2 remotely – from the power plant that generated the electricity to charge them, and from the heavy mining equipment used to extract the rare earths and other metals needed to produce their batteries. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Donald Trump needed Congressional permission to attack Soleimani, and he didn’t get it!  How much Congressional permission did any previous president have to get to attack fleeting opportunity, high-value terrorist targets?

If a woman is drunk, she cannot consent to sex, on account of her judgement is impaired. Ergo, a man that has sex with her while she is in such a state is guilty of sexual assault or rape, even if he, too, is drunk.  Why is impaired judgement a compounding factor of victimhood for a woman, but not exculpatory for a man? Why does inebriation constitute inability to consent to sex, but endeavoring to become inebriated carry no onus?

An exercise in double-speak: The Constitution compels Congress to fund a military. It is silent about funding retirements and health care. Yet, somehow, defense spending is considered part of the “discretionary” budget, while Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and a few other programs comprise the “mandatory,” or “non-discretionary” budget.  It’s accurate enough to say the Constitution is silent on how much is to be spent on the military, so the amount is discretionary, but the basic requirement to fund it is not.  The so-called “mandatory” budget items have no such sanction.

How far back do you think we have been involved in the Islamic world of North Africa and the Middle East?  The first Gulf War? The 1986 raid on Libya? The 1979 Iran Hostage crisis?  Supporting the overthrow of the Iranian Prime Minister in the 1950s and supporting the Shah until he was overthrown? What if I told you our involvement goes back almost to the founding? In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson sent the fledgling US Navy to protect US mercantile shipping from the Barbary Pirates in the Mediterranean.  The Barbary Pirates were the “naval forces” of client states of the Ottoman empire (e.g. Tripoli, as in “…to the shores of Tripoli” referenced in the Marine Corps Hymn). From the perspective of more than a few Muslims in the region, Americans are simply modern Crusaders who have been meddling in their affairs for centuries.

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