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PostTrump: Man of Moxie (Brian Blodgett, USA, 08/27/19 4:33 am)
I was one of the minority who voted for Trump. Why, because I disliked Rodham-Clinton far more and I believed that many of the items on the Democratic agenda were too much against my liking. While Trump did not have many of qualities that we normally see in presidential candidates, he also had a degree of moxie as well as not coming off as saying things that were, to me, simply said for political gain. Of course he had faults, but Rodham-Clinton had far more in my opinion and the way she handled her job as Secretary of State was one of the reasons I did not choose to vote for her.
Many are upset, and often rightly so, with what Trump says and does, but when we look at some of the issues that he believes in, we see the same ones held by previous presidents--something that is often not mentioned.
Is he easy to dislike, sure if you want to be against someone, then almost anything they say or do can be looked upon in a negative way and our "news" media is great for pointing out the faults of those that they do not like. This spreads to the people who form their opinions on truncated soundbites and opinion pieces that bash him. How many positive things has he done that we do not hear about.
Let me make provide an example from an article I wrote the other day that should be published this week. The US Forestry's budget was cut and there is a limit on how much they can spend on fighting forest fires to around $1 billion, but there is also extra discretionary money they can pull from if needed. Many see this as a terrible thing, but is it?
Looking back in history, from 1935 to the early 1970s, the Forest Service followed a policy of trying to have any wildfire suppressed by 10 AM the day following its initial report. Following research done in the 1960s on the positive role of fires in forest ecology, the Forest Service changed its policy to let fires burn when and where appropriate. Since the 1990s, the Forest Service now has to take into account the growth of suburbia and what is known as wildland-urban interface.
The number of annual acres burned varies depending on weather conditions with spikes of over 8 million acres burnt occurring between 2004 to 2007, in 2011 and 2012, in 2015, and in 2017 and 2018. The worst year in the past 40 years was 2017 when 71,499 known wildfires burnt over 10 million acres. From January to July 30 this year, there have been 25,619 wildfires burning 3.2 million acres compared to 37,591 in the same period during 2018 and 4.8 million acres.
From 2007 to 2017, wildfire losses cost the nation over $5.1 billion. In 2018, the Woolsey Fire total expects to be between $3 to $5 billion, and the Camp Fire total is likely to be between $8.5 and 10.5 billion.
By allowing forests to thin themselves out naturally, the result would be thinner forests with less tree density and undergrowth, and wildfires would not burn with the intensity that we see in many of our fires today, fires that create both ecological and economic disasters.
According to a 2016 Forest Service news release, California alone had over 62 million dead trees on 7.7 million acres of the state's drought-stricken forest. "These dead and dying trees continue to elevate the risk of wildfire, complicate our efforts to respond safely and effectively to fires when they do occur, and pose a host of threats to life and property across California. USDA has made restoration work and the removal of excess fuels a top priority, but until Congress passes a permanent fix to the fire budget, we can't break this cycle of diverting funds away from restoration work to fight the immediate threat of the large unpredictable fires caused by the fuel buildups themselves."
The Forest Service says that about a third of the 21 million acres of forestland that it manages needs immediate restoration. Nationwide, over 58 million acres of state and privately owned forests need immediate work. The crux of this is that it would require enormous spending. Where can this money come from? With the estimated cost of just two of the California fires last year likely to exceed $11 billion, and perhaps more than $15 billion, it appears that the funding could come from a combination of private and business ventures. This proactive use of money could be money well spent.
So, is Trump's cutting of the Forest Service's budget a bad thing or not? It depends on the results and if our nation is willing to step up and take proactive measures, with much of the money coming perhaps from insurance agencies.
As Anthony stated, we are not in a new war with the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, Iran, or any other nation. The economy is better and he is trying to force NATO to pay their share of the defense, as well as limit China's growing might around the world. I have to ask, are these bad things?
Will I vote again for him, based on the others running, yep, sure thing as they appear to be far worse than Rodham-Clinton and that is a high standard to overcome.
JE comments: Is there a case to be made that cutting the Forest Service's budget is good for the environment? I look forward to reading Brian Blodgett's full analysis (please send us the link, Brian, when your article becomes available).
I will grudgingly admit that we (still) have no new wars under Trump, almost 3/4 of the way through his term. Republicans used to boast that every one of America's 20th-century wars began under a Democratic president (WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam). This record stopped under GW Bush.
Many of our non-US WAISers may be unaware of Moxie in all its connotations. Wikipedia explains it all. Has anyone ever tried it (the beverage)? Moxie was the "official" beverage of Mad magazine, the delight of every adolescent boy. Tucked away in small-town Missouri, I never knew what they were talking about: