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June 2, 2017

This is so wrong.

From Europe, home of the historic Paris Climate Agreement: Europeans are aghast, shocked and disgusted. The U.S. sides with Syria and Nicaragua against the rest of the world, against us, against itself. The denial of truth is unjustifiable, incomprehensible. Trump is a villain who sides with Russian imperialism against the EU. As we walk together down a cobblestone street in a hillside village, let him drive his golf cart straight off a cliff.

This morning, the headlines read: Blame the Republican Party, The threat rising tribalism poses to the planet, A major blow to the American-led global order, Some men just want to watch the world burn, Macron responds: Make our planet great again, There is no 'better deal', Corporate America finally got on board--then came Trump, Trump rejects the future (Obama), Pull out is a 'turn to the medieval', Climate change will make people sicker, Quitting the Paris agreement is a moral disgrace ... and this is in only one paper on one day (Vox).

When I was studying to be a teacher, I was introduced to Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development. The highest of the six is the abstract reasoning, when faced with a dilemma, in terms of the universal good, justice, truth. That sounds like the ideal behind the Paris Accords. What's best for the earth is best for all humanity, present and future. It's the right thing to do based on ethical principles and requires a strong conscience. Something sociopaths lack. The next level down is the social contract. Laws, for example, or international agreements. Majority rule (minority loses) and compromise in representative government are used to make decisions. This also sounds like Paris. Maybe humanity is growing up (you'd think).

The more base levels of moral development are obeying authority, political or religious, social conformity, being a good/bad person as defined by peers, self-interest, like making deals to profit from a position of power, and, the lowest, most childish, reward and punishment, obeying to avoid a spanking. A child is meant to rise through these stages to their maximum level of self-realization in adult life. But some never grow up morally.

You can update this theory, but my point is that the entire world agreeing to face an environmental crisis together is a high point of modern politics, and Trump's rejection of it shows his (and his gang's) infantile self-servance and hostility towards cooperation. Stupidity and bad faith.

Or as the sages said: like trying to dig yourself out of a hole, deeper and deeper. Because nothing is something. And then pulling the hole in on top of you.

Happy trials, Martin

Mutt:  Anything funny?
Jeff:  Not today.
Mutt:  Well, you can have too much of a good thing, but since most people think puns are not good things, they can't have too many of them.
Jeff:  Whatever.
Mutt:  I read about a vulture that boarded a plane carrying two dead raccoons. The flight attendant looked at him and said, "I'm sorry sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."
Jeff:  I heard a thief broke into a police station and stole all the lavatory equipment. A spokesperson for the department said, "We have absolutely nothing to go on."
Mutt:  Why does fungus come in small groups?
Jeff:  Because there isn't mushroom.
Mutt:  I'm sorry, that was in spore taste.
Jeff:  Hey, I can't help it if I'm such a fungi.
Mutt:  Last night I had a fight with my wife. She threw a bowl of Jello at me.
Jeff:  Oh, that's terrible.
Mutt:  I had her arrested for carrying a congealed weapon.
Jeff:  Yeah, I had a fight with my wife too. She decked me with a heavy glass pitcher.
Mutt:  She's a woman who conks to stupor.
Jeff:  Yesterday, a swami stopped in at the butcher shop and asked for a pound of liver, but the dishonest butcher weighed down upon the swami's liver.
Mutt:  I asked my buddy Max if he wanted to go for a hike in the hills. He answered that he was an anti-climb Max.
Jeff:  The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there. Robert Pirsig said that.
Mutt:  Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before. Steven Wright said that.
Jeff:  Go beg your wife to take you back. I said that.
Mutt:  Oh, I just made that fight up to be funny.
Jeff:  Yeah, me too.