Wildfire Coverage Explains Trump’s Victory

 

Wildfires

While the nation recovers from the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, and braces for the devastation of Hurricane Irma, the National Interagency Fire Center based in Boise, estimates that there are currently 80 wildfires burning across nine states, affecting 2,200 square miles.

Wildfires, like hurricane’s, aren’t uncommon, but they do lasting damage to many states across the west,  with much less fanfare. Also like hurricane’s, society names these wildfires; The Detwiler Fire, near Yosemite National Park, for example, kicked off wildfire season. Igniting on July 16th before being contained on August 24th, it burned 81,826 acres and 63 homes across California.

The Lodgepole Complex Fire, in Montana, destroyed 270,000 acres and 31 buildings in July. The Caribou fire, also in Montana, has burned ten homes, 30 other buildings, and over 19,000  acres.  Destroying several towns, and causing several hundred evacuations. Of the 9 states being directly affected by the fires, Montana has seen the most devastation.

That’s not to say other states aren’t being directly affected. This week, ash from an Oregon wildfire shut down stretches of highway near Portland, and has caused thousands of evacuations. The ash has caused health warnings throughout the West, and has led to the cancellation of events as far away as Denver.

These fires don’t get national media attention. Nobody is scheduling a telethon for West Kootenai Montana. And honestly, it’s understandable. While the long term economic damage done to small towns across Montana may not have a large national impact, it does have a significant effect on the region.  

It’s easy to see why hurricane Harvey gets so much media attention, it is expected that the hurricane could cost up to $90 billion in losses, and up to $1.5 trillion in property damage, according to RMS , a global risk modeling firm. The hurricane devastated the nation’s fourth largest city, and the surrounding region. That sort of damage affects the national economy, the destruction of a corner store in Eureka Montana affects the family that owns the business, and maybe the community.  So it makes sense that the national media would cover one more than the other; why would CNN cover a couple thousand evacuations in Washington when millions of people have been displaced in Houston and the southeast? It’s just good business.

The problem with that line of thinking is it ignores a large segment of the population that feels as though the government doesn’t give a damn about them. They feel as though nobody recognizes their hardships. Nobody in Wyoming has to worry about a hurricane, but their home could be destroyed by a wildfire, and nobody cares. But if some flooding hits a city, it’s 24/7 news.

Nobody likes to feel as though they’ve been forgotten. Everyone is petty, everyone wants to feel important and cared about, and for the last several years the left has focused 90% of their efforts on the urban setting.  Trump realized that, and used that to win the electoral vote, and now he’s President. 

Advertisements

You Probably Haven’t Heard of The Greatest Threat to Global Security

india-china-border

 

In the 2006 film “Lucky Number Slevin” Mr. Goodkat explains the concept of a “Kansas City Shuffle” to Nick Fisher, a degenerate gambler who owes two different mob bosses a large amount of money. As Bruce Willis’s character explains; a “Kansas City Shuffle” is when everybody else goes left, you go right.

This basic “bait and switch” con is used all the time in politics, anytime there is a “scandal” of any sorts, it is prudent to dig a little deeper to find out what’s really going on.  Let’s take the current geopolitical atmosphere, for example.  For weeks the media, egged on by the Trump administration and China, have been focused on North Korea.  Most rationale people see through this ploy, but nothing unites the country like a common enemy, even if that common enemy doesn’t pose much of a threat at all, so the media ran with it.  So while the media has blown this story way out of proportion, I did what I always do; looked to see what else was going on in the region.  While the Trump Administration has been threatening China over North Korea, the real threat to global security was happening a few thousand kilometers away, in a small piece of disputed territory in the Himalayan mountains between the world’s two most populous countries.

On June 16th, flanked by Chinese troops, construction began on a road in the disputed territory of Doklam.  The territory is located in the Himalayan mountains between Tibet’s “Chumbi Valley,” and Bhutan’s “Ha Valley.” The area has been claimed by Bhutan since 1961, China also claims the territory, saying it is part of Tibet and therefore Chinese land. Despite 24 rounds of border negotiations over the last 56 years, no progress has been made on the dispute. Doklam.jpg

While the mountain kingdom of Bhutan has less than a million citizens, they have been protected by a “Treaty of Friendship” with India since 1949.  This treaty states that India will protect Bhutan from foreign aggression. India takes this treaty very seriously, so seriously that India’s main garrison is located just 13 miles from the disputed territory. So it comes as no surprise that on June 18th India mobilized 270 troops to Doklam to “protect” Bhutan. Many in Bhutan view the standoff as less about protecting their country, and more of a pissing match between India and China. Whether or not India actually cares about the safety of Bhutan is largely irrelevant. The danger is that the “People’s Liberation Army of China” boasts 2.285 million soldiers, while the “Indian Armed Forces” has a standing army of over 1.4 million troops. While both governments have called for a peaceful resolution, neither nuclear power is willing to back down; culminating in a “minor scuffle” this week as  Chinese forces tried to enter Indian territory near Pangong lake near Ladakh on Tuesday.

While it is easy to ignore a story about two countries halfway around the world, both China and India play a major role in global manufacturing. China, for example,produced 90% of the world’s computers in 2011. While India continues to grow their economy through manufacturing:

“Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in India’s manufacturing sector grew by 82 per cent year-on-year to US$ 16.13 billion during April-November 2016.”

A military conflict between the two countries would inevitably draw attention from US-based companies like Apple, Dell, Microsoft, and others who rely on Indian and Chinese labor to build their products. A conflict would more than likely reduce supply, meaning higher prices for the consumer.

Any major conflict between the two countries could also present an opportunity for Paki

Kashmir

stan, another nuclear power, to possibly try and take control of Kashmir and Jammu, the disputed states that mark the border between India and Pakistan. This border dispute has led to three separate conflicts since 1947. A three-way conflict between nuclear powers could easily escalate into something much larger, putting us all at risk.

Much like The Boss and The Rabbi in “Lucky Number Slevin,” the United States has fallen for a “Kansas City Shuffle,” ignoring this border dispute while focusing on a hermit kingdom and a dictator, suffering from Napoleon complex.