I’m composing today from lovely Galiano Island, in British Colombia, Canada. It seemed like a good idea to go experience a bit of relaxed island living in a country I like a lot, especially given that Monday celebrates US Presidents.
I’ll get right to the score: I didn’t see anything this week that makes my up my risk level any. Lots of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). But no action that changes the score.
(This is a simple, non-weighted score – 11 items, each with a possible score of 0-10)
The new EPA chief and his actions don’t align at all with mine. I’m trying to better understand how “good for the environment, good for local, national and global health” seem to equal “bad for business”.
Sure – doing things right costs more. But doing things wrong costs even more. If you are my age or older, go ahead and leave a comment here about how you used to change the oil in your car. While you’re at it, comment on if your car had a seat-belt or not, if your window sills and walls had lead paint, if it was allowable to install asbestos without wearing a mask and a protection suit, if cigarettes were good for you or not.
(Hey! This is fun! What else has happened in your lifetime due to government regulation that has made you and yours safer?)
Sure. I bet Dow Chemical wasn’t super pleased about not being able to dump their shit into the nearest open body of water. And the tobacco industry hated the idea that their money making product was poison.
So here’s the question: what gives a profit making business the right to earn at the expense of everyone else?
So that’s it: we get rhetoric about “job killing regulation”. But without it, we have “people killing profit for the rich”.
I don’t think this is a zero sum game: Smart business leaders and job creators and entrepreneurs can make a ton of money – while also protecting our health.
Immigration Executive Order
Thinking about the “extreme vetting” stuff and the immigration ban that my Attorney General blocked. (Go, Washington State!).
No one has said what MORE is going to be done. I’d like to pose a question to the folks in favour – goes like this:
“What numbering scheme are you going to use to keep track of immigrants, and where will you put the tattoo?”
That sound horrible, right? Because it is. But short of a tattoo or an RFID chip – hard to imagine what else might be done to keep track of people. Already doing a 1-3 year review process which includes numerous in person interviews, fingerprints, retina scans and more. What gets added to that list that makes it more extreme?
And then the last note about the ban, which reminds me of the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber. It’s as if we think that ANY restrictions, bans, vetting, interrogation and so on will give us 100% assurance that we’ll be safe. It simply isn’t true, and we all know it at some level – accidents happen. People change their mind. Tools and systems age and fail. I’d love to find a way to shift this conversation to one that discusses the appropriate level of review. Are there things we can do differently?
My day job is managing projects. And we do risk assessments all of the time. But having a risk, without weighting it, is silly. You need to know three things:
- What is the risk?
- How likely is it to occur?
- What is the severity if it does?
If you start and stop at the top item – you don’t have anything actionable – every fear is equal.
Finally – the irony! God forbid that we legislate clean water, but by all means, let’s legislate huge government bureaucracy for immigration review!
My friend Miguel pointed out that the 13th amendment didn’t abolish slavery, as I was taught:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
That clause in there is super important, those words between the first set of commas. Because it didn’t take long for me to remember that white people were super good at creating laws that targeted black men and women that would in fact allow you to put someone in jail and on a work crew. Different words, same thing. Slavery.
Which begs the question of Guantanamo Bay, doesn’t it? Our jurisdiction. Hmm, go figure.
Trump Score Additions:
My friend Dan wonders if adding another item to the tracking list makes sense.
-Deploying US troops against an ally, such as against Mexico, as Mr Trump has threatened
Shall we add? What else should I keep track of?
February 19, 2017