The ice is going to break

The title is a crucial line from a movie called “The Dead Zone,” based on the Stephen King novel. I use this line as a metaphor for ignoring real problems. Let me explain the context. The movie stars Christopher Walkien as Johnny who, because of a car accident, could see the future after touching someone. But, if the future was less clear, a dead zone as he described it, he could alter the outcome.

A boy he was tutoring was supposed to practice ice hockey on a frozen pond with his demanding father as the team’s coach. But, when Johnny touched him, Johnny saw the ice breaking. His father said that was crazy, even though both men knew the father did a background check before hiring the tutor. Johnny slammed his cane on a chess board and said “the ice is going to break!” The son stayed home, but the father went ahead with practice and four kids drowned as the ice broke.

So, Mr. President, members of Congress and various state legislators, let me state obvious problems with this metaphor in mind.

– We have a global water crisis including in the US with the World Economic Forum identifying it as a top long term risk. Farmers are having to fight harder to protect their diminishing water rights. It will be made even worse by climate change.  And, the problem is exacerbated with the significant water loss in fracking and lead pipes tainting some of the dear water.

– That climate change thing is a problem in its own right. Our federal government and several state government need to pitch in more and help. The President backing out of the Paris Climate Change Accord is as poor a decision as could have been made, especially when it came the day after ExxonMobil shareholders voted to order management to inform them on what they are doing about climate change.

– I learned today our EPA is turning a blind eye to asbestos. Since Brazil stopped production of this toxic product, we now are importing asbestos from Russia. As a metaphor for this President, each bag of toxic asbestos imported from Russia has Donald Trump’s picture on it. A toxic material imported by a toxic man from another toxic man.

– Although, debt is not an environmental concern, our so-called leaders are ignoring this huge and growing problem. As interest cost grows to a greater part of our budget, it will hinder our ability to do other things. We must spend less and increase revenue both. The math will not otherwise work,

The ice is going to break. We must heed the warnings now. If we don’t, we may be the ones who drown.


18 thoughts on “The ice is going to break

  1. An excellent analogy and equally excellent post, my friend. Sadly, we have both a republican party who panders to a president who cares for naught but his own personal wealth and power. He/they do not seem to mind that the human race cannot continue along this path if we wish our grandchildren to have a life past the next few decades. He/they do not seem to care if we lose our credit rating and can no longer borrow money at reasonable rates, if at all. He/they do not seem bothered by the crumbling infrastructure, the people who cannot afford health care, those who cannot even afford food. And he/they do not appear to care about our relationships with other nations. Yes, the ice is going to break, and it will be the fault of Trump, the GOP, and the people who are so slavishly supportive of his policies, so blindly bigoted that nothing else matters.

    • Thanks Jill. Trump’s Director of the Interior yesterday applauded Trump’s ability to distract the media as they expand the footprint of fossil fuel exploration.

      But, I am not going to give a hall pass to Dems on the debt. The GOP after harping on the debt for years decided to throw gasoline on fire with the tax bill. Yet, we must cut spending as well as raising taxes. So, it would behoove the Dems to seek alternatives to make some cuts and raise revenue.

      Here is an easy one. Raise the FICA wage base to $175,000 from its current level. This would bring in more revenue, than the cost of additional benefits. A cut might be to change how the cost of living increase is calculated.

      We need to talk about all of these issues. Keith

      • Raising the FICA base would make a lot of sense. Yes, we do need to have conversations about all these, but conversations don’t seem to happen anymore. There are arguments, fights, threats and bullying, but those don’t really get us anywhere. Some days you just want to scream or throw something. But that doesn’t get us anywhere, either! 😉

      • Jill, well said about the absence of conversations. I would love to see a conversation with the majority and minority leaders of each part of Congress get together and find what they can pass. They just passed the national parks bill which was bipartisan. We need more of that. Keith

      • Wouldn’t it be nice if they could/would meet each other halfway? My fear is that for the next two years our government will be gridlocked, unable to pass any meaningful legislation, and even if they do manage it, Trump will veto it. I hope I’m wrong.

  2. People must really be getting tired of me saying/writing this, but check the historical record of many nations/cultures/empires whose rulers chose to ignore the warnings.
    No one is immune to the manifold structural forces at play around the world

    • Roger, so true. Your reminding us of this lack of awareness is key. The emperor has no clothes. It is not ironic that kids embarassing adult legislators got some concessions on gun governance after Parkland. And kids are suing the federal government, with a pretty good court case, on not acting more on climate change. Keith

      • Since their future is being betrayed by the ignorant and the greedy let us wish them the very best.

      • Roger, these folks need to be called on the carpet. It all gets back to money. This is the reason Trump is compromised. The same holds true with his son-in-law whose conflicts of interests rival his father-in-law’s. Keith

      • The best hope for the USA is an humiliating result for Trump in 2020 and a remorseless drive by a coalition of liberal and liberal conservatives to drive his ilk from office.

      • Roger, I agree. It is interesting Trump was criticizing Theresa May today while he has been rebuked on three separate votes denouncing his support of Saudi Arabia in Yemen, disapproving his emergency declaration and a unanimous House vote to require Manafort’s report be disclosed. Keith

      • I’d expect nothing more from him Keith.
        Though I confess to being puzzled. Did I read it correctly that he has overridden an original decision by FAA that the Boeing 747 Max was safe?

      • Roger, a man who chooses not to know more before he speaks has a habit of doing just that. When I read his words, I think two thoughts – what he is saying is likely untrue and their is an intent to disinform. Keith

      • That’s true Keith.
        I apologise if I had said this to you before, but if he said the world was round, I would at least visit a few Flat Earth sites and read their arguments

  3. Note to Readers: Before he was President on the “West Wing,” Martin Sheen played a populist candidate in this movie. After seeing our future with Sheen’s character as President, Johnny felt he had to stop him. That also serves as a metaphor today,

  4. Dear Keith,

    The ice is breaking. Around February 13, 2019, the US House of Representatives’ Science, Space, and Technology Committee turned over a new leaf on climate change as it held its first hearing on this subject in years. It was the first time serious discussions on this subject had taken place by members from both sides of the aisle. Yes, the GOP members did complain about the GND and the Texan GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert, asked a witness, “if humans are also causing the polar ice caps on Mars to melt, adding “that’s probably the sun”.

    But, overall, it was a serious first step. I’m expecting the Governors from both sides of the aisle from vulnerable states to climate change repercussions will be championing this issue, if they wish to be reelected. The GOP fossil fuel industry enablers cannot continue to gaslight the American public without invoking their anger and outrage.

    The protests are increasing. Politicians are speaking up. There’s more media coverage about this crisis. Times are changing.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, that is indeed progress. This is one issue the Democrats should not be worried about pushing. They are on the side of the Angels. I would love for Pelosi to work with McConnell and pass mutually agreeable measures. Keith

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