The Seven Words You Can’t Say at the CDC

You remember George Carlin’s routine about the seven words you can’t say on TV, right?

Well, you may not yet have heard that the Trump administration is forbidding officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta from using a list of seven words or phrases in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.

The forbidden words are: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based.”

Seriously, I’m not making this up.

Policy analysts at the CDC were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting yesterday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing.

The ban is related to the budget and supporting materials that are to be given to CDC’s partners and to Congress, the analyst said.

So it seems that we have truly entered the dystopian world described in George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Thank you Donald Trump, the Republican Congress, and all of you deplorables who voted for that moron.

One-Liner Wednesday — Don’t Shoot the Messenger

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“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”

If you haven’t read George Orwell’s book, 1984, in a long, long time — or if you’ve never read it — now is the time to do so. It’s particularly relevant these days when alternative facts (aka, lies) are being presented as valid options for actual facts (aka, the truth) and when real news is called fake and fake news is called real.

When the message offers you the truth, don’t shoot the messenger.


This post is part of the One-Liner Wedesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.

Alternative Facts

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Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt is lying to America. On multiple Sunday morning news shows a few weeks ago, the EPA chief was telling anyone who would listen that the coal industry in the US has grown by more than 50,000 jobs during the first quarter of 2017.

Unfortunately, that is total bullshit. The US Mine Health and Safety Administration reported that the average number of coal industry jobs increased by fewer than 600 during the first three months of 2017.

Hmm. More than 50,000 versus fewer than 600. The figures quoted by Pruitt must have come directly from the Trump administration’s Ministry of Truth.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently only 51,000 jobs in the entire coal mining industry. And of those 51,000 jobs, only around 15,000 are actually working in the mines.

Simple Arithmetic

But wait. If there are currently only 51,000 total mine industry workers and, as Pruitt claims, there were more than 50,000 new mine industry jobs in the first quarter of this year alone, that would mean — wait, let me do the math — that would mean there could have been only 1,000 coal mining industry jobs in existence at the end of last year. Simple arithmetic, right?

Meanwhile, slate.com noted that there are 69,000 bowling industry workers in the US. That’s 18,000 more than coal industry workers. There are 20,000 professional dancers in this country, while there are only 15,000 actual coal miners. There are more drywall installers, more event planners, more zoologist, and more skin care specialists than there are miners.

So why is Pruitt lying to the American public? Why is Trump putting so much emphasis on saving a relatively small and dying industry?

The question is who benefits? Follow the money people. Follow the money.