Art Chance: From 'flatten the curve' to flatten the country, thanks to experts - Must Read Alaska
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Art Chance: From ‘flatten the curve’ to flatten the country, thanks to experts

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By ART CHANCE

We’ve had a lot of purported experts paraded before us as we’ve endured now almost two years of semi-house arrest.  What started out as “two weeks to flatten the curve” has turned into two years to flatten the country.  

For the most part. Americans have supinely accepted the opinions of the “experts” that we were to sacrifice our liberty and for many our livelihood based on their opinions. If you haven’t already done so, it is time to examine who we really consider to be an expert and just what qualifies them to claim expertise.

The most famous expert in the U.S. these days is Dr. Anthony Fauci. Let’s examine what tests would be applied should the government call Dr. Fauci as an expert witness in a lawsuit and the opposing counsel objected to his accreditation as an expert on the grounds that he was not competent to express an opinion.   

I can tell you from my own experience, if you’d like to send a purported expert witness out through the overhead of the hearing room, as soon as s/he is called, you ask for voir dire, an examination of the witness’ competence to render an opinion, and then after voir dire, you object to the witness’ testimony on the grounds that they are not qualified to offer opinions. Even if you lose the objection, you will have caused most witnesses to lose their mind in a fit of apoplexy, and angry people don’t think clearly.

To underpin this a bit, there are two kinds of witnesses. The first is fact or ordinary witnesses, who can only testify to what they saw, touched, heard, smelled or otherwise directly observed. An ordinary witness cannot express an opinion. 

Then, there are expert witnesses who must be accredited and accepted as capable of expressing an opinion due to their expertise. A prolonged course of study or experience in the specific area to which s/he will testify will generally result in accreditation as an expert. 

If you’re trying a use of force case involving a cop, the plaintiff calls some former cop who trained cops in the force continuum and asks his opinion on the propriety of the use of force. Assuming he really has taught the courses and is familiar with the particular department’s force policies, his testimony as to his expert opinion will be accepted.   Then the accused cop’s lawyer calls his expert who is equally well-accredited and who testifies that the plaintiff’s expert is merely a paid shill. Whomever gets believed becomes a matter of which advocate can tell the best story and which “expert” was more personable.

In the real world unless an expert is spectacularly good or spectacularly bad, experts just moot each other and it comes down to a question of whose story is more believable.   The government “expert” such as Fauci is another matter altogether.    When Dr. Fauci, or Secretary of State Antony Blinken, or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley steps up to the lectern and in front of the cameras, there is no nasty-tempered guy like me just itching to say, “Voir dire, please.”    

The media, even at the highest levels of the White House Press Corps social club, are for the most part just pretty people with at most a bachelor’s or master’s degree in communications or journalism.   

Let’s be honest, those are degrees for people who can’t or won’t do demanding academic work.  Since the late 1960s and early 1970s, the schools have dumbed down college both out of avariciousness and to avoid the plaintiffs’ bar.  They developed degree programs for people who shouldn’t be any closer to a college classroom than the custodial closet or the grounds crew.

The effect of the dumbing down of college and the “studies” and other general degrees is worst in government and corporate America. In 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Griggs v. Duke Power, in which Willie Griggs alleged that Duke Power’s minimum qualifications for a promotion that he had been denied lacked business utility and had a discriminatory impact on minorities.   

Any reasonable reading of the record will reveal that Mr. Griggs was right; the minimum qualifications didn’t relate to the job and were clearly designed to discriminate against blacks, and so the U.S. Supreme Court agreed. In one fell swoop, almost all skills testing and specific minimum qualifications for employment went away; it was simply too difficult and expensive to prove that your requirements were not discriminatory.    

Government and big businesses mostly relied on “a degree” as the minimum qualification because that at least proved that you could show up at one place every day for four years. Jobs where “a degree” couldn’t be justified relied on long probationary periods during which an employee could more easily be dismissed. The colleges responded by making sure that anyone could get “a degree.” The problem is that the person with “a degree” today has what would have been about an Eighth Grade education in the 1960s, but has been told that they are the smartest, best-educated person the World has ever produced.

Back to Dr. Fauci. He’s old enough to have received a decent education and is a degreed medical doctor from a once good school, Cornell University.   He completed his residency at Cornell Medical Center in 1968 and went to work for the federal government at the National Institutes of Health and has been in leadership positions in various federal health agencies ever since.   

“Doctor” Fauci last practiced medicine as most of us understand that phrase as a resident, a doctor in training, at Cornell in 1968; he’s been a bureaucrat ever since. In just what is Dr. Fauci an expert? My own view of appointee-level bureaucrats who can survive multiple political administrations is that they are simply prostitutes; they’ll do anything for money, and Fauci has done very, very well at making money.   

In addition to being the highest paid federal employee, he and his pals at CDC/NIH et al. managed to lobby Congress to give them the right to hold ownership in process and pharmaceutical patents developed under the auspices of their agencies; no other federal employees can do that.   Fauci’s $400K is just the tip of his economic iceberg.

Then the Government puts people like Blinken and Milley in front of us to impart their expertise; in just what does either have any real expertise?   Blinken is Democrat, Ivy League, and government royalty, but other than a year or so “practicing law” in the ‘80s has never been anything other than a political operative or appointee.   He has a bachelor’s degree in “social studies” from Harvard University and edited The Crimson.   

Later, he wrote for “The New Republic,” which removes all doubts about his politics. He has a law degree from Columbia University. His upper-class liberal credentials are impeccable, but what about that resume tells you that he actually knows how to do anything other than pay the tuition and show up occasionally.   Since he left college he has never run anything or produced anything, yet he is considered an “expert” on international affairs and is in charge of the foreign policy of the United States.

General Milley is a general officer of the U.S. Army and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He looks every inch the military man and has enough “fruit salad” on his jacket to pass for a Third World dictator. Though he looks the part of the military man, he is a bureaucrat.   

The popular image of the military commander is the service academy graduate who came out as a 2nd Lieutenant, commanded a platoon, and if he lived long enough made his way up through the ranks to ultimately command an army.   

Milley went to Princeton and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in politics.  He got his military commission from being in the ROTC at Princeton University.  He went on to get masters degrees in International Relations from Columbia and National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. His biography also notes that he was an attendee at an MIT seminar on National Security. That makes me feel special because I have a MIT/Harvard certificate for my attendance at a seminar on Interest Based Collective Bargaining. All it takes is money, preferably somebody else’s money.

General Milley skipped that step where you got dirty, slept on the ground, and got shot at; he went straight from his academic endeavors to the command level in the military.  He’s the equivalent of the MBA/MPA who shows up at your worksite fresh out of school and proceeds to tell you how to do what s/he doesn’t know how to do. He spent his career in a dress uniform unless he needed to look the part of a combat soldier. When he was in Class As, you can bet his creases were razor sharp and the knot in his tie had fearful symmetry.  In his whole career if he heard a shot fired in anger it was from a great distance and he certainly never heard a bullet whizzing past his ear.

So, a couple of weeks ago, Gen. Milley was holding forth on understanding white rage, understanding Critical Race Theory, and holding forth about eliminating “white supremacy” from the ranks of the military.  Who could have imagined that someone like that could totally screw the pooch and get people needlessly killed in withdrawing from Afghanistan?    

There is going to be a bloodbath in Afghanistan, and it was Milley’s job to make sure that didn’t happen. He stands before the cameras as an expert, but he’s never done anything but write memos and sign purchase orders.  From whence cometh his expertise in military strategy and tactics?

The experts and the credentialed class in America are simply a national disgrace. We just saw it in Anchorage with the library director kerfuffle in recent weeks.   A masters in library science is just another “studies” degree and a fake credential pushed by an interest group, the American Library Association.  Lots of “professions” have such associations that spend money and lobbying effort to make sure that only those they have chosen can practice their profession. The Ivy League is just such an association, and you need your head examined if you hire an Ivy graduate from outside the STEM areas, and be careful with those.

Art Chance is a retired Director of Labor Relations for the State of Alaska, formerly of Juneau and now living in Anchorage. He is the author of the book, “Red on Blue, Establishing a Republican Governance,” available at Amazon. 

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  • You bought the con America. And the price was your freedom.

    We are treated far worse by our own government today than what caused a revolution in Washington’s day.

    Never before in human history were healthy people forced to quarantine during illness to this degree.

    It’s a Socialist nation now. Deny all you want. then look around. All because you got scared.

    People who trade liberty for security deserve neither.

  • The public health cabal is intent on transforming this great land into a society of masked, distanced, demoralized Fauci slaves. They got power for the first time in their lives due to the China plague, and they will not let go of that power without a FIGHT!

  • Well said.

  • Thank you for your genuine thoughts. So tired of the gaslighting and censorship.

    This was written in 1957 and truer than ever today. “When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing-When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors-When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you-When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming self-sacrifice- You may know that your society is doomed.” Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957

    It is time for everyone to use discernment to see through the gaslighting and censorship. Everyone must search for and understand the why behind what is going on world-wide, so we can unite and end it. Who(m) profited from the pandemic? The TRUTH WILL SET US FREE! Leaders lead. Tyrants dictate.

    • CAV, you beat me to my own saying. And we are doomed if the other half doesn’t wake up and see the truth very soon. This, by far, is the worst place this country has ever been and that includes the civil war. Death on a battlefield is not a measure of of a country’s degradation, it’s the number of people who consent in evil deeds.

  • As usual, well said Art. Unfortunately, while the American public is reaching the breaking point of taking any more of the smoke and mirrors being shoved at them, most seem incapable of realizing what is needed to combat it. Many are hoping for a revolution of some sort but it appears to me that it is shaping up to be more like a French than American and we know how that turned out. If only people would be more committed to doing a good job at the ballot box. Monumental changes may be our only hope to turn the tide. Term limits, torte reform, school vouchers and lobby restrictions may be some of the tools we need. I encourage folks to especially pay attention to your school board elections. It all started there decades ago and that’s where we need to start the change. If you see someone whose platform is mostly based on more funding for the status quo, perhaps you should take a closer look at the other choices.

  • Of Mr. Chance’s many editorials, this is one of his best. He has laid out the realities of pomp and circumstance, our useless educational system of printing degrees for anyone that pays and shows up, and the nature of people in leadership that we assume have expertise, but they don’t. They only play politics. And the COVID fiasco is far more political than it is dangerous. Right down the line, if you’re a democrat, COVID is THE most serious issue out there. If you’re a conservative, you know this COVID hub bub is another democrat-hyped crisis that they won’t let go to waste, as Rahm Emmanuel so infamously said. True believers on both sides as well as liars. Thank you, Art, for telling it like it is.

  • Anthony Fauci funded a covert “gain of function” research operation at the Wuhan Lab in China.
    Why would any Patriot listen to his B.S. at this point?

    • Fauci, alias “Faux Xi”, is an unregistered Chinese spy, and should be prosecuted as a traitor. Follow the money, and take a look at his pronouncements (coming from the one who was overseeing the grant he gave to Wuhan U) about what is really an escaped experiment as coming from the natural bat population in a wet market, and doing everything he can to deflect blame from the CCP. Why the msm keeps giving him air time is beyond me – are they bought and paid for by the Chinese also? Wait, we know the answer to that one… Fools prove their folly when they open their mouths.

    • I’ve been wondering the very same thing, Steve. It seems so obvious to me that Fauci is a liar, expert only in double-speak, and that he is also now revealed as an evil man, money-hungry enough to participate in the gain-of-function work. Anyone who still believes a word out of his mouth is a moron, and that is the truth of it. Anthony Fauci should be tried (as should many others) for treason and murder. He reminds me of the “tailors” who made the invisible cloth for The Emperor’s New Clothes. Many are dead because of that man. His soul belongs to the devil now.

  • Oh, thanks! Good to know! I went to the Loussac and checked out a book (probably on healing), and a paper fell out and it said in really beautiful cursive “Voir Dire” at the top. It was a nice list. I still have it.

  • This argument is a lesson in sophistry. All of Mr. Chance’s arguments are made on the basis of his opinions as to their validity. He offers nothing that remotely resembles proof. As an example, he pilories poor Dr. Fauci for being the equivalent of an expert witness in a court of law. Courts of law are antagonistic in nature. You present your best case and try to debunk the other side, and they do the same to you. Scientific and medical studies are different. There, they are attempting to find out what is working and what is not. Dr. Fauci has been doing this for many years . He’s good at it. The fact that all major epidemics have been generally controlled and that medical procedures have been put in place to manage them is as close to proof as you will get with these things. They are moving targets. You don’t get to boil it down to guilty or not guilty. or liable or not liable. The playing field is constantly changing, and it takes a certain kind of intellect to work effectively in that environment.
    It also takes that kind of intellect to deal with the events encountered in military engagements. The complexity is enormous. Battle plans are made and discarded as soon as actions begin because they are no longer relevant. They are the equivalent of every football play plan, which are meant to result in a touchdown every time. To denigrate Gen. Milley for what is termed getting people needlessly killed in a chaotic situation is the height of arrogance. Even Napolean acknowledged that what he wanted from his generals was that they be lucky.
    The so-called critical race theory thing is a red herring. Probably just threw that in there to satisfy the red meat crowd. Does Mr. Chance really think we should go back to segregation in the army?
    Again, the MLS degree thing surfaces. Does Mr. Chance, a long time bureaucrat, not understand that there are certain requirements for such things as appropriate training and experience to qualify for the position (apparently Mr. Bronson does not, but then he flew airplanes. I wonder if he feels there shouldn’t be certain requirements for that)? Does he not understand that I cannot simply hang a shingle out and declare myself a doctor, or a lawyer, or a librarian?
    It does appear that there are certain positions that require no particular education, expertise, or experience. Those are elected positions. Anyone can run, and whoever gets the most votes gets the gig. They could be dumb as rocks, and sometimes I think they may be. Thank goodness there are appropriate hoops those who work under them have to jump through before they get their jobs.

    • Like your pea-brained namesake you grapple with things you don’t understand. First, you don’t know what sophistry is; did you miss that day in Philosophy 101? Sophists are generally criticized for using attractive but fallacious arguments meant to deceive the receptors. Your rant is just one subjectivist fallacy after another, and you stupidly call me a sophist. My name is on the appearance line of hundreds of labor board and arbitration decisions won by the State, many of which were reviewed by the courts; if I practiced sophistry, we wouldn’t have won. I’m a lot better at this than you; and better than most everybody else for that matter. I can survive voir dire, and have.

      There is absolutely no difference between a legal argument and a scientific/medical argument; they are an examination to find truth through factual and logical examination. That is what peer review is all about. Did you miss some of those logic classes too? So, let us distill your snarky screed down to something like a syllogism; you know what those are, don’t you?

      You don’t believe my premise/
      You don’t like me since you disagree with me/
      Therefore, my premise is not true.

      That is a definitional subjectivist fallacy. Typical lefty; I don’t like it is a compelling logical argument – NOT.

      And of course, you resort to the usual lefty ad hominem and do it with a non sequitur. You posit that since it mention Critical Race Theory I must advocate a return to a segregated military. Of course you offer no support for that other than your naked assertion of your opinion in the question. If examined a bit, the people who support segregation are those who support CRT; try to keep up.

      Now trundle on back to your cave and try to figure out how to start a fire like your namesake spent a million years doing.

      • Aren’t where have you been? That’s what everybody does on here. They don’t like what you say so what you’re saying must be wrong right? Most of what you say goes in one ear and out the other for me because there’s not enough soap in the state of Alaska to wash out your filthy mouth. Your mom either didn’t wash your mouth out with soap or she ran out of soap doing it. Which is it art?

        • Suzanne has better manners than I so I can’t adequately respond to your mindless screed., but I could do it in two words.

      • It’s simple, Art. It’s not that I don’t believe your premise, it’s that I don’t agree with your premise. That’s the basis of all your arguments, which is why you are a sophist. If I don’t accept your premise, you make your argument, however hare brained it may be, and declare it the truth.
        Must be nice to declare yourself the winner every time.
        Even my pea sized brain can see beyond that.

    • I’ll stick with Art’s observations. Your expert, Dr. Fauci, has burped up more conflicting opinions than Drs. Moe, Curly, and Larry. Stunning actually.

    • Well…I was going to deliver a blistering lecture to the caveman, but Mr. Chance did a far better job of that dressing down than I can even dream of doing. If “Homo Erectus” actually believed in what he/she says, then this person would not feel the need to hide behind a fake name. If you can’t own what you say, then it isn’t worth listening to the words of a coward, and that is what you are if you are so afraid to use your real name.

  • I believe Poor little Mr Fauci is at this point a bit of a cgi. Perhaps he is contemplating his fate (and the republic’s) south of the equator. There remains credible tumult in the architecture and international management of HIV. The experts no matter how opposed they were could not have imagined the rigorous immune system response of the targeted populations in the last go around. It is unexpected and inexplicable by the confident extremist experts that the human immune system would so thoroughly trounce HIV. Where are quiscient protective media headlines today: ” 700 hiv infected today and 13 on life support”? Oh that’s not headline news today? What happened. Human immune system not taking orders from anyone. Targeted population still thriving everywhere in the world. Hmm.

  • Homo,“Made on basis of opinion”. The reason we have expert testimony IS for their opinion. The gibberish that experts talk is most of the time above people’s education level and/or out of their specialty field or there wouldn’t be a need for experts. The difference between the courtroom and the stage Fauci occupies, is that facts must be presented in a courtroom. And the stage that Fauci occupies is for performance only. It is the common man who outnumber the experts who make the decisions based on a majority consensus, hence a democracy. Not experts standing on stage ruling from their aptitude.
    .
    That you compare a doctor or pilot to a librarian is absurd. Both doctors and pilots are charged with the responsibility of other people’s lives. And yet nothing that they learned in academics will replace the proficiency they achieve by actually doing the job. Librarian on the other hand, has no such risk. However, they are charged with the responsibility as stewards of written knowledge, knowledge that can strengthen a society or be weaponized to steal foundational values and historical truths. The Left desires the latter and they have fenced the position off with arbitrary qualifications to keep their agenda alive. They know chances are that by the time someone reaches that level of education, that person has been fully indoctrinated into their Marxist philosophy and stands a greater chance of complying with it.
    .
    What you, Homo, have presented here is nothing more than opinionated rebuttal, of what you refer to as an opinionated post. Now all that is left, is to see who agrees with who and the majority rules. When everything has been said, it comes down to who is more believable and who is more respected for their intellect.
    .
    From me, you speak from no point of higher intellect, you have spoke no facts and it is thoroughly evident that you speak from a completely biased position of more government control.

  • It’s easy to tell when Art hits the target. Long winded, overly wordy, factless “rebuttals” by trolls in sad attempts to obfuscate.

    Explains why Biden is President.

  • Homo Erectus should have stayed in his cave! I ‘d say his opinion was totally refuted by the responses to Art’s insightful editorial! The commentary supporting Art’s penning is so uplifting, knowing that there are actually people with grey matter out there! All is not lost!!!!!………….yet.

    • Yes, hot air can be uplifting, and Art is one of its practiced artists. Eventually hot air cools, and drifts back down to earth. Art’s been bloviating as a governmental hack for so long he may never get back.

  • Your comments herein mirror my assessments of Fauci, Blinken, & Milley. In my 32+ years of service as an enlisted sailor and naval officer I despised the bureaucrats and lauded the operators. With respect to Fauci, no one is worth the $400k they pay him, let alone what Gates and the Chinese slide to him under the table. Blinken really doesn’t have a clue about much of anything, let alone Afghanistan, and Milley, for all his 4-Stars, is a joke. “Fruit Salad” looks good on the uniform, but how much was really earned? Bureaucrats take care of bureaucrats.

  • Art brings up a timely issue which encapsulates and summarizes the decline and fall of the American Republic.
    Over the last 70 years we have surrendered the concept of “consent by the governed” to outsourcing rule making to vast administrative codes managed by “experts”. These administrative codes reference actual legislation but go far astray, unrecognizable in their implementation.
    The agencies naturally weed out public servants or higher ranking military officers who are competent and show personal integrity in favor of the rear end kissers and petty political operatives.
    Political power tends to concentrate toward incestuous and incompetent family dynasties, examples: Bush family, Clinton’s, McCain, Cheney, Murkowski’s, Obama’s (Biden admin is the 3rd Obama admin) etc., who have pedigree and elite credentials but are devoid of integrity, wisdom or skills.
    The scenes are reminiscent of the French and Russian royalty and ruling class before their revolutions, they were oblivious and thought their power and position was unassailable.
    Currently the analogy is closer to the collapse of the Soviet system, whose all powerful elites adhered to “scientific socialism”, eerily similar to the indoctrination themes in our universities and form the basis for our agency policies at federal and state levels.
    The number 1 showcase failure of our administrative state is the government funded laboratory creation of and failed government response to the SARS-2 virus health crisis.
    A truly remarkable and epic combination of corruption, failure, special interest exploitation for power and profit and consolidation of government power, the final removal of the revolutionary concept of consent of the governed.

    • I’d go back a lot further than 70 years. The disagreement over “consent of the governed” goes all the way back to the earliest settlements in British North America, and in some ways even further into English divisions that led to their civil war. At the essence it is a religious difference: Does man achieve salvation by faith or by works?

      When English settlement began in America, Protestantism was barely half a century established in England and still very unsettled. The Church of England or Anglicanism was essentially Roman Catholicism in English and without the Roman Pope. Others, foremost among them those we now call the Puritans, took a much more Calvinist view of Reformation.

      Most of the settlers in the Southern colonies were of the Anglican tradition, and some room was even made for Catholics. The Northern colonies, starting with Massachusetts, were settled by Puritans whose relations with the Church of England were such that they had fled England and actually sailed to British North America from Holland.

      Moving forward we find here the seeds of the federalist-anti-federalist controversies that bedeviled American politics from our founding. The Northern states with their Puritan tradition believed in salvation by works, the Southern states took a much more hands off view of religious influence on secular life. It is perhaps best summarized by Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes’, commander of the CSS Alabama, quote that “the Yankee believes that he must toil to make the world turn. The notion persists to this day.

      From the beginning, the federal government asserted its authority, though the Founders intention was that it was to be no more than an agent of the States. The federal government dictated the settlement and even the geography of the former French territories the US acquired after the Revolution. We may appreciate the Cartesian Grid imposed on the former Northwest Territories and all the land west of the Mississippi River later acquired in the Louisiana Purchase, but it had nothing to do with the consent of the governed. Settlement of The West was driven and dictated by the federal government.

      The federal government asserted and exercised extraordinary power during the US Civil War and its immediate aftermath. It is easy to argue that the original federal republic ended with the passage of the 14th Amendment, but actually the federal government asserted little authority under the 14th Am. for the remainder of the 19th Century.

      The 19th Century Progressive movement, and its accompanying Populist movement, somewhat relied on the 14th Am. to impose regulation on US industry, but it wasn’t until the early 20th Century that the 14th Am. came to be used as a bludgeon against State and individual sovereignty, beginning with Mapp v. Ohio and the “incorporation” doctrine that held that the “Bill of Rights” intended by the Founders to restrict the powers of the federal government not the States was implicitly incorporated into State laws and constitutions. Mapp v. Ohio ended the federal republic the Founders envisioned; we became a unitary government controlled from Washington in 1961.

      To Brian’s point about rule by bureaucrats and purported experts, first blame popular election of Senators; there is such a thing as too much democracy. Senators should represent states and their legislatures; they shouldn’t be just representatives with larger districts and longer terms.

      Then blame the fact that with modern communications, every grievance goes to the National government, not the local or state government. Why deal with a 100 member assemblage of real estate agents, car dealers, small business owners, farmers and merchants in a State legislature when you can run to the federal courts and make your argument to a handful of Ivy League lawyers who probably share your leftist views?

      And finally, you’d be hard pressed to buy an intelligent conversation in a legislative office. If you’ve ever actually done anything, it is almost impossible to get elected to public office. Being some ne’er do well nobody who has friends with money is the best way to get elected to public office. Most of them don’t read legislation beyond the sponsor’s name, and wouldn’t understand it if they did. They take the word of the whips, the administration, or the lobbyist who wrote it about what the legislation means, and then they include language that delegates the interpretation and implementation of the law to the bureaucrats. That’s how carbon dioxide, one of the most common substances on Earth, came to be designated as a pollutant; the Congress delegated the power to define pollutants to the director of the EPA.

  • Yes. Sir. (Salute) Saul of Tarsis!

    I say homo erectus already invented fire. Now he needs to find a Wellspring.

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