I Have Met the Enemy and He is Us

Walt Kelly was a cartoonist who created a popular comic strip called “Pogo” that went syndicated in newspapers across the US in 1948. It featured a cast of Okefenokee swamp animals led by the Opossum, Pogo and Allie the alligator.

While it could be enjoyed by children, Kelly also used the strip as his platform to express his political and philosophical views in satire and parody. He made some powerful enemies with his uncanny caricatures of politicians like Joe McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover. All with names changed, of course.

One of his famous phrases during a “war” in the swamp was the slight modification of Oliver Hazard Perry’s message upon defeating the British during the battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. Perry said, “I have met the enemy and he is ours.”

Loi and I loved Pogo during the late ‘60’s and 70’s we used to sing Pogo’s traditional Christmas carol to our kids. Eventually the kids would sing it too.

Sung to the tune of “Deck the Halls” it went like this:

Deck us all with Boston Charlie
Walla Walla Wash and Kalamazoo!
Nora’s freezin’ on the trolley
Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo

Don’t we know archaic barrel
Lullaby Lillie boy Louisville Lou
Trolley Molly don’t love Herald
Boola boola Pensacola hullaballo

It went on like that for 4 more verses but we usually never made it that far before collapsing in laughter.

Bear with me I will eventually get to the point.

Sitting at home sheltered in place or whatever you choose to call it, you have plenty of time to think, and watch television. The body count is listed on the screen constantly like the stock market fluctuations. Sort of a morbid hourly body count. You begin to wonder if Pogo was right, the enemy is us!

The projections on how many people would die from this virus have been wildly off, bringing into question who is creating these models anyway? First it was a couple of million, then downshifted to 200,000 and finally settling in at 60,000. Let’s say they over-corrected and it’s slightly higher to say, 80,000? You also have to wonder if these are the same modelers who are creating the climate change predictions?

With this thought in mind I wondered how many deaths we have in any given year in the US from other diseases? What I learned was that there were 2,813,503 deaths in 2018. Of those diabetes (so near and dear to my heart) was number 7 on the list of ten most at 83,000. That’s slightly less than alcohol related deaths at 88,000. Drug overdoses were 55,000, auto accidents 33,600 and suicide at 47,000. Those were small compared to the biggies…. Heart disease: 647,000 and Cancer: 600,000. The next of the top five were all greater than diabetes.

Did you see that flashing on your TV screen? “Today 20,000 people died of heart disease. Older people are advised to sit this out in their basements and cower in fear!”

Data from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/, 4/18/2020.

The question I have to ask is, have we over reacted to this virus? I say that with full knowledge that my wife and I are in the highest risk group. Over 28% of all deaths are in the 70+ age groups and to top it off, we both have other risk factors.

Data numbers are confusing–of all the coronavirus deaths, over 80% are over 60 years old. The percentages here are those of infected patients, 14.8% of those 80+ do not survive, not 14.8% of the total population.

So, with hopes that I do not alert the Karma Gods, let me say that this virus is not worth destroying the US economy by over-reaction. My wife and I have lived through several really bad economic times. The late 1970s was arguably the worst. The rate of inflation hovered around 12% and mortgage rates were about the same. Reagan, in his Presidential campaign, added them up and called it the “Misery Index”. He got elected because everyone was indeed miserable. He and the Fed went on a campaign to break the back of inflation and interests rates got cranked up to over 18%. Imagine buying a house with that rate to look forward to? With inflation finally under control, Reagan began the largest peacetime expansion prior to Trump.

Naturally, the Democrats and media have welcomed this pandemic misery because it essentially destroyed the major advantage Trump had going into the 2020 elections—-the booming economy. Nor is it surprising that the Democrats led by the Evil Queen Pelosi would blackmail Trump into cramming non-virus funding into bills meant to help workers and business. These career politicians don’t care if people lose their life savings or their businesses. They still have their jobs and fat perks so they can play politics and the little people be damned. They sit on their asses instead of passing legislation to help the workers and businesses. Pelosi has had the Democrats sitting at home while a bill is pending.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer faces fierce backlash over strict stay-at ...

This “crisis” has also brought out the worst tyrannical instincts of some politicians. Governor Whitmer of Michigan has led the way with some of her idiotic and unconstitutional dictates. My cousin lives there so I get some first-hand reports. Some of her more head shaking rules are: no fishing unless in a canoe or kayak. One fellow was fined $1200 for fishing by himself in a quiet lake. His crime? He had a motor on his boat.

The tyrant governor has also banned the purchase of seeds, paint and any home improvement supplies. Of course, you can still get booze but you can’t walk in a park. She has banned driving to your cottage in the Upper Peninsula. Apparently she hasn’t realized that in the sparsely populated areas, “social distancing” happens by default. Oh, nearly forgot, she banned all elective surgeries but abortions are just fine. Essential apparently. Calling them “life sustaining”. Now that’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

The people of Michigan are fed up and are protesting loudly. So are other states. The pressure is building and the future of our children and grandchildren is at stake. This madness has to end. Yes, some people are going to die. Maybe me. But as I pointed out, people die every day of other stuff. We are going to have to pay a heavy price for this total shutdown of the economy and the trillions of dollars tossed at it. Inflation is the likely result and if the Democrats take power in January, it will take decades to get out of it, if ever.

China, Russia and Iran may indeed be our enemies, but we may be the worst of all.

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Chauncey for President

Given the public gaffs of the Democrat chosen candidate, Biden, people have begun to compare him to Bernie in the hilarious movie, “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

Spoiler alert: Bernie is dead.

I think the more appropriate movie comparison is “Being There,” a 1979 movie starring Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine. It’s about a quirky man who spends his entire life on the estate of a wealthy man. He’s a simpleton and he takes care of the owner’s garden. No, I am not calling Biden a simpleton; Biden is an elderly man and his mental faculties are declining. I see it happening quickly in some of my friends and I see my own acuity slipping. Biden shows signs of early Alzheimer’s.

The official movie poster.

Chance the gardener has had no education, never left the estate and everything he knows he got from watching television.

Chance the Gardener

When the old man dies, Chance is out on the street but has the old man’s clothes and mannerisms. He is taken in by another wealthy family and speaks in profound-sounding phrases like, “Everything will grow strong at the right time,” and “As long as the roots are not severed, all is well.” All nonsense in the context but regarded by the political powers as profound!

The owner of his new home is well connected politically, and thinks Chauncey Gardiner a wise man. He introduces him to the president who is also impressed with his answer to every question with some principles of gardening. Soon Chauncey finds himself interviewed by the press and on TV shows, and eventually, suggested as a presidential pick.

Jerzy Kosinski who wrote the book and the screenplay, intended it to be a parody or caricature of Washington politics and the press. This whole Democrat primary season has shown that to be extraordinarily accurate.

My first thought was that Bernie and Biden would duke it out until the convention and then a brokered convention would select Hilary as the alternative. The Democrats had only one objective–beat Trump. It looked like Bernie had the most enthusiastic followers, but the powers in the Democrat party figured that a wild-haired, arm-waving, raving communist would stand no chance against Trump. So they picked Biden and everyone started building him up.

Bernie Sanders tax returns show both income and tax rate jumped ...

The Democrats have spent the first three years of Trump’s term trying
to get rid of the guy…….almost from the moment he was inaugurated. It did not work.

Pelosi once said she prayed for Trump every day and I’m sure she did, likely praying for God to help her get rid of him. Her prayers were answered in the form of a pandemic. Now they had “Trump’s Katrina” and could blame his administration for every mistake and every death. They were blaming him for not being prepared for the pandemic. No one was prepared, particularly the states that did not spend the money to build up any inventory of ventilators, facemasks and PPE (much of which were depleted and not restocked after the H1N1 epidemic in 2010) and closed hospitals. Couple that with the massive demand increase worldwide for this stuff. And then, of course, you have China that produces most of this equipment, including nearly all of our medications. Shortages are not surprising.

Trump had been complaining about China for years before he decided to run for President and has been trying to bring back manufacturing to the US from China since he was inaugurated. This crisis should shed light on this problem like never before. China is worried about losing a lot of manufacturing so after causing this pandemic and hiding the danger, they are now trying to redeem themselves with donations.

With the Democrats becoming increasingly concerned about Biden, I look to my (enter proper non-gender specific pronoun here) in law who I regard as my weather vane for showing which way the wind is blowing in the Democrat party. He/she is voluble on social media and is singing the praises of Cuomo, the governor of New York.

Gov Cuomo of NY

Indeed, he appears to have gotten the message and is seemingly campaigning in his daily press conferences carried on national TV. The anti-Trump media has gotten the word, too. They’ve also figured out that Trump’s daily briefings and the team of experts with him in those briefings has caused his ratings to go up. They are now proposing not to air the national briefings by the task force but to air the bloviating by Cuomo. He never mentions Trump but refers to assistance as “from the Federal government” and he’s none too grateful for that assistance. Yes, he’s seen the golden path to the White House and he lusts for it.

Getting Cuomo to be the candidate for president and to get rid of Biden while keeping Bernie at arm’s length is going to take some clever political jujitsu. Biden is pretty easy. They just tell the world that his doctors have advised him to retire. Dr. Jill Biden had her heart set on being first lady, but Hillary could just threaten her.

Bernie might be a problem. I do not pretend to know the rules of the Democrat party in the candidate selection process, but exceptions can be made and rules changed. Shutting Bernie up and getting his fervent supporters to vote for either Biden or Cuomo might be tough job. Party loyalty won’t work because Bernie is not even a Democrat.

It’s been quite a year and we are only winding up the first quarter. The rest of the year should be a doozy! Trump’s fate will depend on how quickly he can handle the virus and get the economy rolling again.

As Trump says all the time, “We’ll see what happens”.

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Impeach Him!!

    The day after Trump was inaugurated in 2017 the Washington Post had a headline that said, “The Campaign to Impeach Trump Has Begun” (dated 20 January 2017).  Ten days later, Mark Zaid, the attorney for the Ukrainian whistle blower tweeted, “Coup has started.  First of many steps.”

    In May of 2017 Rep. Al Green in a floor speech urged the House to impeach the President and in July articles of impeachment were filed for the first time.  I guess that was the first time of seven that impeachment was attempted.  So they finally got him.  It took almost three years of constant resistance and help from the liberal media.

    It appears to have started even before Trump got elected.  The recent spanking of the FBI over misrepresentations to the FISA court for approval to wiretap the Trump campaign proves it. 

    Then, of course, the Russian collusion started.  This idea fit right into the Democrats disbelief that Trump could not have beaten Hillary in a fair election.  Enter special prosecutor Mueller and his merry band of Democrat vulture lawyers.  Two years and $30 million dollars later they had nothing and it fizzled like spit on a hot wood stove.  The Democrats had counted on the Russian collusion thing to give them the ax to get rid of Trump.  Meanwhile, with the economy booming along and unemployment at record lows, the Democrats were desperate to find something.  He might well get reelected and probably get to appoint another Supreme Court justice!!

    Along comes a phone call between the President and Ukraine.  Time was running out but they figured they could hang this one around his neck and even though they knew the Senate would never convict, they figured Trump might be damaged enough.

    Against her better judgment Speaker Pelosi let the majority Democrats vote and turned it over to Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the Intelligence committee.  (He reminds me of a pencil necked, bug eyed lemur.)  Frankly, I think this whole whistleblower thing was a fraud dreamed up by Schiff, the lawyer mentioned above who tweeted ten days after inauguration that “the coup has started” and some Democrat inside the White House.

    Schiff ran secretive and unfair hearing, allowing no witness for Trump or his lawyers.  Much of it was in secret.

Handing it off to Nadler’s Judiciary committee they started to draft the articles.  They poll tested several, later discarding “quid pro quo”, “bribery”, treason and “extortion” before settling on abuse of power by requesting foreign assistance in an election.  The second article was obstructing Congress by refusing to send documents and officials to testify.  These are the thinnest of charges and even debatable as to their validity.

    Pelosi put the vote to the House.  The Democrats all wore black and each speaker called it a somber or sad occasion.  What a clown show!  No Republican vote for it and a few Democrats voted against it. Sad my ass.  The left was overjoyed.

    Her next duty was to send it over to the Senate for trial for conviction or acquittal.  She refused to do it insisting that a fair trial wouldn’t happen unless they could bring their own witnesses.  Fair trial after what they had conducted in the House?  Audacious but laughable. They’re scared the source of the whole coup will be exposed.  And they think that simply laying the impeached thing on him is enough anyway.

    To use Trump’s favorite expression, “We’ll see what happens.”

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OK, Greta, You Win.

    Greta Thunberg, the Swedish 16 year old high school student fresh off her speech at the UN has been touring Canada preaching her message of climate alarmism to massive crowds of mostly teens.  Of course, these students have been indoctrinated in this climate fraud in school.  She has become the Pied Piper of climate change leading her children followers with her simple tune.

16-year-old Swedish Climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri – HP1EF9N1AIFX9

    I tried to find out what solutions she proposes we adopt to achieve her goal of saving the human race and it boils down to 4 simple steps.

  • Fly less or not at all
  • Go vegan (Note: She did not suggest we kill all the cows.  Just stop eating them.)
  • Join at activist group.
  • Vote.

    If she and her fellow true believers blame CO2, I don’t see how her plan does much to stop climate change.  On the other hand I doubt either she or her followers in Canada have given a lot of serious thought to the realities of Canada.  First of all, Canada only produces 1.6% of the world’s CO2.  Secondly, Canada may already be carbon neutral.  Half of Canada is covered by forest or nearly 1 million square miles.  Surely, Greta and her teen admirers know that trees absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen.  Then again, maybe not.

    This reality has not stopped the NDP and Green Party of BC from dictating drastic policies to reduce CO2.  They want the following:

  • By 2030 all new cars will be electric.
  • By 2040 all internal combustion cars will be replaced by electric.
  • By 2030 all mass transit vehicles will be electric and also all new buildings will be zero emissions, they too will be electric.  No mention is made of farm equipment or long haul trucks or trains.  Also, no mention of where all this electricity is going to come from. No coal or gas electrical generation and god forbid no nuclear either.  That pretty much leaves wind, hydro and solar so that we can charge all those electric vehicles and heat and air condition the buildings.

    The media, the politicians and the schools have convinced the vast majority of the population that we need to get rid of CO2. 

    So I say let’s do!  Screw Alberta and Saskatchewan .  Shut down all oil and gas production and with that you don’t need pipelines anymore.  Too bad that the pipeline provides all the avgas for the Vancouver airport.  That means few planes carrying tourists will be flying into VGH.  Say goodbye to tourism and all those jobs.  Businesses would abandon BC like ducks heading south after a heavy freeze. With the inevitable tanking of the economy all those sanctimonious young folks clamoring for action on climate change would find it impossible to find a job. Not everyone can work for the government. Besides, the government would be short of funds with lack of business and payroll taxes, not to mention gas taxes. 

    I think the Greta acolytes might then agree that this virtue signaling to be too expensive.

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What About Bob?

    Ever since Trump’s surprise victory over Hillary there has been a concerted effort to get rid of the guy.  They were convinced he could not have done it without help from somebody.  Of course, it was obvious that the famous stolen emails from Hillary and the DNC played a large role.  Initially it was reported that at least 5 foreign governments had all broken into the totally unsecure computers. Then John Brennan, Director of the CIA and James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence said no, it was the Russians. Both of these guys were appointed by Obama and had total control of all the various intelligence organizations.  The much-touted line that all 17 of the intelligence operations agreed that the Russians did it is meaningless because these two yahoos controlled them all!

    Clapper and Brennan got to show their true colors when after leaving government went on to serve as “experts” for anti-Trump TV networks.  Brennan went to MSNBC and famously called Trump a traitor. Clapper, who once lied in testimony to Congress and later admitted it, went to CNN.  Both former Obama appointees frequently accused the President of having colluded with the Russians to steal the election.

    The appointment of Bob Mueller as Special Counsel, the Democrats believed, would get rid of Trump.  Over two years and $35 million dollars later, staffed with a collection of blood-thirsty Hillary supporting Democrat prosecutors concluded that there was no collusion.  On the issue of obstruction they left some wiggle room although it seemed impossible to obstruct an investigation into a non-crime.  Democrats decided that if they could get Mueller to say he thought Trump obstructed justice that they could have grounds for impeachment.  They brought him in to testify before Congress.

    Mueller’s performance was, to say the least, pitiful.  He clearly knew little about the whole investigation and had obviously just been a figurehead.  It was a total bust for the Democrats and that it became obvious he did not write the report and seemed totally oblivious to the highly partisan leanings of his committee.

    Then suddenly Bob Mueller disappeared from the anti-Trump talk shows of CNN and MSNBC and the other media outlets.  It was like heroic Bob never existed.  Now the Republicans wanted to know how this whole false story got started in the first place and that might raise some embarrassing questions before the next election.  No one on the left wanted to mention Russia.

    The brain trust of the Democrat party came up with a new strategy to damage Trump.  He’s a racist!  The Democrats have relied on the black vote to lead to electoral success.  They routinely get 90 to 95% of the black vote.  All major cities have Democrat mayors.  As retired basketball superstar, Charles Barkley said a few years ago, “Blacks have been voting for Democrats for their whole lives and they are still poor.” Indeed, anyone courageous enough to drive through the inner city of any major US city will soon discover what a hopeless mess they are.

    Trump’s policies have helped these folks and they noticed. Black support for Trump has grown and this worries Democrats.  Hence the constant cries that he is a racist.  As a famous Nazi propagandist named Goebbels once said, “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.”  Democrats need to keep that black vote to succeed and the loss of even 10% support scares the shit out of them.

    Trump needs to continue to go after the black vote by campaigning in black communities and doing some new programs like establishing trade schools in the inner cities.  Inner city schools are awful.  The teachers unions obstruct any effort to improve them but why can’t the administration set up some federally funded trade schools?

    The Department of Education has a budget of $68 billion and has 4000 employees.  Since the DOE does not educate a single child, what the Hell do they do?  Surely the administration could slash the paperwork and whole departments and have lots of cash left to fund trade schools.  Teach these hopeless kids to be welders, plumbers, carpenters, etc. and give them some skills to find a job.  Blacks would notice.

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Facts

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

                 John Adams

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.

         Daniel P. Moynihan, four term US Senator

I couldn’t decide between the two above wise quotes so I put them both in.  I thought it was appropriate because facts seem to be in short supply on the AGW, climate change side.

Wildfires, or forest fires in the older parlance, are widely touted as dramatically increasing as a result of climate change.  Of course, the bad ones are extensively covered by the news media and it’s easy for people to conclude that they are happening with increasing frequency and magnitude.

In Canada where this idea is widely touted the facts show otherwise.  According to the Canadian National Fire Database “The data shows a decline in the number of fires and the size of the areas destroyed”.  They further say, “Changing temperature and precipitation extremes can be expected to lead to a change in the likelihood of events such as wildfires, droughts and floods.”  In other words…….the weather! Last summer was hot and dry and we had a bunch of wildfires.  More were predicted for this summer but Ma Nature decided to move the jet stream around a touch and we’ve had a wet summer so far.

I wrote a blog post a couple of years ago about the “expert” who predicted we’d have another drought year after the previous dry summer.  He warned we’d need to start conserving water immediately.  He made a full front page in the Vancouver newspaper.  Wrong.  We had a very wet summer and no shortage of water.  The newspaper was uninterested in my letter reminding them of the erroneous and frightening prediction.

So too, are the breathless reports on annual heat waves.  The US Environmental Protection Agency report on heat waves in the US going back to 1895 shows no trend during that period.  A big spike happened in the 1920s and especially 1930s (think Dust Bowl) but reverted to the trend line thereafter.  Meanwhile, the global CO2 level rose steeply since the 1950s.

Back a few years ago it was widely reported that climate change caused a rapid rise in the number of hurricane landfalls, tornados and wildfires.  University of Colorado scientist, Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. decided to go back the record books and check the facts. He published a paper and then a book (Climate Fix) reporting that there was no increase in hurricane landfalls, tornados or wild fires in the US over the historical average.

For this heresy he was excommunicated from the polite climate fraternity of scientists, widely vilified and threatened. Confronted with the facts evoked anger. Fortunately for him, burning at the stake is no longer legal.

Facts don’t seem to trouble anyone and the screams about the end on Earth as we know it is imminent unless we change our way of life.  In Canada the politicians all are signed up to the idea that we need to eliminate all CO2 by 2050.  In the US it’s even more ambitious.  AOC and the Democrats are spouting the idea of getting rid of all CO2 by 2030.  None of these folks has spent 15 minutes trying to figure out how much alternative sources of energy we would need for this wonderful all electric society.

Vancouver energy consultant, Aldyen Donnelly, has given it a shot.  To replace all the fossil fuel with no carbon energy would require building 2.5 hydro power dams the size of the $13 billion Site C dam in BC every year for the foreseeable future!  Using solar and wind is equally daunting.  It takes one million solar panels to produce one gigawatt of electricity.

    To achieve the global goal by 2050 could be done by nuclear.  Sure.  You would only need to build one 1.5 gigawatt nuclear plant every day for the next 30 years.  Achieving this goal by any method borders on insanity.

    First coal was the enemy, at least in North America.  Of course, China and India blew off that idea with a wave.  As a substitute coal fired power plants were converted to natural gas and we have plenty of that.  But, pipelines are also evil in the minds of the environmentalists so they obstruct a method of getting the gas from the wells to the power plants.  In the recent heat wave in New York City this lack of pipeline capacity resulted in power outages as cityfolk cranked up the A/C.

This shortage of pipeline capacity will only get worse as more and more we convert to electricity with insufficient ways to make the stuff.  The radicals can’t have it both ways.

    There is no correlation between the increase in atmospheric CO2 and warming, or anything else really. So does it really make sense to destroy our economy and way of life to get rid of the stuff?  Somebody needs to get the facts to the voters and especially the politicians.

  Note:  A lot of the info for this article comes from “Green World War III” by Terrance Corcoran in the Financial Post on June 21, 2019.  Also and article by Ross McKitrick on the same page.

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Antifa

Antifa’s name sounds like something out of Orwell’s
1984 Ministry of Truth. It means “anti-fascist” but they actually behave like–and clearly are–fascists themselves. The name Antifa apparently came from post-war Germany in 1946, created to combat lingering Nazism. The name was subsequently picked up when Trump was elected.

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This outfit is only the latest manifestation of various left-wing, anti-capitalist groups going back to the early 1900s. Leaning toward communism, they justify their efforts these days as fighting “white nationalism,” or more vaguely the alt-right or “white supremists”. In reality they are a left-wing terrorist organization that has absorbed the anarchists. They are also the culmination of the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements.
The first direct-action groups got started in the UK. The ALF (Animal Liberation Front) was a violent group supposedly defending the rights of animals. In the US, this secretive, loosely-organized group became the ELF or Earth Liberation Front. They committed a number of violent crimes like burning down a ski lodge, some condos in CA and a plant research lab in Wisconsin where a young student was killed. The FBI got called in and they eventually arrested a bunch of them and the rest went deep underground.

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The Anarchist Federation came into prominence in the UK in 1960 and later started protesting the WTO, who promoted free trade through the Multilateral Trading System. The left, unions, communists and environmentalists opposed “globalization”, essentially free trade, and started violent protests. The anarchists started traveling all over Europe to wherever their meetings were being held.
In the fall of 1999 the WTO meeting was scheduled for Seattle and a massive protest got organized. In addition to the usual suspects in objecting to “globalization”, unions, environmentalists and the Black Block (anarchists) formed into the DAN, or Direct Action Network, a confederation of anti-corporate, anti-authoritarian and anarchist groups. They had a detailed plan on what they were going to do and the police were totally reactive, outnumbered and overwhelmed. They blocked the intersections and the hotels where the delegates were staying, preventing them from getting to the meeting. They rampaged through downtown damaging business, starting fires and overturning cop cars. Governor Locke called in the National Guard to quell the riot. Only 24 of the protestors were charged and the liberal prosecutor turned them all loose.
These direct action organizations are the overt manifestation of the attitude now pervasive on college campuses where speakers of conservative leanings are routinely shouted down by self- absorbed, ignorant, pampered snowflakes. Free speech? If you disagree with them, you have no right to voice your opinion. First Amendment? Furgetaboutit!
The Antifa low-life get a pass from the left wing media because they are deemed to be fighting white nationalism. The truth is, they violently oppose conservatives. It no longer matters to them if you simply have a different point of view, they want to beat the shit out of you, if necessary, to silence you.
The anarchists now have a safe place to hide with covered faces and to wreak havoc with impunity. The liberal press and local governments give them a pass.
The battle at Berkley, black dressed and masked Antifa protesters raged through town in protest of conservative Milo Yiannopoulos. OK, Milo is a bit over the top, but these days if you don’t like a speaker’s point of view, you make it impossible for him to speak. No more of the “let’s have a debate”. Nope. You won’t be allowed to even open your mouth or you will be drowned out. The radical students call this “deplatforming”; shouting down to battle “fascism and Nazism.” University administrators are so spineless (and probably agree with the students anyway) that they do nothing. The cost to the university for security cost a million dollars and many times that for the damage to local business and property.
The latest violent outrage by these cowards happened recently in Portland, a city that is not new to Antifa protests.


Andy Ngo, a reporter for the Quillette online newspaper that focuses on science, technology, culture and politics, was filming a protest by Antifa in downtown Portland. Andy is Asian, gay, and maybe weighs 130 lbs with his pockets full of sand. He is also a conservative, and for that, the Antifa bullies decided to beat the shit out of him and steal his camera equipment. The police stood by and watched him get pummeled and did nothing to help the guy. He wound up in the hospital with bleeding on the brain.
The Portland police chief says the Mayor Ted Wheeler had told them to stand down. Considering the other stuff that goes on in this town, I tend to believe the chief.
These guys are getting out of hand and need to be stopped.
With faces covered and dressed from head to toe in black, it’s difficult to identify them, and now they are taking to wearing helmets, carrying shields and armed with heavy sticks. They are itching to bust some heads and break something.
There are federal laws that give police grounds to arrest them. 18 USC 241 allows for the arrest for “anyone depriving anyone of their rights on the highway or premises”. Further, 42 USC 1985 (3) allows for the arrest of anyone wearing a mask or disguise while committing the violation. That one was put in to combat the Ku Klux Klan wearing their masks.
The 18 USC 241 does not require an overt act and is always a felony violation. A felon loses his right to vote and to own or carry a firearm. You cannot go to Canada and travel outside the US is difficult but not impossible. Serious shit and one of these round ups should cool the passion of the Antifa crowd.
The next one of these outrages gets started, the police, en masse, should swoop in and round them all up. They might need the National Guard to do the job or call in the police from every surrounding community. They’d probably have to drive them into a box canyon in the city to corner all of them and pull them out one at a time to arrest and haul away. Probably have to use tear gas and fire hoses to keep them from breaking out. Photographed and finger printed and locked up until their hearing might sober them up a little.
You couldn’t count on the mayors of west coast cities to do this. These are federal crimes and should be stopped by the feds and prosecuted in federal court. Enough is enough.

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Something Worth Worrying About

    At his college graduation party Ben Braddock, Dustin Hoffman’s character in “The Graduate”, was uncertain about what to do with his life.  One of the party-goers offered some advice.  He said, “One word: plastics,” which was probably good advice in 1967 when the movie was made.  We use the damn stuff in everything and it has become a serious problem.

    If you are a regular reader of this blog you already know I am not a big believer in global warming, to say the least.  I subscribe to the Bjorn Lomborg school of thinking.  In other words, while it may be getting slightly warmer, it is not such a massive problem that we need to destroy our economy in what is likely a futile attempt to prevent it.  Also, there is a lot of junk science and outright misrepresentation of the facts oft repeated by politicians and the hard left to get people riled up.  The schools are especially bad at brain washing the children.

    If you want an environmental issue to worry about that is a real and more immediate threat than climate change, consider the five massive patches of plastics floating around in the oceans.  The largest is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch between Hawaii and California.  This is also called the Pacific Trash Vortex, caused by the interaction of several ocean currents.  This floating mass of plastic is about twice the size of Texas and is larger than four other ocean garbage patches in the oceans of the world.  These massive accumulations of floating garbage are formed by “gyres” or large systems of ocean currents that act like slow moving whirlpools.

Ocean Gyre

    Besides the GPGP (aka the South Pacific Gyre) the other major garbage patches are the North Pacific Gyre, the North and South Atlantic Gyres and the Indian Ocean Gyre.  Garbage from coastal countries floats or is dumped into the ocean and the currents accumulate the stuff into these islands of mostly plastics.  Of course, there are also fishing nets torn loose and lost that entangle turtles, fish and sea birds.  Larger fish and mammals ingest some of the larger items that accumulate in their digestive systems and eventually kill them.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

    The bigger problem is the longevity of these plastics that take decades or hundreds of years to degrade.  Wind, sun and wave action break them down to smaller and smaller fragments called micro plastics and eventually they enter the food chain through absorption by plankton and then to fish and finally to us.  Reportedly 93% of Americans tested positive for BPA, another plastic used in bottles and other common products.  No one knows the long-term effects of ingesting this stuff and the science on it is in its infancy.

    A couple of years ago two grammar school kids became famous for starting a movement to ban plastic straws.  Seattle quickly banned the things followed by California*.  Of course, straws are the least of the plastic crap dumped into the garbage that makes its way into our oceans.  35 billion water bottles enter each year, joining some 500 billion already there.  These suckers take hundreds of years to deteriorate into what?  Particles so small they cannot be seen or removed!  China and Indonesia account for 20 of the plastics dumped each year; the US ranks a very distant 13th on the list of top polluters.  Only 9.5% of plastic bottles are recycled.

    The US has spent $350 billion so far combating global warming (climate change) and will spend $35 billion per year for the next decade.  Much of that is pissed away. (Think Solindra and the others where Obama wasted $780 million).

    Damage to marine ecosystems is estimated to cost $13 B per year, no doubt less that it would cost to make a massive effort to round up the floating garbage patches and haul them to recycling or incineration.  They estimate that it would cost $122M to $460M to hire the boats per year to send them to scoop up the GPGP, a mere fraction of the annual expenditures on climate change**.

There can be arguments made that climate change is natural and not man caused but there can be no argument that the floating ocean garbage patches are the responsibility of humans.

Let’s clean up our own mess.

*Seattle’s plastic straw ban was later overturned to accommodate people with disabilities. Plastic straws must now be provided on request.

**Editor’s note: it was my idea that a floating incinerator be sent out to the garbage patch and use the energy from the burned waste to power the boat. Of course, filters would have to be put on the smokestacks to avoid creating air pollution while cleaning up the water.

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Such A Deal

It is unsettling that Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman congresswoman from New York, would come up with the “Green New Deal”. Although, considering some of the other idiotic pronouncements coming out of her mouth, it is not surprising. What is surprising is that all the declared Presidential candidates for the Democrat nomination so far (Gillibrand, Harris, Booker and Pete Bittingieg….. who?) plus Dear Bernie, who has not yet announced, have embraced this idiotic and destructive plan. (I had to look up who Mr. Bittingieg is and discovered he is the mayor of South Bend, IN, a position that makes him more than qualified to run the US.

Rex Murphy, a commentator for the National Post in his brilliant 2/12/19 piece has dubbed AOC (I’m not going to write out that name again) “the Thomas Jefferson of the infantile progressive left.” She has taken over this lofty role despite being in Congress only 38 days. Quite an achievement but certifies the Democrats wholesale stampede to the far left.

As I pointed out in my 12/20/16 post “Doubling Down on a Losing Hand”, when the Democrats lose a presidential election their reflex is to lurch hard left. A 12/19/16 WSJ piece by Dan Henninger pointed out that after Humphries lost to Nixon they went hard left and ran McGovern who got a whopping 17 electoral votes in the next election. In Reagan’s second election in ’84 the Dems reverted to form and nominated Mondale who managed 13 electoral votes. So here we go again. Every one of the Democrats who have entered the race so far are borderline socialists. Maybe it’s because of the success of Bernie Sanders in the contest with Hillary. It’s hard to believe all these supposedly educated politicians don’t understand the ramifications of this absurd Green New Deal.

On the other hand perhaps it’s because they anticipate that the kids coming out of high school and college these days have been so indoctrinated in the blather of global warming and have no understanding of how the economy actually works. Yeah, I know, it’s called Climate Change now because it polls better but it is still based on the same idea…the planet is getting warmer. Global warming is a harder sell when we are in the middle of a historic cold wave, especially this late in the season.

The charismatic Ms. AOC has laid out the specifics of her Green Wet Dream, er, New Deal because she in her vast wisdom knows exactly how much time we have before the planet burns up. Twelve years. Her prescription to save the planet is for the US that produces 20% of the world’s C02 to go to zero C02 by 2030. This would require elimination of all internal combustion engines….. cars, trucks, tractors, bulldozers, etc. Airplane travel has to be eliminated as much as possible. (Congressional junkets, and attendance at climate change conferences excepted, of course.) Eliminating all fossil fuel would require the closure of all coal and natural gas electrical generating plants. Heating all buildings and homes and powering all vehicles with electricity would require a lot of wind- and solar power-generated electricity. Good luck with that fantasy.

Of course, this massive transformation of society would put countless millions of Americans out of work. Not to worry, AOC’s Green New Deal guarantees everyone a living wage, plus free medical care and free education, plus a guaranteed retirement. This total destruction of the American economy will be gleefully cheered by China until they realize that their biggest market just disappeared.

The Climate Change/ Global Warming movement has never been about the planet getting warmer because there is nothing we can do about it even if it is happening. The movement is an excuse to slide the country into socialism, to give the bureaucrats more control over the everyday lives of the citizens.

My real concern is not about the ignorant ranting of AOC but the fact that so many of her Democrat colleagues are endorsing this suicidal plan. I have come to the conclusion that a test should be required before a person can run for office comprised of four sections: Economics, science, history and government. My first question on the science section would be, “describe photosynthesis and why it is important”. If they can’t answer that one they would be disqualified immediately because that would mean they have no clue of the carbon cycle and how important C02 is to the survival of all living organisms.

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Alice and the Sword

That title sounds like a Disney movie but it’s not. It is the story of how I came into possession of my Naval Officer’s ceremonial sword.

I came home at 18 from my freshman year at Cornell in 1960 to discover that my mother had run off again. This time to be with the loser who would be husband Number Three. That sounds like something from a stupid TV game show, but it’s not.

She had done it before. She had left Husband Number One, my birth father, when I was 2 or 3 years old. Actually, I don’t know who took off first because Hubby One, Bill Doran, disappeared at the same time. I never saw him again until I was 18 and looked him up. Never did find out where the two of them went.

I was turned over to the custody of my great aunt Lottie and her husband Paul. They were broke and we moved around from one relative and farm to another.

My mother returned when I was in the 3rd grade with Husband Number Two, Clyde Draper, and we moved to a slum in Pittsburgh while he attended watchmaker’s school. We then moved to Woodlawn, NY, an industrial area where we lived in Clyde’s brother’s cheap hotel. Actually, I spent much of my time on my uncle’s farm where my aunt Lottie now lived.

Clyde took my Mother’s departure hard. He ranted and raved and would not stop talking about it. Frankly, Clyde was not an easy man to live with before the divorce. He had been a Marine in the Pacific and participated in several landings. As I think about it now it seems likely that he suffered from PTSD before it had a name or was widely understood. He could hardly be described as a warm man and he was cheap. I had to save my money from my paper route and babysitting jobs to buy my baseball glove and bow and arrow. For my four years at Cornell he gave me a total of $400. Not quite enough. At the end of my Freshman year I quit my job waiting tables to study for finals the last two weeks and that ended my food program. I lived on wheat germ and sugar I stole from the cafeteria. Pete told me years later that if Alice had known that she would have had a fit!

He didn’t beat me at least not physically. It’s just that he wasn’t THERE. Although we eventually had a cottage on Lake Erie I do not remember a time when he took me fishing and he never took me hunting or attended any of my sporting events. That was OK, but now the situation had become miserable and impossible.

A friend of mine, Pete Gannon, and his family lived in a big house in Lakeview and they offered me a place to stay. I had a room on one end of the house all to myself and the Gannon’s home would be my home for the next six years. Pete and I had been good friends for several years in high school and along with another good friend, Bill Vogt, formed what we called “The Constipated Trio”.

Gordon Gannon was a successful attorney in downtown Buffalo back when it was a thriving city. That was before Buffalo deteriorated into a town half the size it was before all the industry left. He was a great golfer and fantastic wing shot. A big gregarious Irish guy with an infectious laugh, he was easy to like.

Alice, his wife was a blunt, hard smoking and outspoken woman who played the role of the socialite and hostess with aplomb. The frequently abrasive façade hid a heart of pure gold. I think she thought of me as another one of her kids. I discovered that somehow she had gotten her hands on the commissioning picture of me in my dress blue uniform and it hung on her wall until her death. Then for years it hung on Pete’s wall. I often wondered where she got it since I didn’t have one myself. I finally figured out that her address was the one I used on all my Navy paperwork. It WAS after all my home address. So it was Alice who got the news release of my graduation from The Basic part of the training.
She sent it to the newspaper.

The plans for Loi and I to be married were proceeding while I was finishing up my training to become a Navy SEAL. The date was set for two weeks after I completed Army Parachute Training at Ft. Benning, GA. I had no role in those plans. Loi’s widowed Mom had little money and neither did I so the festivities were to be modest. Alice played a role as if she were my actual Mother. She called the etiquette writer at the Buffalo Evening News for some advice on how to arrange the seating chart for all my parents who planned on showing up for the wedding. I don’t have a clue who invited them but Bessie and her third husband, Clyde and his new wife and Bill Doran and his wife all planned to attend the “rehearsal dinner” that Alice had set up for the Wanakah Country Club where the Gannons were members. Gordon had been club champion several times. As for Alice’s carefully planned etiquette seating plan….. my various parents blithely ignored it!

For the wedding I planned to wear my dress white uniform that I had never had an opportunity to wear. It had been purchased along with all my other uniforms with my uniform allowance received when I was commissioned. I also planned to wear my dress ceremonial sword that I had received as a gift from Alice when I graduated from what is now called BUDS. She was the only one who showed up at Little Creek for the ceremony. I don’t know where Alice bought the sword but I suspect that her older son had a hand in it. He was an officer in the Marine Corps Reserve. A sword has been a fixture in a Naval and Marine dress uniform for over 500 years.

When I tried on my whites a week before the wedding I got a surprise. Since my commissioning and after 8 months of brutal training, I had gained a full inch in my neck and two inches in my chest! No way to tailor the whites to fit so it was off to the tux rental place.

I never got to wear the sword…… then or ever. For over 50 years it has knocked around damp basements and unheated garages accumulating corrosion and weathering. I recently sent it to an outfit near the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and got it refurbished. I plan to give it to my grandson Malcolm, the only grandchild bearing my name. I am writing this so that when he reads it he will understand that it is a symbol of my affection and respect for the generous woman who gave it to me.

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