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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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Random Stuff

A new speech affectation has replaced the “Valley Girl Lift”; raising the voice inflection, usually at the end of sentences. This also added the annoyance of making every sentence sound like a question.

The new one is called “vocal fry”, a creaky voice guttural vibration. Science magazine calls it “glottalization” and others call it “laryngealization”. I think I’ll stick with vocal fry. Until I discovered the official name for this affectation I called it “the strangled voice”.  Apparently, this manner of talking is accomplished by constricting the vocal cords to such a degree that the sound comes out at the bottom end of the vocal register.

So why do so many young women affect this maddening manner of speech? Lots of theories, but who the hell knows? Why do styles and fads come and just as quickly burn out? Some theorize it’s a kind of tribalism thing between women. Others believe that making the voice deeper creates the impression of authority and competence.

One study estimates that fully two-thirds of US women are now using this method of talking and Bob Garfield believes it is particularly annoying to older white men. Being an older, white male I can attest to that belief. It drives me crazy.

Olga Kazen in an article in Atlantic magazine reports that studies at Duke University conclude that this manner of speech may actually hurt job prospects for young women. That’s not good, but certainly better than earlier reports that vocal fry would do permanent damage to vocal cords. Subsequent research has shown that to be untrue.

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Kneeling Update

Some NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem despite the ongoing deterioration of attendance at games and viewers on TV. LA Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch doubled the disrespect at a game played in Mexico. He knelt for the US anthem and then stood for the Mexican anthem. Having observed this asshole in Seattle for number of years, I was not surprised. Now the rest of the country knows what a jerk he is.

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The owners of these teams are understandably concerned about empty seats, reduced revenue from sales of team gear, and diminishing TV viewership. They are considering keeping the players in the locker room until the anthem is over. I seriously doubt that’s going to fool anyone. The TV networks have found a way not to show the protests and the fans in the stands booing the kneeling players: they all have decided not to broadcast the singing of the national anthem. I guess they figure if viewers don’t see it, then they will forget about it. Maybe that will work. I think the viewers will see through that ploy. Viewer-ship has continued to decline.

Frankly, I think the owners could have nipped this problem in the bud by simply telling the players who got this kneeling thing going, “Look, you are pissing people off. If you do it again you will be sent to the locker room and you will not get paid for that game.” Of course, if enough players did it the team would probably lose the game and piss off the fans. These guys are paid a lot per game. Missing a check would hurt.

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In midst of this bungled customer relations nightmare comes the debate over Roger Goodell’s contract. Roger the Dodger is, as all football fans know, the Commissioner of the NFL. He’s got a good gig going already. He made $31.7 million in 2015 and now he wants a new contract for $49.5 million/year, lifetime use of a private jet and lifetime health insurance for his family. True, under his tenure the NFL grew dramatically and the value of those franchises increased handsomely. Now with attendance and viewership declining alarmingly, ardor over Goodell might be cooling. Roger’s handling of the many domestic abuse issues with players, and his fumbling of the ball on this protest stuff may suggest some new blood might be in order. Someone with balls. How about Condoleezza Rice? She always wanted the job.

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Taxes

Much to my surprise the Republicans managed to get together and pass a tax cut plan. The Democrats, completely committed to their “resist” strategy, began to howl like scalded cats. Pelosi, as usual, was way over the top calling the plan “Armageddon”. Really? Cutting taxes is going to end the world as we know it?

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The Democrats rely heavily on the ignorance of the American voter. Schools don’t teach history or even basic economics anymore so the Dems confidently spew their misinformation in the hopes that the ignorant and the hyper-partisans will buy their bullshit. They blissfully pretend they don’t know what happened under the Reagan and GW Bush tax cuts. Jack Kemp (the Congressman from our home district outside of Buffalo) was the godfather of the Reagan tax strategy that brought about the great economic expansion of the 80s. But, say the liberals, “The tax cuts increased the deficit!” No, actually. As Thomas Sowell, the famous Stanford economist explains in his book, “The Vision of the Anointed,” the tax cuts greatly increased government revenues, but the Democrat controlled congress at that time, and they spent all that increase plus a lot more. I think the Trump White House (if they can maintain control of congress) plans to control spending and use the increased revenues for infrastructure, to rebuild the military and to reduce the deficit.

The Democrats standard howls of tax cuts for the rich and nothing for the middle class were momentarily muted when AT&T and Comcast immediately announced they would give every employee a $1,000 bonus. Together just those two companies employ 350,000 workers.  I suspect those folks will be very happy with an extra thousand bucks at Christmas time. A number of other companies also announced plans to expand, build new factories or otherwise improve things for workers. These announcements refuted the Dems claims even as they left their mouths.

The Democrats are betting the farm, their house and their first-born child on retaking control of congress on the November 2018. Their pipe dream of undoing the last election by drumming Trump from office via the Mueller investigation seems to be evaporating. First it was “collusion” with the Russians to steal the election. Then it became “obstruction of justice” until even Rachel Maddow couldn’t figure out a way to hang that one on Trump. Now, it has shifted to “sexual harassment” which has been weaponized to include everything from boorish behavior to rape and to attack opponents. Not that there have not been many men who crossed the line and taken advantage of their employees or junior associates. In Trump’s case the assertions are purely politically motivated and I doubt they are going anywhere.

In the deeply divided country, turn-out is everything and the Democrats are really motivated. There is nothing more dangerous than a cornered wild animal and if the Republicans do not do a better job of selling their accomplishments they could well get their asses handed to them next November.

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The Big Lie

Victor Davis Hanson appeared last night on the Tucker Carlson show on Fox. Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a classics professor at Cal State, an author, historian, columnist and scholar. In other words, a pretty smart dude.

He made a very persuasive argument about something I have believed for some time. Namely that this whole thing about “the Russians interfered with the 2016 elections” is a big lie. As we know, often a big lie is believed quicker than a small one. He called it a “slow motion coup” orchestrated by the progressives in the media, Hollywood, the climate change true believers, and the Democrats. The hatred of Trump for his defeat of their heroine, Hillary Clinton, drives them nuts. Does anyone really believe that the “spontaneous” marches and protests are not organized and funded by the Progressives?

So what’s the purpose of this campaign? I think it has three main goals (other than the pure hatred of the man himself): First, they want to derail the Trump agenda. He campaigned on the promise to replace Obama Care, cut taxes, stop illegal immigration, rebuild the military and reverse the Obama climate change policies. He also promised that he was going to “drain the swamp”. That scared the crap out hundreds of thousands of government bureaucrats who did not want to lose their cushy deal. I suspect that explains all the leaks which may or may not be simply made up and planted with the media. The Democrats lost the House and Senate during the Obama years and they hope by delaying Trump and the GOP’s agenda they can run out the clock until the 2018 Congressional elections. They hope that by damaging Trump they win back the House and the Senate.

The second objective of this campaign is to scare the crap out of Republican congressmen where Trump won narrowly. The Democrats hope that the fear will cause these GOP congressmen to be squishy about supporting the Trump policies. Nothing is more important to the men and women in Congress as getting re-elected. Why not? They’ve got a Hell of a deal! Members of the House make a base salary of $174,000 per year but that’s just the beginning. They work on average three days per week, often leaving for home on Thursday and returning on Tuesday. They explain that they are working with the people in their own districts the rest of the time. Yeah, right. They get free parking at the Reagan International airport and free travel, mostly first class. They get the whole month of August for vacation and a week or two at major holidays. They do not have to sign up for Obama Care but have their own plan paid for by the government. If they serve at least 5 years or reach the age of 62 they can collect a generous pension plan in addition to Social Security.

OK, they have a well-paid cushy job. So, how do these guys all retire as millionaires? Well, they get cut in on stock deals from constituents to curry favor. Generous contributors to their elections offer perks, and likely some of that campaign cash slides into their pockets.

The third reason for this Russian uproar is deflect attention away from Hillary’s clearly illegal handling of classified documents and the corruption of the Clinton Foundation. Simple idea…. blame it on the Russians and Trump’s supposed collusion with them to defeat Hillary. On the face of that, it’s absurd. As I pointed out in a recent blog piece, “Excuses, Excuses,” the idea that Russia preferred Trump doesn’t make sense. Trump has promised to put back the missile defense systems in Europe that Obama took out, an idea that Putin hates, strengthen the military and take a more muscular stance on foreign policy. None of that could possibly please the Kremlin. Nobody is talking about how Hillary’s illegal server could have been hacked by anyone. The Russians are coming to steal our democracy!

Has everyone forgotten the “reset button” or Hillary’s role in selling 20% of the US uranium reserves to a Russian company in the Uranium One deal? The Clinton Foundation received $145 million from Russian uranium investors after Clinton’s State Department approved the deal. Frank Guistra, the founder or Uranium One gave $30 million. And let’s not forget shortly after the deal was approved, Bill got a $500,000 gig to give a one hour speech to Russian businessmen. What could Bill have to say that was worth half a million bucks? The specifics on this are spelled out in a 3/28/17 article in World Net Daily. The media has absolutely no interest in talking about this.

Nobody’s interested in investigating that smelly deal or Hill’s illegal handling of classified documents. The hypocrisy is laughable and patently obvious. And speaking of hypocrisy, what about the Comey firing? A couple of months ago the Democrats were in lock step demanding the FBI Director be canned. They claimed that Comey’s behavior was the reason for Hillary’s defeat. Now when Trump actually does it, they are screeching like scalded cats. He fired him, they say, because Comey was getting too close to uncovering the link of Trump and Putin to influence the election.

Unfortunately, the campaign is working. A special prosecutor has been appointed meaning that this phony scandal will drag out past the 2018 elections. The Democrats will still be pushing this narrative even though this is a big nothing burger. It’s raw partisan politics aided and abetted by the Progressive left and may well stop the efforts to correct the many things wrong with the political mess in Washington.

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Excuses, Excuses

The Democrats and Obama are finding all kinds of excuses as to why Hillary lost the election. Rather than examine why the people voted against the policies of this popular President, they are looking to outside forces to explain it. Of course, an ancillary benefit to this campaign is to discredit the Trump presidency so that they can shout for the next four years that the Donald was not legitimately elected just like they did after the Bush/Gore election.

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The widely touted explanation is that the Russians interfered with the US election, presumably because they preferred Trump over Clinton. The theory goes that the Russians hacked Clinton’s and the DNC emails and turned them over to Wikileaks who in turn, dribbled them out in the closing weeks of the campaign thereby harming Hillary.

I don’t buy it. Trump doesn’t either. In his news conference the other day he said,”Does anyone in this room actually believe Putin prefers me over Hillary?” That has been my question all along. Why would Putin favor the guy who is certainly tougher?

Image result for tillersonThe Democrats like this theory for a couple of reasons. First, this gives them another jab at Trump and his Sec of State nominee, Tillerson because they supposedly have ties to Putin. Second, and perhaps most importantly, it diverts attention away from someone who very likely did do it, and one that has a motive.

Then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (R) and kisses Suha Arafat, wife of Yasser ArafatThe left wing has always favored the Palestinians over Israel. Hillary was buddy-buddy with Arafat’s wife and Obama is about 46% Arab and, at the least, sympathetic to the Arabs. Obama and Netanyahu have never hit it off and Obama slighted him publicly on several occasions. But open warfare developed between the two when Obama was trying to get the nuclear deal with Iran.

Netanyahu thought the deal insured Iran would get nuclear weapons as a result of the deal and threaten the very existence of Israel. He was “invited” to address a joint session of Congress so he could plead for shit canning the deal. That infuriated Obama and he promised payback.

Image result for netanyahuThe opportunity came when Netanyahu ran for re-election in 2015. The Obama state department run by Clinton gave $350,000 to fund a left wing group called “One Voice” that had also been funded by international groups sympathetic to the Palestinians. The funds were used by One Voice to build campaign infrastructure, create data bases of potential voters and recruit and train activists all designed to defeat Netanyahu. This was exposed by a US Senate sub-committee on Investigations which also revealed that a letter was sent by the Israelis to Hillary complaining about the US meddling in their elections. The letter was never opened.

Obama also sent over his 2012 National Field Director, Jeremy Bird, to assist in the campaign. Bird’s strategy for Obama had been using data to target messaging to individual voting groups and a form of community organizing to get out the vote.

Netanyahu won despite the meddling of Obama. I would say that the Israeli leader might have been more than a little annoyed with Obama and Clinton.

The FBI has reported with 99% confidence that multiple foreign agencies hacked Clinton and the DNC’s emails…. at least five. Everyone knows the Israelis are very, very good at this sort of stuff and excellent at covering their tracks. Remember the Stuxnet virus that got planted in the Iranian nuclear centrifuges? It was widely believed that either Israel or the US did it. I’d bet on Israel. And, I bet they made it look like the Russians did it.

Both the Russians and Assange, the founder of Wikileaks deny that the Clinton and DNC emails came from the Russians. Assange joked that any fourteen year old could have hacked Podesta’s email. I don’t think the Obama administration believes the Russians did it either. Oh, the Russians likely were among the group who hacked into them but I think they suspect the Israelis gave it to Wikileaks. The Israelis actually have a motive. Obama meddled in their elections and so the Israelis paid him back.

All this sanctimonious prattle about a “foreign government interfering with our democratic institutions” is just frustrated journalist and politicians venting. Hell, the US has done it for years, most recently and openly in the Netanyahu contest. Obama got in the last punch though. He abstained in that UN vote to censure Israel over settlements, a landmine Trump will have a long job defusing.

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Climate and Fish

I can hear you saying, “Oh no, not another blog post on global warming!!” This is a piece about fish, something I know more than a little about. I majored in marine biology and ichthyology with courses in oceanography, marine ecology and nearly any science course you could imagine. Furthermore, I still study the fisheries issue.

So, you might conclude that when the “Province” newspaper came out with another junk science piece claiming this time that global warming is killing off fish stocks due to a warming ocean, I got a bit unglued.

Associate Professor William Cheung of the Institute of Oceans and Fisheries at UBC said his theory of preventing the collapse of fish stocks depended on everyone abiding by The Paris Agreement on climate change and thereby restrict the rise in air temperatures to 1.5 degrees C. Doing nothing, he said, would cause them to increase to 3 degrees C. Going to 3 degrees would warm the water and reduce fish catches by 40%, they concluded.

Let me ask you….. when you are going to heat up water for a cup of tea do you put the flame above the water or below? How long would it take to heat up the water with a temperature 3 degrees warmer than the room above the pan? I have no idea either but surely a long time. Associate Professor Cheung has a BS in biology and a masters degree in philosophy and apparently he’s going for his doctorate in that field. He works for the World Wildlife Fund. Doesn’t sound like he knows much about fisheries and the WWF is a notorious left wing, radical AGW outfit.

I grant you there are always, it seems, competing theories espoused by scientists in the area of climate science and we tend to believe the ones that reinforce our prejudices. In the case of warming oceans, I am inclined to believe the study sponsored by the Scripps Institute’s Argo program that has 3500 free drifting buoys all over the world. These buoys sample the temperature of the water every ten days and send it up to a satellite.  They have compared this accumulated data with that collected during the voyage of the HMS Challenger (1872-1876) and concluded that ocean temperatures have risen .33 degrees C since 1876. Most of that rise occurred during the first 50 years after 1876. It would seem that rising ocean temperatures are not a worrisome problem.

Ass. Professor Cheung’s contention that fish stocks have been declining because of rising water temperatures is merely an attempt to demonize Trump for threatening to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Man has been destroying fish stocks beginning in Roman times and over the course of our history. The list of species wiped out or nearly so is sobering. I won’t chronicle the entire butchers bill but will discuss a couple in detail. If this history of greed and stupidity interests you, pick up Callum Roberts book, “The Unnatural History of the Sea”.

The Romans developed a taste for the eggs and flesh of the mighty sturgeon and they spawn in rivers where they are relatively easy to catch. It was common to catch these monsters weighing 475 Kg and they had to be hauled out of the water with a team of oxen. Like many other species that have been driven to extinction or nearly so, when a species begins to be exploited, the larger fish are taken first and the average size of the fish caught falls. The collapse of the fishery begins when the size/age drops below the age where they become mature and can spawn. For example, the slow growing sturgeon does not spawn until they are 20 years old. This is precisely what happened to the Atlantic cod. More on that debacle later.

Russians developed a taste for caviar. Overfishing eventually led to a ban on the fishery in the Caspian Sea.

In Medieval Times, Europeans caught species that returned to the rivers to spawn such as salmon, whitefish, shad, eels and sturgeon using weirs, nets, spears, and hook and line.  At the time, forests were being cleared for crops and little attention paid to erosion. Soil washed into the rivers and streams destroying spawning grounds and smothering eggs. Dams also prevented migrating fish from reaching their spawning grounds. Populations plummeted. Atlantic salmon were prized and were soon nearly destroyed in the European countries.

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The Scandinavians discovered cod in the 11th century and found they could dry the huge fish that ran to 3 to 4 lbs. A trade in these dried cod flourished throughout Europe and soon became a target species for European fishermen. The results were predictable and soon their numbers and size shrank. The European fisherman using drift nets began pursuing other species and saw those numbers decline as well. The advent of trawlers, the dragging of heavy metal weighted nets over the bottom, soon finished the job on the eastern side of the Atlantic. Trawlers killed everything as they plowed the ocean floor, not only the fish they were seeking, but all manner of bottom life with the result that all species were swept up and the habitat was also destroyed.

The New World opened new fishing grounds. When the first white explorers came to North America they discovered an abundance in the sea that astounded them. Huge shoals of cod as long as your leg were so thick in number, you could not thrust a spear into the water without coming up with one. The rivers were choked with Atlantic salmon. Every manner of fish species and oysters clogged the shallow waters. Like the buffalo, passenger pigeon and the huge trees the early settlers could not imagine ever wiping them out.

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The steam trawler “Pelican”

Then the European and Russian trawlers showed up in their steam trawlers and with the advent of freezers proceeded to decimate the cod, halibut and haddock.  Then came the pollack, red fish and flounder. The scallop trawlers were even more destructive to the sea floor.

Extending the EEZ or “territorial limit” out to 200 nautical miles did help in keeping the foreign trawlers out but they were soon replaced by domestic trawlers that continued the over-fishing. The cod population collapsed. In a desperate attempt to save the cod fishery in 1992 the Canadian government put a two year ban of cod fishing and 40,000 people were out of work. That ban has been extended as the cod fishery struggles to recover.

The same sad story unfolded when men started settling in the Pacific Northwest. They found unimaginable riches in lumber, gold, furs and fish. The runs of salmon were massive and seemingly inexhaustible. All manner of fish in incredible numbers inhabited the sea. Salmon were especially important to the native tribes that inhabited this vast land.

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The various species of salmonids of the Oncorhynchus genus had been around since the Miocene period some 6 million years ago. They had survived the birth of mountains, glaciation and floods and seen cataclysmic climate change and continued to survive and thrive.

That is until the white man arrived and started killing them all and destroying their rivers. This history and the destruction is carefully documented in a book from a fisheries biologist from the University of Oregon, Jim Lichatowich called, “Salmon Without Rivers.” The usual suspects in habitat destruction were in play from logging, to mining to dam building. As the salmon runs started to decline, wrong-headed stocking programs were attempted and failed miserably. Of course, foreign fishing boats… factory ships…. continue to over-fish these amazingly resilient fish far at sea.

Warm water fish like groupers and sea bass have also been over-fished to dangerous levels. Sword fish and blue fin tuna are being fished to endangerment levels. The giant bluefin can weigh in at 400 kg and fetch as much as $100,000 at auction in Tokyo.  These fish are so valuable that they’re now using satellites to track these giant ocean wanderers. Soon these magnificent fish will be no more.

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So, what’s to be done about the elimination of one species after another? Eventually the problem takes care of itself. When all the fish are gone, it’s no longer practical to send fishing fleets thousands of miles. International agreements would help. It worked for whales. Perhaps limiting the killing of bluefin tuna could work, but I doubt you could change the taste of Japanese diners so the demand would remain. The Japanese have paid little attention to the ban on whale hunting.

One thing that might help is to ban trawling as a method of fishing. It not only kills everything in its path, but also destroys the habitat. Professor Roberts has sponsored the establishment of vast marine reserves where no fishing is allowed. This has shown great promise in allowing marine life to flourish and grow unmolested, and eventually repopulate surrounding seas.

Clearly, Cheung’s theory that a minor uptick in temperature, even if it happens, is not going to impact fish populations. And, his contention that warm water species are going to move to the Arctic is pure fantasy and disconnected from fish behavior. This is not science, it’s pure BS.

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Doubling Down on a Losing Hand

After the cry-ins dried up and the marches in the streets dwindled on the heels of very cold and unpleasant weather, the mourning began. Michelle Obama gave an interview to Oprah opined that while her hubby fostered hope, the US was now entering “a period of hopelessness.” Really? The stock market doesn’t reflect that.

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Meanwhile, Hillary emerged from her exile to meet with her major donors at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. The Christmas party had been planned as a victory celebration. I think most donors showed up to see what the hell happened to the $1.2 billion they raised for her campaign.

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Hillary in her speech to the assembled fat cats offered them her excuse… the Russians did it because they did not like her. She further explained that they meant to undermine the integrity of the US election. But last week, Obama in his final press conference prior to jetting off to Hawaii, said that the Russians did not compromise the voting process or effect the outcome.

Most, except the true believers in the Democrat Party, are clever enough to understand that the emails released by Wikileaks simply exposed how sloppy they were about electronic security. (Her campaign manager, Podesta apparently gave out his email password in a phishing scheme!) The emails showed how snaky they are and the disdain they held for the lesser humans out there. This was, of course, certified by her public comments about the “basket of deplorables” that supported Trump.

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This blame-the-Russians thing came after the recount effort fizzled. Jill Stein, the Green Party entry in the Presidential sweepstakes decided the swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania should be recounted to ‘insure the integrity of the election’. She had received 1% of the votes so that seemed too public spirited to believe. She had collected about $3.5 million for her whole campaign but immediately raised $7.3 million for the recount effort. Naturally, the Clinton supporters wanted the recount, hoping to turn enough votes to reverse the results.

Here’s how it went:  in Wisconsin, Trump gained 316 votes. He had led originally by over 22,000 votes so it begs the question, why would Stein, et al. spend $3.5 million on this futile exercise?

In Michigan, the recount was stopped by the courts because Stein had “no standing” since she got less than 1% of the vote. The Hillary folks did not step forward to admit this was really about her.

In Pennsylvania, a sampling of the largest counties in and around the big cities found Clinton gaining only a handful of votes. It was not enough to order a statewide recount in a state where Trump’s lead was 46,000 votes. With that faint hope demolished, the Democrats settled on the Russia-did-it meme. Supposedly leaked by the CIA who refused to talk to anyone about it, sparked the new cause of intimidating the 538 electors with tons of letters, emails and threatening phone calls to get them to switch their Electoral votes to Hillary. They called for a delay of the vote scheduled for Monday so the CIA could brief the electors on the Russian involvement in a meeting prior to the vote. The CIA wanted nothing to do with it. Dan Henninger of the WSJ in a brilliant piece yesterday called “Steal this election” dubbed this latest ploy the “goofball gambit”. Tough to top that.

Hunters who get lost in the woods generally walk in circles. Sometimes clockwise and sometimes the other way. When they come across a set of tracks in the snow they often follow them, not realizing that they are their own. Democrats frequently act like lost hunters. When things get sticky they go left resulting in crushing defeats in the next election.

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Henninger recounts the history of these leftward lurches in his piece. After the ’68 election that saw Nixon defeat Humphrey, they decided to go left with McGovern in ’72 who got 17 electoral votes. Ouch.

After the Nixon impeachment, the Democrats could have run Howdy Doody and won.  Come to think of it they did run Howdy Doody….. Jimmy Carter. His colossal mess brought in Reagan and in response to his success, the Dems once again reverted to the leftward tack and brought in Mondale in ’84. He got his ass handed to him with a total of 13 electoral votes.

After the Trump victory and the shellacking by the GOP in the House, Senate and Governorships, the Democrats are instinctively going leftward again. They elected Pelosi as Minority Leader. The new darlings of the party are Lizzy (Pocahontas) Warren and Bernie (Socialism is great) Saunders. They are thinking about appointing Keith Ellison as DNC chairman. Ellison, a muslim, has been linked to supporters of ISIS and is a clear opponent of Israel. What could possibly go wrong with this team?

 

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I think it was Napoleon who suggested: “Never interfere with your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

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The Everybody Gets a Trophy Generation

After the election of Donald Trump one opinion writer speculated that Trump’s election signaled the ‘end of political correctness’. Perhaps. But before that happens, the death throes will be protracted. This struggle will be led by the current generation of pampered, helicoptered, everybody-gets-a-trophy youth who have been sheltered from the real world and any smidgen of adversity.
Youthful Hillary Clinton supporters were seen on TV crying uncontrollably. Major universities had crying rooms complete with coloring books and Play-Doh to soothe students distraught over the election of Trump. My own alma mater, Cornell, had a “cry-in” where students could sit in a circle and cry together. When I was at Cornell, I would have had to cry in my dishwater where I washed pots for my food. One Yale professor made the midterm exam optional so that students depressed by the election results wouldn’t have to discommode themselves with one of the more troublesome aspects of university life.

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The more visible expression of their dismay were the marches and riots in many of the big cities across the US and the complete meltdown of the left-leaning media. Any marches always bring out the anarchists who use any pretext to break windows and start fires. Tearful youths made up many of the marchers, but naturally were joined by their helicopter left-wing parents convinced that America was doomed. Many were “triggered” and felt “unsafe” now that Trump would be president. Really? Unsafe? What did they really think was going to happen? Did they believe Trump was going to send the police to break into their dorm rooms and confiscate their pot stash?

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Reporters covering the protest marches started asking the young marchers if they had voted in the election. About half admitted they had not voted. Call me old-fashioned, but I figure if you did not bother to get off your butt and vote, you have no right to bitch about the outcome.

Speaking of triggered and unsafe…Thursday’s edition of “The National Post” featured an article by Christie Blatchford about a teacher at a posh BC private school who got fired for expressing an opinion on abortion. His class was a criminal law unit on “vice, ethics, morality and the law”. He was pointing out that in a pluralistic democracy there is often a difference between people’s personal morality and the law. Here is where he uttered the fateful opinion
that he personally disapproved of abortion but it was, in fact, the law. One of his female students was “triggered” by this comment and felt “unsafe”, refusing to return to class.

What the Hell is triggered anyway…stuffed like Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger? Physically assaulted by the horse? OK, that’s absurd. I will anxiously await some thoughtful reader explaining triggered to me.

The teacher found himself reprimanded by the school administrator and forced to make a humiliating public apology in front of students and fellow teachers. Ms. Blatchford likened this to Maoist China where public confessions for ideological sins were punished. The spoiled brat then rushed out of the room crying because she thought she was being singled out. That was it. They fired the guy.

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I wonder if the school administrators and the parents felt really good about firing the poor guy right before Christmas for a politically incorrect comment? What the parents of this spoiled child should have done was confiscate her cell phone and car keys and saved the $30,000 tuition and made her go to public school. And made her apologize to the teacher for the consequences of her behavior. As far as the administrators of this school…they should be publicly humiliated.

These kids, the Everybody-Gets-a-Trophy Generation, will be our future leaders. Most of these youngsters have never had any adversity in their lives. How are they going to survive the setbacks that inevitably happen at some point? Like when they get fired, or one of their kids comes down with a terrible disease, or the arrogant young woman comes home early to find her husband in bed with her best friend. Shit happens in life and if you can’t even deal with encountering someone with a different opinion or belief without freaking out, how are you going to deal with some really serious stuff?

Our forefathers survived the adversity of the fear and death of the Spanish flu epidemic, the horrors of WWI, the depression years and the massive deaths of WWII. In the 40’s and 50’s most people lived on farms where hard work and sacrifice were common, where helping your neighbor was expected and political correctness incomprehensible. It is not surprising that those of us who lived those years find the behavior of these pampered teens and college
students ridiculous.

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I have theorized that the survivors of SEAL training, regarded as the most difficult in the world, are usually the men who have had a history of adversity in their young lives. The training is the definition of adversity writ large. If you’re sensitive to verbal abuse, this is not the program for you. As the Instructors in BUDS like to say, “Second place is First Loser.”

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