Oct 3, 21. Hearings on Afghanistan and other issues


I had a chance to watch about three hours of the hearings in both houses of Congress, and then watched the highlights over the next couple of days.

  1. Biden lied, people died. “I was never told we should leave military folks in Afghanistan.” Either he lied, or his memory of such an important piece of advice was forgotten, if forgotten that may be even more scary. All three witnesses verified the advice was passed on.
  2. Whether we should have been there for 20 years is a good question, but since we were there we have an obligation to protect those before we leave. We were holding the Taliban with our air support. Many leaders, including this one and the past two presidents, put deadlines in writing. Stupid move. Hopefully we have learned something the time around.
  3. Biden lied, people died. “We will stay until all are out.” Guess not.
  4. Milley overstepped his license by talking with the authors. My experience in  the military, even as a lowly captain in the marines, was never to offer opinions about politics, even within my unit. Secretary of defense Mattis said in his book he would never give opinions about a sitting president. He resigned over a matter of principal, a a disagreement with Trump over Syrian policy. Milley should have resigned; he said resigning is a political move, that is correct, it is. But, if he really felt lives were at risk, as well as the strategic safety of the country, he should have. If he had maybe Biden would have changed his mind. I read a piece in the “Daily Signal” about Milley in which the following deserved requoting.” In December 2018, Trump nominated Milley, previously chief of staff for the Army, for the position of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff against the advice of his defense secretary at the time, Jim Mattis, and the incumbent chairman, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford.” Disregarding advice due to arrogance and self absorption is a common ailment.
  5. HR McMaster wrote a book when he was a colonel, “Dereliction of Duty” that highlights the lack of principle generals during Vietnam were unwilling to challenge the directions from the commander in chief. They knew body counts were wrong. They refused to listen to those in field who told the truth about our strategies. Groundhog Day!

I am disheartened that lessons taught were forgotten. I am ashamed we left so many behind. I am angry that the offer from the Taliban to provide security for all of Kabul was declined. I am bewildered that our airbase just north of Kabul was abandoned, it was so much easier to defend.

I thought at 74 we were passed this. Secretary Gates’ was prescient when he commented on how many times Biden got foreign  policy wrong.



Sept 15, 21 Energy

In today’s WSJ were articles about the price of energy in Europe. In the last 20 years the price of energy has quintupled, that is gone up times 5, as an example, from $1 to $5 per unit of energy.

Why is that? Climate change as it is now called, Global Warming before the numbers didn’t support the warming part as predicted caused reactions that reduced the supply of traditional power and beefed up production of much higher cost power. Nuclear plants shut down after the Japanese tidal wave-in Germany and other places, tidal wave risk? No, “Green” parties and groups screaming an yelling about fossil fuels, a young woman who sailed across the Atlantic to make a vacuous speech at the UN, etc. Meanwhile the US has reduced carbon emissions in line with Europe without the same hysteria. China is now the largest emitter and no matter what they say or do could care less about the trend. India is number two. Both are increasing every year.

Science. We are supposed to believe the scientists, yet hypocrisy rules as usual. We haven’t figured out yet how to store energy from bird killing windmills, or lizard killing solar in the desert economically, maybe we will in the future, that would be nice. Hydro power is available but permitting more dams is out of the question, too much environmental damage and ruining wild and scenic rivers. Yet nuclear is still off limits. OK, let’s not build one near a tsunami zone, but France seems OK with generating 80% of its’ electricity with nuclear. Thus following the science isn’t really a basic go to, only when it is convenient.

As usual we see no negotiation from either side. Only pointing fingers and calling of names. Do we as a country all agree that our energy prices should double or triple from where they are now? They are up twice in the same period that Europe’s have gone up five times. That kind of increase puts a great burden on those who don’t have excess cash to spend on energy. Do we want to depend on Russia, or the Arab countries for fossil fuels versus being independent just to say we eliminated our own fossil fuel production?

We should continue policies that reduce our gross emissions over time, and as a percent of GDP. We should invest in research to increase the capacity of batteries for the home, transportation and grid support; fusion reactors; fuel cell technology; grid updating and efficiency; etc. But we must also ensure we do not impose another undue cost on our economy to meet the desires of the perfect world folks. Evolution, not revolution.  Europe’s economy has grown 30-50% slower than ours over time.

Economic growth is the key tactic to reduce poverty, provide assistance to others in need, ensure our citizens see hope in the future.

Executive leaders who fail to enforce the law should be removed, or resign

What happened in DC on my 74th birthday is an abomination. Our current president is responsible in so many ways, in his thoughts, words, and deeds, by what he has done, and by what he has left undone. He has not loved all with his whole heart; he has not loved his neighbors as himself. He is a flawed individual who saw a group of citizens who had been ignored by both parties and offered up a path forward. He should resign and let Mike Pence finish out the term. But, he not the only one responsible!

So should all of those in Congress who from the day he was nominated to all the days after the election in 2015 conspired to destroy the president in various ways: using the FBI and other agencies to spy on him and those around him; putting forth a false narrative about collusion; pronounce they had seen hard evidence that justified impeachment; never made any, any effort to meet his administration halfway; need I go on? They should also resign.

So should all the governors and mayors who did nothing, or actually supported those who turned peaceful protests into violence, property destruction and injury.

So should the “journalists” on both sides  who fed the hate rather than push for compromise and bi-partisanship. I think every time a talking head is not reporting news there should be a chyron stating, “This is my opinion, I am a progressive (conservative).” I do not want Facebook, et al. to be censoring content based on their “rules” with regard to political commentary.

All those who participated in those riots should also be charged, whether yesterday or over the past few years.

Our democracy needs disagreement and compromise. I send money each year to “No Labels” an organization that supports bi-partisanship in Congress. My letters to DC ask and hope for the same. Totalitarian tendencies exist on both sides of the aisle, we need leaders who will listen to outside their philosophical bubbles rather than toe the line of party leaders. They are few and far between.

I voted for Trump because I supported most of his policies. What he did resulted in higher wages for those whose pay had been flat, encouraged people to open businesses by reducing regulations, began to address the illegal actions of China on the business side, stood up to our allies who were not pulling their weight on defense, appointed judges who read the law and decided on the written law, not on their opinion of what it should be, and other actions. We had more freedom to pursue our own vision of happiness, I am mostly convinced our President elect will reverse all those policies, since he was VP when our former President put them in place. I do not support most of the Democrat policies which put more power in the hands of the government. I am one of those who “clings to my Bible and guns” as our former President said in 2007.

We are facing very significant external threats to our way of life; China, Russia, Iran and other generators of intolerance and terrorism. We can’t defend ourselves if we remain this divided.

The government has a role to play in our society, but as Lord Acton said, “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”


Biden positions on immigration

Biden policies off his website, immigration

https://joebiden.com/immigration/.  Plan for securing our values as a nation of immigrants.

Wow, now that is as vague a statement of policy that I have ever seen. This is lots of wishful thoughts with no real end point. I propose, “A plan to continue being the place where people who yearn to be free can come and contribute to the American experience.”

Barbara Jordan, the famous congressperson, was instrumental in our immigration policies that I think should be remembered by those who want no immigration, and to those want no limits, https://www.numbersusa.com/resource-article/barbara-jordans-vision-immigration-reform.

“Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave.”

She talked about not flooding our country to the detriment of current citizens finding work, or suppressing wage growth through oversupply. Half of those without papers today, roughly 11,000,000, are allowed to stay through lack of action on their visas, or 5,000,000 people.

Those on the left think it is inhumane to keep people in detention centers while they await a court hearing. By not holding them we create an open door at our border; 90% of released entrants do not return for their hearing. Try going into Mexico or any other country like that!

So, Congress should set the number of immigrants we allow based on Rep. Jordan’s goal. The executive should enforce those limits. The courts should be resourced so that hearings are held quickly, thus no one is “caught and released.” People with expired visas that show no exit should be found and adjudicated. Only immediate families, not extended, should be let in. The progressives caterwaul about wages not rising yet they support massive immigration, supply and demand folks!

On to the Biden Harris proposals: The Obama administration separated families, just google it. Criminals in the US are separated from their families. Trump has been more aggressive, but it is a lie that this has not occurred before.

Biden focuses a lot on cargo coming into the country versus people, which is a diversion. Yes we should check cargo but that isn’t the issue, illegal immigrants are; they are trying to bait and switch.

Looking at research there is much on both sides of whether immigrants contribute, or deplete our financials. Biden only quotes that which supports his policy, believe me there is a equal amount disagreeing with his $2 trillion contribution.

The bill he talks about was a partisan bill like Obama care where conservative input was rebuked. Thus executive orders were used, thus Congress abdicated its’ power. I cannot figure out why the extremes of both sides do not understand they must compromise to retain the power they should have.

The first 100 Days: Trump has already stopped separating families. We let in some folks from Saudi Arabia in 2001 without proper vetting, big mistake, we must vet. If a country does not have enough information on a potential immigrant or visa request, we should not let them in.

We must be clear, because someone can’t find a job in their country they aren’t eligible for asylum. If they do qualify under strict guidelines and can be vetted, then let them in, I do not agree with arbitrary numbers.

Every one of my friends who have gone overseas for extended periods must prove they will not be a public burden. Saying immigrants can be a public burden is foolish and unfair to our citizens who need help.

DACA was terminated because Congress refused to negotiate; Trump doubled the number of people to be allowed in if Congress would fund some more wall and other request. Nancy put DACA in jeopardy.

TPS. DED. I would rather send money to adjacent countries to house people driven out by war, etc. There is no need to allow them in.

ICE and CPB: Another Democrat hit piece on law enforcement, rather than focusing on problems and fixing them.

I agree with integration, I wonder how the “Squad” feels about that. If you want to come to this country you should agree to become a part, not form your own little country within ours.

Regional meeting of Latin American countries: How many more times must nation building be brought up, it doesn’t work.

We are mostly immigrants and it is beautiful, and has been productive, and will continue to be. We must limit the number of people who we allow in and create filters to be sure they will be productive and engaged citizens who support our way of life, and not oversupply the labor markets thus reducing wage growth. This would require some compromise from both sides and a lessening of finger pointing and name calling. But, we must do so.


Biden policy on reducing violence and gun control

Biden policies off his website

https://joebiden.com/gunsafety/. End Gun Violence

The very first statements say there are 40,000 gun deaths yearly. Biden doesn’t mention the breakdown:

61% are suicides, would those who want to take their lives not do so if there were no guns, nope, this is a red herring (Overwhelmingly white and male by the way). 36% were homicides, 3% accidents (which includes those killed by police), https://www.thetrace.org/2020/02/gun-deaths-suicide-cdc-data-2018/.

He goes on to talk about background checks, which I agree with.  I agree with background checks at gun shows, private sales, etc. What he doesn’t support is connecting the database to mental health issues, which is the overwhelming cause of mass shootings (more than four people).

He calls the following common sense:

  1. Hold gun manufacturers liable for the use of a firearm. He says no other industry has protection, say again? When a murder is done with a knife, or a car, or a hammer, or with gasoline-should I go on, they are not held liable. Doing so would mostly put firearm manufacturers out of business. According to https://www.wyff4.com/article/how-often-are-guns-used-to-stop-crimes/10033021#, gun owners defending themselves killed 1500 people a year versus 606 killed by the police. All of those 1500 were adjudicated as self-defense. Also, 2,500,000 times firearms were brandished, interrupting a crime. No guns, more crime-Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the country and highest gun crime rates.
  2. Get firearms off the streets. I can shoot a semi-automatic pistol at the same rate of an “Assault weapon (meaning a rifle with a detachable magazine and semi automatic).” My hunting rifle doesn’t have a pistol grip yet has 2-3 times the range of an AR-15. So logic doesn’t apply. Having a rifle capable of automatic firing requires a federal license. Bump stocks should require that kind of license. I can’t wait to see gang bangers line up to sell their MP5’s back to the government. He says only buy one weapon a month, no sweat, this is just inane, 12 a year, etc.
  3. He lists many “task forces” to look at various issues, like a task force can produce action, give me a break.
  4. A smart gun is an interesting idea, my concern is that lower income folks won’t be able to afford personal protection, and studies show they want to have a firearm to protect themselves.
  5. I agree with holding adults liable for the use of their guns by family members. I agree with prohibiting “Ghost guns”. I agree with requiring owners to report lost or stolen guns.
  6. I disagree with prohibiting educators from having firearms. Those who have had experience in the military or law enforcement and are certified through annual tests (same type as the police are required to take) should have one, in a biometric safe. To that end, anyone with a carry permit should go through the same annual certification.

Generally Biden-Harris want the United States to be like Europe in this regard. Well, Europe grew up under monarchies or totalitarian forms of government who knew what would happen if their serfs had weapons, their power would be challenged. Their culture is very different than ours. That is why the second amendment was demanded, to be sure that wouldn’t happen again.

Some say we don’t need it now since we know our government wouldn’t ever try to do that, use force to concentrate power against the wishes of the citizen. Really, below comes from their website.

Incentivize state “extreme risk” laws. Extreme risk laws, also called “red flag” laws, enable family members or law enforcement officials to temporarily remove an individual’s access to firearms when that individual is in crisis and poses a danger to themselves or others. Biden will incentivize the adoption of these laws by giving states funds to implement them. And, he’ll direct the U.S. Department of Justice to issue best practices and offer technical assistance to states interested in enacting an extreme risk law.

Create an effective program to ensure individuals who become prohibited from possessing firearms relinquish their weapons.

As president, Biden will pursue legislation to regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act.

Biden told Robert Francis O’rourke that he would be the point person on taking weapons away from citizens.

Some may say these proposals for removing weapons are reasonable, but due process isn’t mentioned. Will an owner have the right to challenge a “red flag” law? Well of course you say, talk to the college students whose due process rights were removed by Obama-Biden if they were accused of sexual assault-this has finally been fixed but hundreds of people’s reputations have been ruined by false accusations. I worry about that exercise of progressive opinion over my rights.

Lastly: Crime is a problem we need bi-partisan action to reduce. The democrat passed 1994 crime bill Biden takes credit for has put too many people in jail. Fix it. The violence, harassment of conservatives, defund the police, and other sheer idiocies  that Biden-Harris have basically supported through their lack of condemnation must be recognized as dangerous to a civil society. Reform the police-sure, get rid of the racists-absolutely, train them better, etc.. Trump at least got a bi-partisan bill passed to reform the federal justice system.


Strange Fruit

The WSJ had an article on May 1st, pg A13, about the song “Strange Fruit” sung by Billie Holiday in the 30’s, and other musical protests concerning the lynching of mixed race people in the Jim Crow era.

It is a haunting song musically and even more so lyrically. I love Billie Holiday, not only for the music but for her courage in those times. The article mentions that lynching although illegal, was under-prosecuted by the states. The Senate passed a bill in 2018 making it a federal crime, the House has yet to pass it.

We tend to forget how we collectively allow injustice to continue, whether conservative or progressive, we are all guilty.

“First They Came for the Jews”
By Pastor Niemoller

 "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." - Ayn Rand
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

The “Sacred”

From “First Things”, “A religion of Activism”, April 2019

Sociologists find that all functional societies have a sacred tradition that is required in order to promote its’ goals. When those tradition’s are trashed, what then takes their place so that the society can continue to function for the benefit of its’ members?

The law of unintended consequences is powerful. Change is always needed to adjust practices when power is abused, as it always will be no matter who is in power, but, trashing everything has been proven to create turbulence and suffering.

Think ahead before ripping something up. What will you put in its’ place?

Public Schools, Primary and Secondary

President Obama spoke recently about our country now has the highest high school graduation rate ever, EVER! 80 some odd percent.

Well, figures lie and liars figure.  We also have the lowest overall results in test results against other developed countries ever, EVER! We have been sliding down the scale for awhile, not just in the last seven years.

Does it surprise you that the totality of the situation is neglected by a politician who wants to maintain support with a key electorate? This is true on both sides of the aisle. What is the data? Does it support your fairy tale picture, the Potemkin village of our system to educate our kids?

This last weekend the NAACP voted to stop charter school expansion.  This in the face of protests by organizations within the NAACP. Why, to support the teacher unions of course, not our kids.

Education is one of the keys to our prosperity we are blessed with today. Public education is certainly one of the reasons we are where we are today. Competition in our business system is also one of the reasons we constantly seem to provide jobs and investment opportunities so to grow. We have competition in educating our kids from birth to 5, and from 18 years of age on. We have no competition from 5-18, unless you have money and can send your kids to private school, or the time and ability to home school.

We are killing the system that got us here and the progressive movement is a major part of the killing.

Presidential Character, “..faithfully execute the law and the constitution.”y

OK, two different topics, but they really do have something in common. Steven F Hayward wrote an article that I saw on Intercollegiate Studies Institute, https://home.isi.org/character-counts-what-look-president.

Our presidents swear:  “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Our military personnel have a similar oath of office.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Cabinet members oath is: “I (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”

Why all the focus on oaths? Oaths are as old and the recorded history of our species. Oaths were sworn between people before lawyers were invented, and there were consequences for not fulfilling an oath. So who feels that fulfilling an oath is important. Well, have our politicians fulfilled their oaths? Are they defending and protecting the constitution as they SWORE to do? That is part of the essence of character, doing what you saw you will do.  Not saying the oath and then doing what you want.

As Mr. Hayward says in his article, “I intend to transform the United States” violates your oath and is a sign that your character is not something we can depend upon. A statement like, “I intend to lead the Congress towards what I consider is a better United States.” That statement I can support and have respect for even if I disagree with the what he considers to be “better”.

Neither major party candidate today comes close to being a person of character. Both feel they will do whatever it takes to fulfill their own vision of the future, equal pay, N Korea, gun limitations, the wall—it just goes on forever. Neither mentions Congress.  Read the article, it speaks to the fact that Congress is the action body, NOT THE PRESIDENT!!!! We slide towards totalitarianism, fascism, etc. by not holding Congress accountable.

Think about it, please!