Observations Before Thanksgiving

Several things have occurred that have struck me as strange or funny. Some commentators have called attention to Kyle Rittenhouse’s possession of an AR-15 rifle. They claim a seventeen-year-old should never have such a lethal weapon—way too much gun for someone so young. When one joins the U.S. Army, they’re assigned an AR-16, the automatic version of the semi-automatic AR-15. Of course, you can join up at seventeen. Isn’t Rittenhouse the type of young person rushing to sign up at the recruiting station in a crisis?

Listening to the repeated background gunshots on the videos of the night in question, it’s obvious Rittenhouse wasn’t the only one bringing and firing a firearm. 

Many qualified people have commented on the legal aspects of the case, and most concluded it was a fair trial with a just verdict. The only thing I’d like to add is that it creates a vacuum when you restrain law enforcement from protecting people and property. This situation draws in vigilantes to stem the chaos. Don’t want people taking the law into their own hands; let the people you hired to protect the community do their job. If the police had prevented the mass destruction of property, would any of this happen?

Is it me, or do the Administrations’s medical spokespeople sound panicked over an uptick in Covid cases? Has no one noticed hospitalizations have hardly moved, and deaths are flat? Remember, government intervention initially was to keep our medical facilities from being overwhelmed. We don’t panic over the common cold or the flu. Yet, they tell us unless we vaccinate everyone multiple times, we’re all doomed. 

Do moderate Democrats in the House and Senate think the Infrastructure Bill will save their jobs in the ’22 election? If they vote for the “Build Back Better” bill, they must think inflation is going away soon. With rents, wages, fuel, and housing costs still rising, the upward spiral is more likely to continue well into the new year and beyond. Voters will remember who threw another big log on the fire. Don’t these legislators know the generous unemployment benefits have ended?

Continue reading

It Makes My Head Hurt

We have stellar examples of how not to problems with the end of the Glasgow doomsday conflab and the announcement of the administration’s green plans. As stated before, you sell people by listening to their questions and resolving objections. The rich western nations led by the U.S. insist on telling the developing world they must use preferred renewable energy sources, wind and solar, to power growth. If poorer countries want help and financing for energy projects, don’t deviate. However, Africans favor natural gas and thermal projects to power much-needed economic development.

Africa and the other developing areas see Europe’s energy turmoil brought on by unreliable wind and solar and ask if these aren’t working for you, why should we follow? The real question is, why have we narrowed our solutions?

If we look at the recently passed infrastructure bill and the administration announced plans to build offshore windmills up and down our coasts, we see the plan to power America in the future. Windmills and solar panels power homes, industry, and electric transport. Oh, sure, they give lip service to other possibilities but have you seen a new nuclear, hydrogen, or thermal plant come online lately. Anything scheduled for next year? 

By the time new ideas are ripe for broad implementation, entrenched wind and solar-powered electricity will be well protected by stakeholders better known as crony capitalists. It’s nearly impossible to reverse once the politicians team up with special interests. Why else are we still burning corn in our gas tanks? 

Continue reading

Last Week

The week proved to be more eventful than even I envisioned. One big takeaway for me, education is becoming a major battlefield. In Virginia, parents had a chance to see what and how teaching occurred in their schools during the pandemic. Many were shocked. Without in-person learning, parents had to jump in. They found teachers and administrators didn’t put their students first. The U.S. spends the most on education but lags behind our competitors. Parents want the best for their children, but the teacher’s unions and school administrators have very different interests. 

We could have endless trench warfare with the vested interests or put the power in the hands of the children’s best advocates -their parents. Now is the time to move to a voucher system. Educators competing with their best for the vouchers can foster innovation and better outcomes for our kids.

With so many of our children falling behind due to school closings, we can’t waste more time. Give parents the power to find the best solutions for their kids. Deregulate now with vouchers before we fall further behind. This problem is both a societal and national security crisis. Awareness is coming none too soon.

I sense the delicate hand of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel at work in the House passing the long-delayed Infrastructure Bill. Surprisingly, Republicans provided the winning margin. Senator Joe Manchin holds a deciding vote in a 50-50 Senate. Without his approval, the filibuster stays. Any further legislation such as the wildly expensive “Build Back Better” is dead or greatly diminished without him. He wanted the Infrastructure Bill, and Mitch wanted to keep the filibuster and no more social engineering bills. If “Build Back Better” is either scuttled or cut down to a shell, it’s probably a sign of a deal between the two wily old two Senators. Both get what they want, and some Republicans in toss-up areas get to show their bipartisanship. 

Continue reading

Before a Big Week

The first week of November promises to be a political bellwether. The gubernatorial election in Virginia and maybe the one in New Jersey will give us some idea of the public’s reaction to the continued failures of the Biden Administration. Either Congress will vote this week on the President’s program or postpone forever. Vaccine mandates in significant areas will go into effect. Will it make our labor shortage even worse? How about safety?

While waiting for results, a couple of interesting things came up worth mentioning. The current narrow partisan focus of our media lets some critical news or ideas go largely unnoticed.

 The Wall Street Journal featured an article by an associate professor of chemical bioprocess engineering, Jacob R. Borden. The article reminded me of a piece I read probably in National Geographic many years ago. It revealed picturesque and strange Yellowstone is a massive volcanic area. One, if it erupted, could pretty much do in the U.S. and Canada. It was in my thoughts when we visited the Park. 

Prof. Borden points to a 1917 NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab(JPL) evaluation. It isn’t if, but when Yellowstone erupts, and it may be due. JPL has a potential solution, siphoning off excess energy. With the development of horizontal drilling, we can do it without disturbing the Park.

Continue reading

Child or Adult

I always thought the United States was a child of the “Age of Reason.” This intellectual and cultural movement emphasized reason over superstition and science over blind faith in the eighteenth century.  Rational decisions and thoughts are based on logic rather than on emotion. Using our minds in a disciplined and coherent fashion is the way to superior results. Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution with its Bill of rights are examples of this truth. 

Maybe you, too, have found yourself looking at or hearing something and thinking, this argument or action makes no sense. A queasy stomach or a headache may accompany your confusion. Several tummy turners have occurred recently.

Because of vaccine mandates, many people must take shots they don’t want and may not need or lose their jobs. This situation comes at a time when we are experiencing a severe labor shortage. With supply curtailed, inflation is a real problem. The first responders and health workers pushed out of their jobs make us less safe. The theory behind the mandate is to protect the vulnerable.

The mandate people point to the death of the elderly and severely immune-compromised Colin Powell to prove everyone needs to be vaccinated. An unvaccinated carrier infected and killed Powell. The only way we can protect the compromised is to vaccinate everyone.

This theory is nonsense. We know even the vaccinated can carry Covid. The compromised are in the most danger, even though they’re vaccinated. They may be unable to maintain a strong antibody response. This problem was why Gov. DeSantis of Florida blanketed the state with Monoclonal Antibody centers to provide immunity-boosting infusions.

Tackle the situation where it is. Discussing the vaccinated Powell’s death on CBS’s Face the Nation, former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden proposed we infuse those on immune suppressants and with other immune problems prophylactically. I know if I couldn’t preserve enough antibodies, I’d take this option.

Continue reading