Some Year

It’s the time of year to assess where I was right and wrong. When you have a blog where everything you’ve written since 2014 is available, you have no place to hide.  

To a large extent, Trump’s election loss appeared to me to have been self-inflicted. A bizarre debate performance coupled with tirades against early voting showed a lack of balance. He was the one ranting while Biden remained cool. Discouraging his supporters from early voting meant they had to show up on election day. That’s not always possible. Uncast votes could turn the results. In the crucial states, 2020 was close.

What I didn’t foresee was the degree of his derangement. Even in the face of recounts conducted by his party showing he lost, Trump refused to accept the outcome. Bill Barr, his attorney General, found nothing to change the results. His inability to accept defeat led directly to the loss of the two Georgia Senate seats and the 1/6 Capital Riot.  

As an octogenarian, I’ve seen how age affects one’s perception. Where Trump previously avoided significant errors, reality and those recognizing it became his enemy. Maybe, I should’ve been more aware of possible age-related changes. Biden has lost several steps; why not Trump? As we can see. not realizing our limitations can be dangerous.

I predicted Covid would reach its apogee in early January. The 10th of the month marked the pandemic high point. Even with variations, including Delta, we haven’t yet come close. With so many people already having Covid, infusions, and new vaccines coming online, the data looked favorable for a topping out. To date, that is the case:

Early on in the Biden administration, I observed its comprehension of Operation Warp Speed, and indeed the pandemic was lacking. This absence raised the issue of overall competence—the multitude of the undocumented crossing our border without an answer confirmed my suspicion. 

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Job Description

From packages taken from the doorstep to luxury stores hit by gangs, crime is taking on a life of its own. Even the Fox Christmas tree burnt down. Our greatest cities suffering from lawlessness and filth no longer are tourist draws—many experiencing out-migration. The situation only seems to be getting worse.

How did we get to this point? We have to ask how we have departed from civilized norms. To understand the problem, we must revisit what we expect from our elected governments—at a minimum, going about our business without fear for our person or property. Walking down the street or opening for business shouldn’t be an act of foolhardy courage. We pay taxes to enforce the laws allowing civilized society.

In my series “The Long Journey to More,” I observed the only way to get an increase from present circumstances was to take it from someone else, trade for it, or innovate. As we innovate and trade our way to “More,” the idea of taking it from others should become unacceptable. Our military and law enforcement must keep predators from taking what we value.

Limited food, clothing, and shelter meant getting from others before they got from you for most of human history. The strong subjugated those weaker and left most at subsistence. The powerful got “more” and fought to preserve what they had and to extend their sway over others.

The Vikings used their versatile ships to both raid and trade. In an earlier time, they were an example of how things worked. In our era where more people live well above subsistence every day, the tolerance for those preying on others should be diminishing. Instead, we appear heading in the opposite direction.

When we have all sorts of programs to feed, clothe and shelter those in need, what if anything justifies anyone taking from someone else? If government programs weren’t enough, we have a multitude of charities providing aid. One would have to work hard to starve to death. Only exceptional circumstances result in malnourishment. Never in history have we had more support for the unfortunate, yet we find the news now dominated by lawlessness.

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Michael Replaces Chris

As is our Saturday habit, we settled in to watch Michael Smerconish’s CNN show. Compared to other CNN hosts, he appeared thoughtful and knowledgeable. We found he sometimes had a different take on things and out-of-the-ordinary guests. He heightened our interest by being poised to take over the fired Chris Cuomo’s CNN primetime hour for a week or longer.

Smerconish started the show by informing us that Germany was locking down everyone not vaccinated or naturally immune. He was astonished Germany equated natural immunity with vaccinations. He also found almost all of Europe, Israel, and many other nations treated prior infection the same as vaccinations.

Genuinely surprised, he ventured excusing the naturally immune from mandates might lessen the strife over Covid regulations. His weekly online poll question was, “Should prior COVID infection count when it comes to vaccine mandates?” His first guest was a medical expert who explained the studies behind the other nations’ actions. The guest doctor came down on their side because they had the better science.

Opening up new ground for discussion is always welcome. Tweets Smerconish read on the show indicated surprise by his viewers. The problem is it may be a surprise to Michael and his CNN audience, but natural immunity has been at the center of how the world deals with Covid virtually from the pandemic beginning. As I wrote at the time, Israel issued the world’s first Covid passport last March. Following the data, it required either proof of vaccination or previous infection. Most other nations followed suit.

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Can’t Anyone Here Play This Game?

Readers know of my concerns about the competence of the Biden administration. In my March post, I noted in “The Dog Ate Biden’s Homework,’ the apparent lack of knowledge of “Project Warp Speed” led to out-of-touch pronouncements. Some people around the President should have been on top of everything Covid but dropped the ball. Now the capability problem is exposed across the board.

Can anybody put forward anyone, including the President, showing minimum ability in this administration. You know you have a losing roster when your go-to guy is Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. You know the guy who went on two-month maternity leave while the U.S. suffered through a massive supply chain snarl due in large part because to transport problems. As a small city mayor with no background in the field, he has yet to develop solutions.

The closest he’s come to any plan is to tell us to switch to Electric Vehicles for transport. After all, he informs us you’ll never worry about the price of gas again. He seems unaware that those running heavy trucks, buses, and ships looking at the weight and range of batteries might favor hydrogen. With a hardworking genius like this, how can we go wrong? Yet, he’s the one sent out to defend the administration across media.

South Africa reported a new Covid variant. The World Health Organization named it Omicron. Many countries, in panic, immediately blocked travel to South Africa and other African nations. Fear of a faster spreading and deadly Covid tanked markets. Instead of our Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra, the administration sent out National Institute of Health (NIH)Doctors Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins to Sunday news shows. The former to most, while the latter went on Fox.

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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?

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