McCain VS Trump

It is crystal clear there is no love lost between Senator John McCain and Donald Trump. That boiled over this past week.
I think Trump did go over the top with his attack on McCain. McCain is a Viet Nam war “hero” as are all who served in Viet Nam in a war the United States had no business being in. (Where have we heard that lately?) There are thousands who did not come home, hundreds who were prisoners in North Viet Nam, thousands who suffer the consequences of Agent Orange even today, and thousands who continue to battle PTSD. All are heros. They served the United States under political leadership that was worse than flawed. They, as did John McCain, paid the price.
I think the big bone between Trump and McCain is the Presidential campaign of 2008. Trump claims to have donated over one million dollars to the McCain effort. As it turned out, McCain was not up to the task. He was a weak candidate who further weakened his position with the pandering selection of  Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as the GOP Vice Presidential candidate. That did it for me. Palin turned out to be about as close to a dunce as one could imagine. Is it any wonder that Senator Barack Hussein Obama won the election by a landslide after first beating Hillary Clinton out for the candidacy?
So, you may not like Trump’s frankness and barbs, but he does speak his mind in ways there can be no misunderstanding. And, guess what, he leads the polls. That should be telling the establishment GOP types something. The public is fed up with Washington insiders and east coast talking heads. Who knows at this point if Trump will be the candidate of choice, but you can be sure he already has made an impact.

Smoking Something: Highways, Immigrants, and Students

Honest to goodness! There are times when I think our politicians are smoking something.
Two articles on the Opinion page of the July 17th issue of the Tribune caught my attention. The first was one in which Senator Toomey (R) from Pennsylvania and Senator Dan Coats (R) from Indiana proposed linking an encouragement of more immigration of “highly skilled” people to the United States with the need to find money to fund highway maintenance. What? They claim attracting foreign students and others “highly skilled” to remain in or come to the United States would produce more job creation and economic growth thereby providing more tax dollars for highway maintenance. They don’t, however, suggest a mechanism of how that would be tracked. Do they propose an eye in the sky to watch these immigrants or tag them somehow, maybe a tattoo or electronic chip, so that all the taxes they pay or taxes from jobs they create get directly into highway funds? So, no doubt, another government agency would be required to keep track of it all. Ridiculous! This proposal is a total flight of fantasy.
The cost of highway maintenance should be paid by the users of the highways. The current mechanism for funding is mostly gasoline and diesel tax on a per gallon basis. And, yes, users are choosing to purchase more fuel efficient vehicles and, thereby, use fewer gallons of fuel. This does not mean, however, they drive fewer miles on roads. The answer, simply, is to increase the tax per gallon up to the point needed to fund highway maintenance. Sure, there will be a lot of gnashing of teeth, but the problem needs to be addressed head on; not through some cockamamie scheme involving immigrants.
Now to the other article which, ironically, seems to tie right in. It was the editorial by the Tribune Board about education and graduation rates. The article pointed out the pathetic preparation of high school graduates for college level studies. The key sentence in the article said, “…. thousands of its (Indiana) high school students are graduating without the basic math, reading and writing skills needed to succeed in college”. This is no surprise and a problem existing for decades. The finger needs to be pointed at the high schools and nowhere else. Students wanting to prepare for college should not graduate from high school unless they demonstrate preparedness. The can should not be kicked down the road for universities to deal with as it now is. The current system is a recipe for the failure it is. And, guess what, if students were prepared, maybe graduation rates would go up and students would succeed in getting into the “highly skilled” category. No need for “highly skilled” immigrants. We would grow our own.

European Union and Immigration

Europe has its problems. There is a flood of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa. The pressure will continue.
The southeastern border of the European Union is generally marked by Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania. Hungary is one nation removed from that border except for a rather short border with Ukraine and another with Serbia. Hungary has announced it will build a fence along its border with Serbia to block illegal entry of migrants. There are already fences on the Franco-Italian border manned now by legions of French police. Greece has tightened its Turkish border and Bulgaria built a fence on its Turkish border. All of this to prevent or slow illegal immigration from the Middle East and Africa.
The countries of the European Union are already heavily burdened by illegal immigrants from Africa and the Middle East. More come daily. They come from war torn areas and because of social, environmental, or economic conditions to seek a better life for themselves and their families…. and from areas with very high birth rates. If the tsunami of people is allowed to continue unabated, Europe will rapidly decline socially and economically. New homes for all would be wonderful, but that is not realistic.
In the United States, we are fortunate to have the natural barrier of thousands of miles of ocean to the east and to the west that do not prevent but do slow the flow of illegal immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere. Still many get through. Our primary problem is the border with Mexico where thousands continue to enter the United States illegally daily. Most illegal aliens that cross our southern border are from Central and South America, but others have made their way from the Eastern Hemisphere to Mexico to gain entry to the United States.
Nobody wants to talk about population numbers. The United States must adopt policies that stabilize human numbers within this country. Absent immigration, the United States and virtually all developed countries, including those in the European Union, would have stable populations. Not so the countries with continuing high birth rates. They have reached max capacity economically, socially, and with available natural resources…. yet continue to grow population numbers. There is no place to go but out. As said, the pressure on developed countries will continue and grow. It remains to be seen whether they will say NO MORE or participate in the race to the bottom.

And We Wonder — DDT and Monsanto

[In part from “The Week” of July 3, 1015]
DDT was banned in the United States in 1972, but new research suggests this once ubiquitous insecticide is still causing cancer. Women born in the 1960s to mothers exposed to high levels of DDT while pregnant are nearly four times more likely to develop breast cancer, reports National Geographic. Scientists measured levels of DDT in blood samples taken from mothers of 118 women diagnosed with breast cancer by age 52, and compared them with samples taken from 354 women whose daughters did not get breast cancer. Women exposed to higher DDT levels in the womb were not only more likely to get breast cancer but they were also more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive and deadly forms of the disease……. Shanna Swan, an environmental health scientist at Mount Sinai Hospital said the finding were very troubling. “DDT could be responsible for raising the risk of breast cancer for a whole generation of women”.
And we still wonder if we should trust Monsanto, one of the primary producers of DDT from decades ago. This is the same company that has given us Dioxin, PCBs, 2/4/D, Agent Orange and more. It is the same company that has given us Roundup (glyphosate) that now has been declared a “probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization. It is the same company that has given us genetically engineered crops that can live through massive application of pesticide; pesticide whose residues follow the crop to the dinner table.
It does not take a genius to conclude that biocides — chemicals that cause death to organisms — are dangerous and harmful. We are poisoning ourselves and the planet. And who knows the ultimate damage to be done by genetically engineered crops and animals. We play with fire.

Aiding and Abetting

The rhetoric is heating up over the illegal immigrant issue. Donald Trump has seen to that. Good for him. Other political candidates in both the Democrat and Republican parties really don’t want to touch the issue with a ten foot pole. Oh, yes, a lot of talk on the fringes but no action for literally decades. But, clearly, the American public wants action, not talk.
Now we have front and center the case in San Francisco of an illegal alien many times over, Francisco Sanchez, killing a woman while she was walking with her father on a pier there that was popular for tourists. I don’t think anyone knows why yet. Sanchez claims innocence. He was supposed not to be in the United States.
Then we learn that San Francisco is a “sanctuary city”, meaning they welcome illegal aliens. They, along with something like 300 cities across the country, offer welcome to all illegal aliens. Just to remind you, illegal aliens are breaking federal law with Sanchez doing it multiple times.
So, what are these cities doing? They are aiding and abetting individuals who are in violation of federal law. Anyone guilty of aiding and abetting is often found to be guilty of the same crime as the perpetrator. If this is the case, the mayors of all of these cities should be arrested and put in prison along with any who actively support sanctuary by their inaction. For example, this would include the Police Chief of San Francisco, a person sworn to uphold the law.
I am just guessing, but I am thinking sanctuary cities might rethink their positions pretty quickly if the mayors were hauled off in handcuffs in a paddy wagon for trial and jail time in a federal prison.
Donald Trump may not be the most diplomatic in his rhetoric, but he has struck a note with the majority of the American public. They are sick and tired of inaction on illegal aliens. They want the border sealed up tightly with total control of who is permitted to cross. That is not to say people with legitimate reason would be stopped. They would simply have to convince border authorities of that legitimacy. Pretty simple.


Don’t know about you, but I am thinking June and now into July has gotten mixed up with November. We are all tired of gray skies and rain, but there is more to come. Farmers in Indiana are in disaster mode. Fields are flooded or so soggy they cannot be worked. Any equipment on the soil will only compact it severely. Around here; the loss includes corn and soy beans mostly but farmers with tomatoes and pumpkins and other crops have suffered as much.
And what is there to do? Nothing. Weather experts report now that the Midwest is on average showing an increase of over two degrees. This seems little, but it is enough to disturb the water cycle. The result, they say, is to expect more rain with increasing winds and more water in shorter periods of time. They say crops will be affected everywhere and some crops will no longer be possible in areas in which they once grew. They say places like Iowa and Kansas may have to return land to grazing rather than attempt to grow corn, soy beans, and wheat.
Who is to blame. We have met the enemy and he is us. The consequences of our burning of fossil fuels and creating chemicals that cause the atmosphere to capture more heat will be felt long after those of us now living leave. It is our children and grandchildren who will pay the greatest price. The will not be calling us the “Greatest Generation“. They will wonder why we did nothing.