The Kokomo Dispatch — Pledged but to Truth, To Liberty and Law, No Favor Sways Us and No Fear Shall Awe: Poynter/Kautz/Blacklidge
Past Publsher/CEO of the old Kokomo Tribune and Kokomo Dispatch. As one of a newspaper family who owned a 34,000 daily newspaper in the heart of the Midwest for 85 years, I have a deep belief in a strong “Fourth Estate”, the press. Without a diligent, truthful, and assertive free press, the power would be taken from the people. People have the absolute right to know. After earning a degree in Industrial Management from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue, I spent over 20 years in newspaper management with several as publisher. I also hold three graduate science degrees including a Ph.D.. I have a passionate interest in science, the environment, government, and politics. I have very little tolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
Reuters News Service is reporting the US government is spending more than $7,000,000 a year to maintain a Russian super yacht, the Amadea, that was seized by authorities in May 2022 when it made port in Fiji in 2022. The yacht was subsequently moved and is now and has been docked in San Diego ever since.
The super yacht was seized pursuant to a US warrant alleging it was owned by Suleiman Kerimov, a Russian multi-billionaire sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in response to Russian activities in Syria and Ukraine.
The big problem is that ownership of the yacht is under debate. Eduard Knudainatov, another very rich Russian, claims ownership. He is not under sanction by the US and, therefore, the US is claimed to have seized the yacht illegally. The issue is in US federal court.
The federal prosecutors told the court that the average monthly maintenance bill for the yacht sitting in dock has been $600,000 per month. Reportedly, this has been for both the yacht and crew expenses. Prosecutors claim the maintenance payments have been essential to preserving the Amadea’s value.
The feds want to auction the yacht and have asked the court to permit that. If the court determines Kerimov owns the yacht, that may be possible. If Knudainatov owns it, then auctioning becomes not possible.
If sold, it is said proceeds would be sent to Ukraine!
This whole story shows again the incredible stupidity of the Biden administration. US taxpayers have been paying $7,000,000 a year to maintain a yacht since 2022 docked in San Diego. There is no talk of reimbursing the US taxpayers even if the yacht is auctioned off…. And that is even in question.
If the court determines the ownership is really by Eduard Knudainatov, there is nothing but total loss to the US taxpayer. The yacht is released to return to Russia.
Today, Justice Arthur Engoron, in collaboration with New York Attorney General Letitia James, issued a $355 million judgment against Donald Trump and banned him from business in New York state for three years. In addition Donald Trump Jr and Erik Trump were banned from doing business in New York State for two years and fined $4 million each. There are only two words that properly describe the action of this judge: BULL SHIT.
The Trumps will immediately appeal this action. Engoron should be removed from the bench and disbarred. He announced the Trumps to be guilty of fraud before the trial even began. And James vowed to get Trump when she was running for office and before being elected. She, too, should be removed from office, charged with gross prosecutorial misconduct, and disbarred.
This injustice may have to reach the United States Supreme Court before being righted. It likely will not be in any New York state court including the state Supreme Court.
This was a trial with no victim and no crime… and no jury. The judge played GOD. All of this incredible mis-carriage of justice paints a clear picture of the state of the justice system in New York state. Totally corrupt. And totally run by Democrats.
Engoron and others are trying their best to bleed Donald Trump of resources in his run for President of the United States. Both Engoron and James are roaring Democrats. Honestly, I do not know how anyone can be a Democrat given the corruption in the Biden administration, the Democrat fraud that was committed in the 2020 election, and the corruption in virtually all courts controlled by Democrats.
The USA is in one hell of a mess all at the feet of Democrats with the help of a cadre of RINO Republicans. Is the Constitutional Republic going to survive. You make the guess.
Note I have said nothing about the hoards in illegal immigration and the disastrous foreign policy decisions and actions of ole Joe and his fellow travelers.
There was a saying coined by Carl Sagan, the astronomer. It was “Billions and Billions!” when referring to the vastness of the universe and its population of galaxies, stars, and planets. We in the USA can now claim the saying, “Millions and Millions”, when referring to the number of illegal aliens having crossed the southern and northern borders into our country during the President Joe Biden years.
Some estimate the illegal number at 10 million or so. President Donald Trump believes the number is closer to twice that at 20 million with more to come in the next 11 months until such time as most now expect Trump to be the 47th President in January 2025.
There are only four states in the USA that have populations of 20 million or more. Those are New York, Florida, Texas, and California. Where I live, Indiana, the population in 2023 is estimated to be 6.8 million and Indiana is 17th in the list. So, 46 states have populations less than the number of illegal aliens estimated by Trump to have invaded our country and 33 states have less than even the 6.8 million of Indiana. This paints a dire picture.
What we do not know is where all of the illegal aliens are. The news seems just to report they are being flown and bussed to places all over the country. But have you even seen an accounting of the numbers being dumped where? We hear complaints from the city of New York and Chicago about the number of illegal aliens being brought there, but the numbers are not even close to the total of illegal aliens coming in. So, where are they?
The federal and state governments should, no – must, report numbers and where illegals are being dropped. We already hear stories of medical facilities and schools being overrun. We hear stories of Chicago, for example, housing illegal aliens at O’Hare airport. We hear stories of schools being closed to students so facilities can house illegal aliens. We hear stories of upscale hotels being occupied by illegal aliens. We hear stories of illegal aliens being housed on US military grounds.
Consider this: if you just look at the images of the masses of illegals crossing the southern border you will see that the majority is young men. The majority is not women, children, or older men. The majority is not families. It is young men of typical military age. Now we hear reports of substantial numbers of Chinese men and men from hostile Muslim countries flowing in. These pose military/terrorist threats.
In the end, Joe Biden and his administration need to be held accountable for failing their oaths of office. They have violated the Constitution. The NGO (non-governmental not-for-profit) organizations and those that have transported illegal aliens should be prosecuted for aiding and abetting the violation of our immigration laws. All should be in jail for a long, long time. This may not happen, but it should.
Finally, Donald Trump has said that when elected the 47th President, he will begin the largest deportation operation in the history of the United States. We can pray this will happen. And none of this addresses the devastation already wrought on the people of the United States from the deaths from fentanyl; a gift from China and the drug Cartels.
To the NEVER TRUMPERS… Those who hate him will always hate him, no matter what. In his stead, I certainly couldn’t imagine Hillary or Obama or Biden or Kamala making anything even close to this gesture. It was not for publicity or for the camera. It was a private moment. This was in 2020.
If you cannot understand the meaning of this, I feel sorry for you. Please try to understand the weight of this image. This soldier lost both arms. The feeling of a handshake is now lost to him. Trump realized this, and so touched his face so he can feel the human connection. This is what I see when I think of Trump’s motives. He gave up a billionaire lifestyle to now be insulted, dragged through the mud, and lied about on a daily basis. All to save this country and the people he loves.
Again, to the NEVER TRUMPERS…… have you ever found one, even one, person that works for or ever worked for the Trumps that had a complaint about how they were treated? That speaks volumes.
The EPA is at it again. In an agency draft, it again backs the use of this very toxic herbicide, paraquat, claiming it is safe for use across millions of acres of American cropland despite what public health advocates characterize as virtual scientific proof it causes Parkinson’s disease.
By law, the EPA is required to review pesticides every 15 years. It did and approved paraquat again in 2021. The EPA was sued by several agricultural and public health groups in 2021 charging it had ignored broad scientific consensus linking paraquat to Parkinson’s. The EPA agreed to review its approval. They did and here we are again at the same decision as before. Oh, the EPA did agree it will review more science and could change course when issuing a final report next year. In the meanwhile, the poison stays on the market.
The fight over the use of paraquat in the United States has been going on for decades. This chemical poison, a very effective weed killer, is manufactured by Syngenta. Interestingly, nearly 60 countries have banned paraquat use. This includes the UK and EU countries. Another fact…. A state-owned Chinese company bought Syngenta in 2017 but paraquat is banned for use in China.
Scientific research clearly shows paraquat interferes with dopamine production and regulation, and people with Parkinson’s have reduced dopamine levels. Paraquat is also linked to respiratory damage and kidney disease. Ingestion of a single teaspoon is considered deadly.
And finally, those most at risk seem to be the communities and farmworkers in the central California farming area. This is the area of enormous production of crops for the food market in the United States. It appears the EPA could care less about the communities and workers there as long as Syngenta makes a profit. But even worse is that residues from paraquat likely find their way onto the food we all purchase at the grocery store. I have to wonder how many cases of Parkinson’s have resulted.
In looking back at pesticide use which really began after WWII, it is crystal clear we have not made wise decisions. The first big alert was DDT. Then in Viet Nam during the war there, we covered that country with Agent Orange. That was devastating to Viet Nam and to thousands of US military personnel; even to those in the supply chain that got that chemical from the United States to Viet Nam. When will we wise up? But, again the story is that money talks the loudest!
Reason had a victory. This past week a US federal court in Arizona banned three weed killers (poisons; biocides) widely used by American agriculture, finding the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) broke the law in allowing them to be on the market.
The ruling affects dicamba-based weed killers produced and sold by Bayer, BASF, and Syngenta. Dicamba killers have been blamed for millions of acres of crop damage and harm to endangered species and natural areas across the Midwest and South.
The court concluded the EPA had not followed law in granting approval of dicamba for use on genetically engineered crops, typically GE soy beans and corn, that were resistant to it use, but killed weeds around them. The problem is that dicamba is very volatile! This means it easily goes up into the air and drifts to areas afar causing widespread damage to crops and vegetation not resistant to the pesticide. Result: unintended consequences… death to vegetation, including crops, elsewhere and death to animals and insects (pollinators, for example) dependent on that vegetation.
All of this comes on the heels of massive law suits against Bayer/Monsanto involving the use of Roundup (glyphosate) pesticide. So far those suits have cost Bayer billions in jury verdicts and settlements. The plaintiffs allege Roundup causes non-Hodgkins lymphoma. And Syngenta is already facing nationwide litigation over its paraquat herbicide which thousands of plaintiffs claim causes Parkinson’s disease.
Apparently enough lessons have yet to be learned following the debacle with DDT. Rachael Carson in her book “Silent Spring” brought that to headlines. Eventually DDT was banned everywhere. I am thinking the whole use of biocides (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc) on crops needs to severely restricted. We are in the process of poisoning ourselves and the planet.
Of course, all one has to do is follow the money. The creators of the biocides are the same companies that genetically engineer the crops to resist their effect. This means they sell the biocide resistant seeds to create the resistant crops and then sell the poison to put on it. Pretty good racket if you can get by with it. In the meanwhile, you make people and the planet sick. Ask the bees.
I will confess, I’m pro guns. America’s hunters — Pretty Amazing to think about.
The world’s largest army is America’s hunters. I had not thought about this before running into a Blogger that had added up the number of hunting licenses across the United States in 2023. The numbers are available from the Fish and Wildlife Service of the federal government.
There were over 669,000 hunters this season 2023 in the state of Wisconsin….. 669,000! Over the last several months, Wisconsin’s hunters became the eighth largest army in the world. More men under arms than in Iran. More than France and Germany combined. These men and women deployed to the wilds of a single state, to hunt with firearms, and no one was killed.
That number is in comparison to the 954,000 who hunted in Pennsylvania and the Michigan’s 661,000; all of whom returned home safely. Indiana had 273,000 licensed hunters. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia and it literally establishes the fact that the hunters in these few states alone would comprise the largest army in the world. And then add in the total number of hunters in the remaining states. That’s millions more. The total number of licensed hunters in the United States in 2023 was nearly 16,000,000…… that is 16 million!
The point? America will be forever safe from foreign invasion with that kind of home-grown firepower. Hunting — not just a way to fill the freezer. It’s a matter of national security. That’s why all enemies, foreign and domestic, want to see us disarmed.
Food for thought when we next consider gun control. Overall it’s true, so if we disregard some assumptions that hunters don’t possess the same skills as soldiers, the question would still remain: What army of say 2 million from afar would want to face tens of million armed citizens? And this does not even count the number of citizens who own firearms and are not licensed hunters. Maybe millions more.
Let’s see, the Tribune-Star (Terre Haute, IN) editorial writer in the column published in the Kokomo Tribune on the 8th thinks that for folks having never registered to vote before, it would be a burden or too complicated to ask they present some photo identification and some address-verifying mail to establish Indiana residency in order to register to vote. Well now, this sure sounds pretty complicated to me only if one concludes prospective voters are stupid or deceptive. The writer claims this requirement would apply most to young people and naturalized citizens who more than likely would vote Democrat.
The other way to get through this extremely complicated maze of registering to vote is to provide a copy of a driver’s license and the last four digits of their social security number along with their registration application. This too sounds really ominous and very difficult to do, especially if you are young and/or naturalized.
The truth is that nothing in the above is complicated or burdensome. Anyone with half a brain can figure it out.
The writer then goes on to say, “Indiana’s elections are secure, as are elections in every other state. Election fraud is rare.” Frankly, the writer must live under a rock. Even in very red Indiana, there is election fraud.
I am grateful the Indiana General Assembly is taking steps to assure voting in Indiana is fair and accurate. I would be happier if Indiana would return to paper ballots, one day voting at one’s home precinct, rare and justified absentee ballots, and hand signature ballot registration books (the only way to match signatures). I do think that one way to promote more eligible people to vote would be to declare a state holiday for a voting day. No work obligation for that one day.
What the General Assembly has done does make elections more secure. They just need to do more.
North Central Indiana has just experienced a great loss. There was a small weekly newspaper, The Carroll County Comet, in Flora, Indiana, that had been published for many, many decades. It is now closed. Its owners’ family had been involved in newspapers in Carroll County for over 100 years. The Carroll County Comet itself came into existence in February 1974. It was published every week since then until the end of December 2023; close to a half century. Its owners were dedicated to serving their community.
The loss of the Comet is yet another in the grievous story of newspapers in the United States. Now we find many ‘news deserts’ around the country. In the last issue of the Comet, the owners point out that since 2005 over 2,900 local newspapers have closed. They reported the USA is on pace to lose one-third of all its newspapers by the end of 2024. What a catastrophe.
Thomas Jefferson said long ago, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate to prefer the latter”. He knew the importance of an informed public to make a strong country.
The USA is in crisis times. In my mind, we may not survive as a strong Constitutional Republic. The loss of newspapers is yet another indication we are losing the glue that holds us all together. Electronic media and the Internet will never take the place of locally owned and operated newspapers that once put printed paper into the hands of citizens weekly or daily. Those papers told the story of a community from the minor to the major events, sports, and interests. They helped to create the feeling of knowing neighbors…. something now disappearing.
Where I live in Kokomo, IN, there still is a daily newspaper. But it is a skeleton of what it once was. In the days when I was directly in Kokomo Tribune management, we had about 185 employees and over 300 newspaper carriers that delivered the paper to doorsteps each day. Each edition was of many pages of extensive stories, photos, and editorials about local happenings and interests. Now the Tribune has maybe a dozen or so employees. Each edition is of a few pages only. Its coverage of happenings is very limited and its circulation is a fraction of what the KT used to be.
I sure don’t know the answer. An informed public is critical to the strength of our country.
Now we learn that ole Joe has it within the power of the Presidency to confer a blanket pardon to all illegal aliens, which is in effect amnesty. This would mean no criminal charges could be levied against any who had crossed the US border illegally. What it does not mean, though, is citizenship. But what becomes very fuzzy is the question of deportation of any illegal border crossers. I think, though, such an act would mean suicide for the Democrat Party. But one never knows what ole demented Joe will do.
Now, too, we have the insanity possibly coming out of the US Senate. Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Mitch McConnell have unveiled a 370 page “Border” bill in the Senate. It is expected to be brought to the floor of the Senate for a vote on Wednesday, 2/7. This bill is a $118 billion package that “overhauls” the asylum system at the border and at the same time gives massive military aid to Israel and Ukraine. It would send $60 billion to Ukraine and $14 billion to Israel. Oh… and more….. It would provide millions to the US defense industry, $5 billion to Asia-Pacific allies, and humanitarian aid to civilians in Ukraine and Gaza. What else could be thrown in? Maybe a new house for Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell! So, we shall see what Republicans vote in favor of this monstrosity of a bill. Of course, old Joe is urging Congress to pass this bill immediately. No surprise.
Fortunately, the indication from the House of Representatives is the Senate Bill is “dead upon arrival”. This message has come from House Speaker Mike Johnson and the House Majority Leader Steve Scalise. The expectation is the Senate Bill will not even be brought to the House floor for a vote. The House will vote on a separate aid package of $17.6 billion of military aid for Israel.
The truth: the USA is broke. The racking up of national debt continues unabated. This is not sustainable. The USA needs to entrench at home. Both the southern and northern borders need to be secured against any illegal immigration. There should be no allowance for amnesty for a time. The only immigration allowed should be legal and only for skills that benefit this country. Otherwise, close the borders.
We are in the fight for survival both internally and externally. Time to become “fortress America”.