Oceans in Trouble

Current world human population is 7,600,000,000 and increasing. Of this, more than 1 billion people worldwide depend on seafood as a main source of protein, and about 100 million people rely directly on fishing for their income according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The problem: 93% of ocean fisheries are either fully fished or over fished! It is estimated current catch is 250% of the level that is maximally sustainable. In other words, we are killing off the very resource so many depend upon. One large reason for this is subsidies from governments to industrial size operators for fuel, fishing gear, and vessel construction. The problem is not with the little guy but with those who run out miles of net and/or suck up everything from the ocean via large trawlers. This cannot continue. The piper will be paid.

Over fishing is not only a threat to fish stocks but also to the health of the oceans themselves. Healthy fish stocks are vital to health marine ecosystems and to the food security and livelihoods of billions of people. Healthy fish stocks contribute to the balance needed for the oceans to remain viable as a human resource.

Simply, there are too many boats chasing too few fish. One way to correct this is by curtailing capacity-enhancing subsidies to reduce pressure on fish stocks. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is encouraging members to adopt a binding agreement that will limit or eliminate harmful subsidies that cause over fishing.

My thought is this will not happen on any enforceable level, but the cost of inaction is high. What can happen is for the United States of America to aggressively enforce sustainable fishing limits in its territorial waters and eliminate any and all taxpayer subsidies to the fishing industry. We can do that. We can manage and allow scientifically calculated harvest of the marine resources in our waters.

There will be some who will vociferously oppose any limits for catch or exposure time. They will say it never has been so and that they are being robbed of their livelihood. But the problem as with about all environmental problems is too many people and too few resources. Hard decisions by government — the only means of control — are required.

GOP Agenda

According to FOX NEWS, the legislative priorities for the US Congress between now and January 2019 when the Democrats take majority in the House of Representatives are budget resolution, border wall funding, immigration reform, tax cuts, and health care. This a really big bite to accomplish in such a short time, but it is now or never. The Congress is going to become a deadlocked mess with the House having a Democrat majority and the Senate a Republican majority. If these priorities are going to get done, it will take a Herculean effort on the part of leadership in both houses.

Let’s take a look at each of these “priorities”. The first is budget resolution. It seems to me this is the last of the priorities to get settled. About all else requires a consideration of money. The last Omnibus funding bill passed was a joke. One would have thought it to be a Democrat bill with the level of spending it contained. The goal needs to be a reduction of government spending with a heading toward a balance budget. Wouldn’t that be nice. Thanks to former President Obama, we are over 20 trillion dollars in debt.

The second is border wall funding. Congress needs to bite the bullet and fund the WALL, something they promised in the last two election cycles. This is something the public very strongly wants. The Caravans that have arrived at the southern US border with Mexico plus the ones coming make quite poignant the need for the wall. It should have been funded long ago. Concertina Nato Razor Wire and US troops are not the answer. Illegal immigration must be stopped. We do not need more young uneducated, unskilled, non-English speaking males.

Then we have immigration reform. The action of a San Francisco judge punctuates this need. The President must have the authority to protect this country. There needs to be an end to birthright citizenship, chain migration, and immigration by lottery. VISA overstays must be stopped. Immigration should be on a need and merit system. The time for mass migration into this country has long passed. Our population needs to stabilize and our needs are to train, educate, and care for American citizens. Yes, we have thousands of job openings, but those should be filled with American citizens, not more immigrants; legal or illegal.

The fourth is tax cuts. The President in recent rallies has promised another 10% tax cut for middle class tax payers. Easy, doable, and should be quickly passed if the GOP wants to continue to have the support it is experiencing from the middle class. In other words, Congress needs to put money where their mouth is.

Finally, health care. This was a sticky one. Senator John McCain betrayed the country with his thumbs down vote. There subsequently has been a struggle to take apart ObamaCare piece by piece. This needs to be finished with the expansion of private insurance company based plans across state lines under such terms that will reduce health care costs and have full coverage for those having existing conditions. This is a major challenge to get done.

That’s it. The next few weeks will tell the tale. I wonder if the GOP is up to the task. We shall see.

Mid-Terms Over

It is all over but the shouting. The Mid-term election is past tense. Millions upon millions of dollars were spent in electronic media; the media loved it. The Democrats now hold a majority in the US House of Representatives and the Republicans retained a majority in the US Senate. There has been some shake up in which political party holds governorships and state legislatures. A few vote results remain in dispute. Challenges will continue for a time. Democrat strongholds remain the larger population centers on the east and west coasts while Republicans hold about everything in between where regular people, the “deplorables”, live.

But where are we as a country? For the past two years, Democrats have prided themselves on being the “Resistance”. We have heard loud criticism and complaints about everything. “Impreach 45” was a rallying cry from the far left. “Impeach Justice Kavanaugh” was another. The caravans from Central America heading for the United States border are nothing; they are a myth, say some. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, ICE, has been likened to the Ku Klux Klan by Senator Kamala Harris. Most of the electronic media, the New York Times, and the Washington Post have become propagandists for the liberal left. The Democrats in the House of Representatives now threaten to flood the political landscape with investigations upon investigations.

Oh, but the worm has turned. Now that the Democrats hold the House of Representatives, we will all learn whether they have anything to offer but bitching. They certainly have not for the past couple of years. What proposals do they offer to move the United States of America forward to a more productive and positive place? They can hide no longer. Democrats got what they wanted: control of at least part of the Congress. They have two years before the next elections to show whether they can do anything positive. My hunch is they cannot and will not. Their goal will continue to be resist President Donald J. Trump.

Ex-president Barrack Hussein Obama, ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and their cadre of followers damned near tanked this country. We were on the edge of a cliff and really did not realize it. Our military forces were so depleted that we had to scavenge parts from equipment “grave yards”. We were told manufacturing jobs were gone forever. We were told that Gross Domestic Product growth would stay below 2% annually. We apologized to the world for our past. We continued to be the suckers in financing of organizations like NATO and the United Nations. We continued to allow countries all over the world to abuse us in trade. We allowed this country to be the “piggy bank” for the rest of the world while at the same time neglecting our own needs.

The next few months will be interesting, indeed. The jockeying for power will continue. President Trump is strong. Now we need to see some backbone from the United States Senate and something — anything — positive from the House of Representatives.

The “Caravans”

The hordes may be coming.

Venezuela may seem far from the United State of America, but is it? We are already seeing thousands of people migrating north through Mexico from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua and an already large number from Mexico itself. The southern border of the United States has been historically porous; millions have crossed it illegally and are literally hiding out somewhere in our country. It has been reported that over 100 countries are represented presently in our detention facilities, so people we know nothing about are coming from all over the world.

And why the concern about Venezuela? Venezuela is a failed state. Millions have already fled that country. They have gone mostly to Brazil and Columbia and, yes, to the United States of America one way or another. Columbia sits at the southern end of Central America as the north most country in South America and adjacent to Venezuela. Are you beginning to get the picture. There will continue to build a pressure for large populations to migrate.Where will they want to end up: the USA, the land of milk and honey.

Big problem. Too many people. Our social structure will be irreparably damaged by the needs and wants of thousands upon thousands of people we know nothing about. But now there may be a greater worry. Contagion from Venezuela’s economic meltdown is starting to spread to neighboring countries — not financially, but literally in the form of potentially deadly diseases carried among millions of refugees.

Venezuela’s health care system has collapsed. That country has become an incubator for malaria, yellow fever, diphtheria, dengue fever, and tuberculosis as well as for AIDS. Measles has returned. Dr. Irene Bosch, a research scientist who has studied infectious diseases in Columbia and Venezuela with the U.S. National Institutes of Health has said the current picture is one of a “perfect storm condition for a catastrophic medical situation”. People are contracting more than one disease at a time.

Since 2014, over 2.3 million Venezuelans have left that country. After Brazil and Colombia have had their fill, you can bet eyes will be turned northward past Central America, past Mexico, and become focused upon the United State of America, if they have not already.

If we want to keep our country, we must do whatever is necessary to prevent migration of millions from south of our border into the United States. The caravans are really tokens of what will come. Most are young men: uneducated, unskilled, and non-English speaking. Few are women and children or families. Doubt this? Just look at the pictures we seen every day in the media. Democrats seem to be totally, or more likely politically, blind to the truth about who is in those caravans.

In truth, we do not need more and more immigrants. The time for massive immigration into the United States is long past. Yes, we have tens of thousands of job openings. The need is for skilled and/or educated people to fill those jobs. That is not what is in the caravans. We need to focus on training our own citizens, not importing from elsewhere. That is what will keep America strong.

Acosta

The White House was ordered by a Federal Court judge to return hard press credentials to Jim Acosta; the CNN propagandist who wanted to lecture, argue with, disrespect, and dominate President Donald Trump at a press briefing. Acosta’s behavior was abominable. He would not relinquish the microphone when requested to do so. He resisted the intern physically when she attempted to retrieve the microphone. He should have been summarily escorted out of the briefing by security.

The 15 day temporary ruling was issued by Federal Court Judge, Timothy J. Kelly. We now have an oral court precedent that says the President of the United States of America does not have unilateral control over who is in or out of press briefings. Judge Kelly issued a verbal order and has obfuscated any request for a transcript of court proceedings. The only details of this matter known to the public are those reported by a biased press.

This begs a larger issue and that is what is the role of a free press in our Republic. It is not to behave like a Jim Acosta; a spoiled, unruly brat. It properly is to gather information and report in an objective and unbiased way to the population of this country. The Founders wanted to be sure the people knew what was taking place in government so they, the people, could make informed decisions about the future of the county.The electronic media, New York Times, and the Washington Post, for example, have lost their way. The record shows false reporting and bias dominate. The record shows over 90% of what has been reported about the President and his administration has been negative.

CNN argued two issues. The first was that removing Acosta violated the First Amendment to the US Constitution, the freedom of the press. Neither the President nor anyone at the White House attempted to limit what Acosta or anyone else in America could print or report, be it fact or fiction. The court did not address this claim.

The second issue, not even filed by CNN but injected by the judge, was whether Acosta and CNN were denied the right to “due process” under the 5th Amendment.

The press briefing is not a court room for a civil or criminal proceedings. It is the White House press briefing room. There is no “due process” or law against which to measure “due process”; yet, this is what the judge hung his ruling on. Apparently the judge believes there must be a set of rules of behavior for the “reporters” to follow and some procedure for discipline if those rules are violated. However, as noted, we don’t know exactly what the reasoning was because the judge will not make public a proceedings transcript.

President Trump says his administration will write up some rules. It is my opinion such rules should say the President has sole authority over who is present at a press briefing and that he may bar anyone he deems appropriate, no questions asked. And…. guess what? The President does have total say over whether there will even be press briefings. He said that if things in his judgment get out of had: he and/or those conducting the briefing will say “BYE – BYE”.

This would be a shame given President Donald Trump has given more access for the press than any President in history. He responds to questions readily about any time and any where in spite of the disrespect and “fake news” reporting. The major national news media have a well deserved label: “The Enemy of the People”.

New Home

This is to be the new home of Kent Blacklidge Ph.D.

I have had a blog on WordPress.com for several years and am looking forward to learning WordPress.org for my own site and blog home. It will take time to get through the learning curve. Patience required!

I have chosen a subtitle name of “Kokomo Dispatch”. This was a newspaper first owned by Nelson Poynter of St. Petersburg Times fame, then sold to my great grandfather, John Arthur Kautz, who owned The Kokomo Tribune. The Dispatch name was carried in the Tribune masthead for decades. My father, Richard H. Blacklidge, followed JA Kautz as publisher and I followed my father. Our family owned the Tribune and Dispatch for over 80 years.

The Tribune was sold, but the Kokomo Dispatch name was not included in the sale. I have claimed it and will carry on a family tradition under that name. I grew up with printer’s ink in my blood and the sound of a newspaper press ever present in my memory. Those were the days when newspapers were tellers of truth and guardians for the public right to know.

I will carry on the traditions of the “4th Estate” as best I know them. I promise.

The Soldier & President Trump

The Soldier & President Trump

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 making anything even close to this gesture. It was not for publicity or for the camera. It was a private moment.

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.

God Bless and protect President Donald Trump.
[modified somewhat from an anonymous Internet posting]

Blessed Electoral College

[Below is a piece from the Internet. For the Electoral College, we are blessed!]

In their infinite wisdom, the United States of American Founders created the Electoral College to ensure the States were fairly represented. Why should one or two densely populated areas speak for the whole of the nation?

The following list of statistics has been making rounds on the Internet. It should finally put an end to the argument as to why the Electoral College makes sense.

There are 3,141 counties in the United States. Trump won 3,084 of them. Clinton won 57. [Let that sink in!]

There are 62 counties in New York State. Trump won 46 of them. Clinton won 16.

Clinton won the popular vote by approximately 1.5 million votes.

In the 5 counties that encompass New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Richmond & Queens), Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. Clinton won 4 of these counties with Trump winning only one, Richmond. Therefore, these 5 counties alone more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country.

These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles. The United States is comprised of 3,797,000 square miles.

When you have a country that encompasses almost 4 million square miles of territory, it would be ludicrous to even suggest that the vote of those who inhabit a mere 319 square miles should dictate the outcome of a national election. Large, densely populated Democrat cities (NYC, Chicago, LA, etc.) do not and should not speak for the rest of our country!

And….. it’s been verified and documented that those aforementioned 319 square miles are where the majority of our nation’s problems foment. Think about that.

[There is no way the Electoral College would be abolished. That would take a Constitutional amendment. To amend the Constitution of the United States requires a vote of 2/3rds of both the US Senate and House of Representatives or 2/3rds vote of a National Constitutional Convention called by Congress at the request of the legislatures of at least 2/3rds of the states. Then to become an operative part of the Constitution, an amendment, whether proposed by Congress or a national constitutional convention, must be ratified by either the legislatures of 3/4ths of the states or state ratifying conventions in 3/4ths of the states. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Those calling for abolishment of the Electoral College are barking at the moon…..much like many so called proposals of the Democrats. ]

Honduran Mob

A Honduran mob is marching our way waving their fists and the Honduran flag. They intend to swarm through our borders illegally. They blew through Mexican forces attempting to stop them. Their numbers have swollen from 2000 to 7000.

Virtue signaling Progressives and Democrats clamor these are people looking for work and a better life. America is a wealthy country with jobs to spare, they declare. They tell us to open our hearts and borders. They indignantly remind us—America is a land of immigrants.

Who are we to believe? Border patrol agents tell us our capacity to process illegal aliens is beyond capacity and an average of 6000 illegals are caught every day. The courts are swamped and backed up. Our laws demand illegals be put in ankle bracelets and given a court date to adjudicate their claims. Once released, illegals cut off their ankle bracelets and disappear into our country. They don’t show up for court.

Should we believe the Nicaraguan woman who followed the rules to gain entrance to our country? She warns, “This is an invasion of our country. We don’t know who these people are. They aren’t carrying American flags. They are carrying Honduran flags. These people say they want jobs. They only want free benefits. We can’t allow this to happen.”

Do we believe our own eyes? When stopped on the bridge into Mexico, many retreated to the shores of the river. Main Stream Media told us they made the rafts we saw them riding across the river. How often have you seen large inner tubes and well cut boards lying around on riverbanks? Clearly these were paid for and made by those seeking to fund this mob. Videos show person after person being handed cash. Main Stream Media describes this mob as families seeking a better life. Look again. It is a sea of young males with a few women and children interspersed here and there. Corruption and skullduggery are surely afoot—but paid for by whom?

This nonsense HAS to stop. Our country admits more legal immigrants than any country in the world. Illegal aliens don’t contribute to the health and growth of our nation. They burden the benefit system paid for by our tax dollars and intended to help needy Americans. There’s no magic money tree to fund the growing costs of illegals.

It is time to stop listening to those who tell us we can afford all these illegals because we are a wealthy nation. The truth is we are teetering under the weight of a $21.5 trillion dollar debt and an unknown amount of unfunded mandates. Don’t forget it was Obama who doubled that debt.

The fault for our insane immigration policies lies at the feet of Congress. President Trump offered to help the Dreamers in exchange for funds to build the Wall. The “compassionate” Democrats said no. Speaker Ryan shamefully put three billion dollars into this year’s budget and next to build the Wall—far short of the 25 billion needed. Congress has failed to pass legislation ending chain migration, lottery migration, and catch and release. It refuses to fund the Wall. It refuses to mandate immediate turn back of any illegal aliens caught without need for court action.

President Trump inherited an economy so anemic most Americans needed multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet. We now have a surplus of jobs. We also have a long line of people waiting to immigrate legally. We must not surrender those jobs to the uneducated, unskilled, non-English speaking mob threatening our border.

President Trump has declared he will close our southern border and use regular military forces to stop this mob, if necessary. Congress should call an emergency session to fix our broken immigration laws. If we fail to stop this hoard, many more will follow and the sovereignty of the United States will be lost forever.

Realization

As I approach the end of my 80th year of living, I came to a realization. For most of my biological offspring, I am no more than a sperm donor rather than the father that loved, nourished, protected, and provided for them. This dawned on me when spending time with family history. I have piles of records about my ancestors (and theirs) and personal possessions handed down that I deeply treasure.

In reality, my branch of the “Blacklidge” family tree has ended with me. One offspring earlier returned both a book about family genealogy and the beautiful roll top desk that was his great grandfather’s — the book now is in the public library and the desk is treasured by his uncle. Another was dishonest in a family business partnership with me. All have made the choice of non-acceptance of my choice of divorce from their mother nearly 40 years ago. Yet, two of them in their lives chose divorce; one multiple times. My decision 40 years ago was to live my life with a partner whom I love and for whom I am thankful and feel blessed every day.

All chose to blame me and their step-mother of over 32 years now for “family” disruption. None lived the marital relationship between their mother and me which began when I was only 19 — hardly a mature adult but rather a very confused and depressed young male. All have chosen to side solely with their mother and her stories.

When their mother was living 2,000 miles away in California, things were different. A beginning was made toward a blended, loving family — that is what we wanted. We wanted to include all, including her, if all behaved as respectful, mature, caring, loving adults. But when she returned to Indiana, that was not to be. Chosen sides were set in concrete never to change with walls always up and relationships severed. The stream of insults and affronts never ended.

As a result, the loss and sorrow has been great. It is not only tragic to lose connection with one’s own bio offspring, but even worse to not be a part of sharing the lives of grandchildren. The grandchildren will never know the loss, not of their choosing, they have suffered. Family ties were irreparably severed. It is like a death.

For those who are facing a divorce, particularly for any offspring, I offer some thoughts. Consider carefully before taking one side or another. Consider that you, with certainty, do not know the extent and details of a marital relationship between any two other people. Consider that stories told may well be tainted, untrue, fabricated, self-serving or incomplete. Consider that you have not walked in the shoes of another….. ever. Consider that every truth may yet to be told.

A thought comes to me: “Judge not, lest ye be judged”.