No fuel, no coat, but fires everywhere

California is a leading producer of nuts. That’s great news if you like almonds. But the nuts I’m talking about are in Sacramento.

There have been a lot of wildfires in California, and the electric company gets blamed for most of them. These fires often start on windy days from a spark in dry hill country.  You would think the electric company would be encouraged to spend all available funds to clears trees and brush and upgrade their equipment to improve safety, and residents would get rebates for “fireproofing” their houses and surrounding land. But no, not in California.

The homeowners are encouraged to install solar collectors. Then the electric company is required to buy the solar kilowatt-hours and pay retail rates instead of wholesale.

What happens when the electric company shuts off electricity for a couple of days to prevent fires? Aren’t these homeowners lucky to have solar electric? No, the solar systems are inter-connected so they only work when the electricity is on.

What if they installed wind machines instead of solar? Well, the electric company only cuts off power when Santa Ana winds are high, say 50 to 100 miles per hour. Wind machines are designed to automatically shut down at such high wind speeds.

The root cause of these problems is a Governor and Legislature in Sacramento that hate fossil fuels. But smart homeowners and businesses are buying backup generators, which are powered by… fossil fuel.

Several cities are banning new gas lines and even forcing homeowners to tear out their fuel oil furnaces.

And get this, California has banned fur coats . First they cut off your heat, then ban fur coats. People were already fleeing California to escape high costs; now it’s to keep warm.

In the World Series between Houston and Washington, it looks like the end of the “home field advantage?” The visitor has won each of the 5 games so far. President Trump attended the game tonight in DC and was booed when introduced. Maybe he would get a friendlier reception if he goes to the next game, “away” in Texas.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg was interrogated by Congress. Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez questioned him harshly, implying he should prevent political lies from getting on Facebook. Zuckerberg should have responded with the Will Rogers quote below.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“If you ever injected truth into politics you would have no politics.” WA #31, July 15, 1923

“In California, along with all these wonders we have out here is the World’s greatest collection of freak humans on earth. Just start anything out here and if it’s cuckoo enough you will get followers.”  WA #363, Dec. 8, 1929

The Bernie Sanders Administration; Brexit and Impeachment

Twelve Democrats debated in Westerville, Ohio, on Tuesday. Bernie Sanders appeared to be fully recovered from his heart attack. Elizabeth Warren, however, is still recovering from being attacked.

The other eleven candidates jumped on her for refusing to admit taxes will increase on the middle class to pay for her “Medicare for All” plan. She announced today that in a few days she will actually admit taxes will increase, and by how much. She had vastly over-estimated how many billionaires and multimillionaires we have and their ability to cover the $3 Trillion cost per year.

President Trump, on the other hand, under-estimated the furor over his invitation to the G-7 Group. He offered his Doral Country Club at-cost. Of course it’s in Miami in June, so rates are really low. Democrats led the charge despite Trump’s promise that the Trump organization would make no profit.

I imagine the leaders of these major countries were happy to find out they would not have to stay in a hot, humid place with a hurricane threat. Miami calls their basketball team the “Heat,” and they play in the Winter! These leaders would prefer a mountaintop resort with cool air and bright sunshine even if it costs ten times as much. It will be interesting to see what the total cost is at the new site (including for all officials, media and security), compared to estimates for Doral.

Back to Bernie Sanders for a moment. Somewhat surprisingly he picked up the support of the young New York Congresswoman who aspires to be the leader of the Democratic Party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ilhan Omar of Minneapolis joined AOC in endorsing Sanders.

This brings up an interesting possibility if Sanders is elected President. Will he name Ocasio-Cortez, with her Green New Deal, as the Secretary of Energy? Congresswoman Omar would love to be in charge of Homeland Security. Do you suppose Senator Warren would accept the position of Treasury Secretary? For laughs, he could ask Hillary Clinton to be his Ambassador to Russia. With California Senator Kamala Harris as VP, wow, what a dynamic administration that would be. (Maybe I should replace “dynamic” with “dynamite;” this would blow up our economy as we know it.)

With Brexit and Impeachment debates occurring at the same time, have you noticed a similarity? In Britain, three years ago, the voters voted to exit the European Union. In the US, 3 years ago, voters elected Donald Trump (yes, as Hillary Clinton keeps reminding us, thanks to the Electoral College). Yet in both instances, in Parliament and Congress, officials in charge are refusing to accept the will of the people.

In the United Kingdom, top politicians never believed their citizens would ever vote to exit the EU. They have been fighting to cancel that vote ever since.

In the United States, we know Democrats who thought Clinton was a shoo-in, and have wanted to take out Trump from the day after the election.

Now, there’s a value of having experienced people, with years of wisdom, to serve as a rudder of the ship of state. But when they become an anchor… not so good.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“If Socialists worked as much as they talked, they would be the most prosperous style of Government in the World… It’s absolutely impossible for any Socialist to say anything in a few words.”  There’s Not a Bathing Suit in Russia, page 58, 1927.

“Poor coffee and no bathtubs have drove more Americans out of England than unfamiliarity with their language has.” DT #849, Apr. 16, 1929

[Response: After receiving a compliment on this issue from a prominent professional speaker, I replied, “For many of these lines, I’m smiling as I write them.”  She replied, “As you should!! You are a superb writer, great wit and have to be up to date every week. A rare talent.”.   I accept those glowing comments with humility because they come from one of our best speakers and speech coaches, Patricia Fripp. I have learned much from her.]

Columbus (Indigenous) Day; Red China and Hong Kong; Turkey and Kurds

Columbus: Yes, I’m in Columbus, and it’s Columbus Day. Unless you’re an Indian, then it’s Indigenous People Day. And yes, I know, “Indian” is a word stuck on us by Columbus. But it is easier to spell than Indigenous. And about the only people celebrating today are Federal government workers and Italians.

Meanwhile, between Red China and Turkey, we’ve got ourselves in enough of a pinch to almost take your mind off Impeachment.

You’ll notice I said Red China, not China. That’s what we called it fifty or sixty years ago when we knew it was run by Communists. And Nationalist China was on the island of Formosa, now Taiwan. Hong Kong was part of the British Empire, although no one here paid any attention to Hong Kong.

Over the years, beginning with President Nixon’s visit in 1972, we have forgotten that mainland China is still Communist. Oh, they “make nice” with our businesses and politicians, and pro basketball players. We see a country with 1.3 billion people that provides cheap labor for manufacturing our imported goods yet has more “middle class” consumers than we have. One example: the Chinese buy more Buicks that we do.

Then along comes Hong Kong.  When Britain decided to let go of the territory they reached a 50-year agreement with Red China in 1997 that Hong Kong would continue to operate fairly independently. Of course the British, not to mention Nixon and most Americans since 1972, have assumed that the leaders in Red China would eventually see the light and adopt our democratic principles. Well, the 50-year deal lasted 22 years. Xi Jinping took over in 2012 and has declared he is President for life. Nowhere close to democratic.

Why didn’t Britain turn Hong Kong over to Taiwan, or give its 7 million residents complete independence?

And then Erdogan of Turkey pops up. He was elected President, but runs the country like a dictatorship. It used to be a democratic nation and is part of NATO. The Turks hate the part of their population who are the Kurds. We like the Kurds because they are good fighters and helped us defeat (or control) the ISIS Islamic terrorists. But there are Kurds that hate the Turks and keep terrorizing them. Kurds want their own country, Kurdistan, formed mainly from parts of Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq.

So what happened? Turkey ignored threats from President Trump and attacked the Kurds in northern Syria. In China, Xi Jinping celebrates 70 years of Communist rule and ignores tariffs and pleas from Trump concerning Hong Kong.

Question: has the USA lost its clout? Also, are we better off to remove ourselves from internal conflicts in the Middle East and Southeast Asia?

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

          “Christopher Columbus landed on some islands, but they always stretched a point and give him the best of it and said he landed in America… Being an Indian, I don’t mind telling you that personally I am sorry he ever found us. The discovery of America has been of no material benefit to us, outside of losing all our land. I am proud to say that I have never yet seen a statue to him in Oklahoma.” WA #190, Aug. 1, 1926

“Turkey has been laying off three months now without any war, and Peace is just about killing them.” Letters of a Self-Made Diplomat to his President, Aug. 26, 1926

“Turkey likes to end one war on Friday, and start another one on Monday.” (Paraphrased from a recorded speech)

“We are always hearing about the Chinese Problem.  To the Chinese it’s no Problem; it’s just another Fact.  We dident find that they had a Problem till we found they had some money to buy something we had.  Then we found they had some things to sell cheaper than the rest of the world, so that, naturally, made them a Problem.” Saturday Evening Post, Apr. 2, 1932

“We will stop those Chinese from fighting among themselves even if we have to kill them to do it.” DT #160, Feb. 4, 1927

Just the Facts, Ma’am

(Before I get into “Weekly Comments” let me wish Bernie Sanders a full recovery from his heart attack. I hope he can participate in the Presidential debate October 15, even if he has to sit down. In fact, put him and the other dozen candidates in rocking chairs. Arrange it like they are sitting on the front porch of a farm house. To borrow a phrase from my friend Jeanne Robertson, the audience could have a rockin’ good time.)

Don’t you agree? Our brains are being overloaded with opinions, innuendos, rumors, outright lies, cheap shots and tall tales.

Therefore, I am gonna give you FACTS, and only FACTS.

Concerning all the hot topics – Impeachment, Immigration, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Iran, Ukraine, Biden, Schiff, Trump, Pelosi, Global Warming, Red Meat – below is a list of facts that absolutely everyone agrees on one hundred percent. Whether Democrat, Republican, Independent, Agnostic, Muslim, Methodist, Californian, Kansan, Navajo, Cherokee, Male, Female, or rather not say.

Here is my complete list of undisputed facts:

Have a good day.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:  

“The remark you make must be founded on facts. You can exaggerate and make it ridiculous, but it must have the plain facts in it. Then you will hear the audience say: ‘Well, that’s pretty near right.’”  How to be Funny, July 1917

“Why don’t they limit (radio stations) to how many rumors they can broadcast without any single iota of facts.” DT #2231, Sept. 27, 1933