Earth on Fire; DC Senators; and Virginia Math

President Biden picked Earth Day to hold a Zoom meeting with leaders from 40 nations.

In order to stop climate change, President Biden promised by 2030 we would cut by half the amount of carbon dioxide released compared to 2005, no matter how much it costs. Since we are responsible for only 15% of these greenhouse gases it won’t do much good unless other countries do the same.

Now, you may not have heard it on the News, but about 20 of the poor developing countries got in a huddle (actually on Zoom it’s called a breakout room) and they agreed. They said, “Mr. Biden, we’ll also cut greenhouse gases in half, no matter what it costs. As long as you pay for it.”

While the Mexican border remains a “situation,” climate change is a “crisis,” moving toward an “emergency.” And our Climate Czar John Kerry wants it to be “like a War.” Mr. Kerry, with his experience in Vietnam, should know how to fight a war. It’s not with ships, tanks, planes and drones powered with green energy.

With escalating rhetoric is it any surprise that when a mother asked her nine-year old what she learned about Earth Day, she said, “The earth is on fire and we’re all going to die soon.”

We might solve climate change quicker with technology and innovation. Think about how coal was mined 100 years ago compared to today. Do you know why natural gas is more plentiful and cheaper than 20 years ago? Drilling deeper into shale, improved hydraulic fracturing, and horizontal drilling that can reach 5 miles in any direction from the bottom of a well. Continued innovation in nuclear, solar, wind and batteries may someday replace fossil fuels. And give that 9-year-old hope for a full life. (See the first quote below.)

Democrats in Congress are determined to add two Democrat Senators by making a state out of little Washington DC, which is only 10 miles square. They say we are depriving residents of their right to be represented in Congress. Now, besides the fact that DC has special status in the Constitution, two-thirds of the residents moved there. They willingly left a state where they could vote for Senators. For the other one-third, I suggest we offer them $50,000 to move 5 miles so they can vote in Virginia or Maryland. Do you think any of them would accept that offer?

Well, I doubt any would move to Virginia, especially if they have bright children. The brilliant educators who run the State Department of Education plan to prevent students from taking algebra and higher math until at least their Junior year. They claim that teaching advanced math to students with the potential to become doctors, business managers, engineers or several great technology careers is unfair to those perceived to be mathematically challenged.

I hope my engineering background is not making me prejudiced, but a bordering state to the west (that Virginia often looks down on) will be graduating high school seniors proficient in advanced Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics. Country roads, take me home.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“We’re just now learning that we can rob from nature the same way as we can rob from an individual.  All [the old Pioneer] had was an ax, and a plow, and a gun, and he just went out and lived off nature.  But really, he thought it was nature he was living off of, but it was really future generations that he was living off of.” Radio, April 14,1935

“The only salvation I can see for the young is to increase the college term to an additional four years… You’ll say, ‘Well, what could they learn in another four years?’ Well, there must be some little something about making a living that they haven’t learned yet, and they could kind of work on that for the next four years.” Radio, June 2, 1935

“It’s funny how quick a College Boy can find out that the World is wrong. He might go out in the World from High School and live in it, and make a living in it for years and think it wasn’t such a bad place, but let him go to College and he will be the first one down on the Square to shout ‘Down with the Government.’ Course not all of ’em, but there is getting more and more.”WA #431, March 29, 1931

Redefining Webster; Solving election problems, racism and immigration

Is Webster’s your favorite dictionary? Or do you ask Seri? We have a new one in 2021: The New Revised Democrat Dictionary.

Recently we learned that “infrastructure” includes every possible government spending and taxing program, including the kitchen sink.

“Bipartisan” used to mean that at least one member of Congress of the opposite party agrees with your bill; now it means at least one of the hundred million Americans of the opposite party sides with you.

“Packing” now means unpacking (as it relates to Supreme Court Justices)

“Peaceful protest” is a synonym for rioting, looting, burning, vigorously confronting, yelling obscenities, and throwing bricks.

“Voter suppression” is any policy or action that does not give every person the option to vote at any time, any place, or by any method chosen (as defined by the Party of that potential voter).

No doubt we can also come up with a few for a “Republican Dictionary.”

Democrats in the House passed a bill that would nationalize all elections. It includes a ban on any requirement for voter identification. We’re learning a lot about election laws across the country. Most states require a signature match, valid ID, or photo ID. Curiously, about a dozen states have no requirement at all.

The state drawing the most attention is Georgia, which requires voters to show identification. Two issues get all the focus, even from President Biden: people without an ID, and a ban on providing water to voters waiting in line. Well, here’s a solution. And it’ll work in other states, too. In Georgia, Stacy Abrams (the self-proclaimed Governor) has access to a few million dollars. Let her organization commit $5 million to find everyone without an ID, and get ‘em one. It might take $4.9 million to locate the few without an ID, leaving her a few dollars each to get them photographed at a government office.

For the “no water allowed” problem, eliminate long lines. How? Most precincts have enough voting machines to eliminate long lines. The big companies complaining about Georgia rules should each contribute millions of dollars to buy more voting machines. The state should place the extra machines in precincts proportional to the number of registered voters. Problem solved!

Is this ironic? Kids today are the least racist ever, but they are being blasted with “theory” that forces them to look at each other based on race? In many ways they are living, studying, competing in sports, and enjoying fun times with no concern about race. The folks who grew up with racism in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s are dying off. Young folks are more tolerant, at least most of them. Since 1968, we have learned from Martin Luther King, Jr. to focus on character, not color.

VP Kamala Harris is staying far away from the “situation” at the US/Mexican border by going 1200 miles away, to Guatemala. Instead of spending Billions on a 30-ft wall, she will spend Billions on diplomacy.

This might be her opening conversation with the president of the country: “How many Billions will it take to get you to stop your citizens from heading to my country?”  President Giammattei, “Well, that sounds interesting. Let me get back to you after I check with the cartels.”

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“The Democrat at heart is just naturally an amiable fellow. He just loves politics; he just wants to be known as a politician. Now a Republican don’t. He just wants politics to be known as a side line. He is sorter ashamed of it. He wants to work at it, but he wants people to believe he don’t have to.” WA #310, Dec. 2, 1928

“There’s one thing no nation can accuse us of, and that is secret diplomacy. Our foreign dealings are an open book, generally a check book.” WA #45, Oct. 21, 1923

Decades of Infrastructure, Majority Rule, and Expanding Supreme Court

Last week I offered to help President Biden get his “infrastructure” proposal passed. I suggested cutting off the two-thirds that was not really infrastructure. A few readers felt I was too old-fashioned in refusing to include new, modern items.

So, I want your help in deciding what items in the proposal are really infrastructure in the 2020s. Here’s a list. Mark yes or no:  ___Interstate highways and bridges; ___Locks and Dams; ___City water systems (lead pipes); ___Electric Vehicle charging stations; ___Electric Vehicle subsidies; ___Amtrak; ___Sea Ports (upgrade for bigger ships); ___School buildings; ___School teachers; ___Nurses in Nursing Homes; ___Nurses for in-home care; ___Child care; ___Broadband for rural and inner cities; ___Airports; ___Capping old gas wells; ___Carbon sequestration; ___Post Office buildings; ___Insulation for private houses; ___Solar and wind electric generation; ___Tax increases; ___Preferences for Minorities and Women.

(Search for “Fact Sheet: The American Jobs Plan, The White House” for dozens more items.) You may be surprised to know that less than 10% of American infrastructure is Federal. More than half is private; the rest is state/local.

What else belongs in an Infrastructure bill? Would you include: Student loan forgiveness; Car loan forgiveness; Tents for illegal immigrants; Oil pipelines; Border walls; Botox; Toupees and Hair plugs?

Infrastructure has changed in the last 150 years, but not the definition. Consider examples from the late 1800s to now. (Kinda, Will Rogers to Joe Biden): Hitching posts on Main Street to EV Charging stations; Telegraph wires to 5G broadband; Stage coaches to Amtrak; Unpaved roads to driverless vehicles; Kerosene street lights to LEDs;

Can you imagine a hundred years ago the government giving everyone $500 off on a Model T Ford? Or building 5000 filling stations for Standard Oil? Why, that would have made Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller almost as wealthy as Elon Musk. (See first quote below)

Meanwhile… Politicians on both sides get tripped up by old newspaper quotes and videotapes. Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and President Biden previously defended the rule requiring 60 votes to pass a bill. Now they want to eliminate that rule so a simple majority of 51 is all the Democrats need. Right now, they desperately want to pass a bill to mandate Federal control of all elections, the so-called infrastructure bill, and add two states. If Sen. Schumer had his wish, Democrats could pass a bill with only 45 votes, even if 55 opposed. Of course, he would demand it automatically revert back to the 60-vote rule if the Republicans get control. (see second quote)

President Biden acted last week to solve one of the biggest problems facing the country. No, not Covid. Not a surge of immigrants. The Supreme Court! Yes, after eighty years of the 9-member Court leaning liberal, followed by two years slanting conservative, Democrats want Biden’s support for adding 6 more Justices to make it liberal for the next eighty years. Now, Joe was not in Congress when FDR wanted to pack the Court in the1930s. But when he WAS in Congress, he referred to FDR and vehemently opposed any attempt to add Justices. Biden is shrewd. To appease the far left Democrats he appointed a Commission because he remembers what Will Rogers said about commissions. (third quote)

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“This is a very momentous Congress. They have appropriated more money than any Congress ever did, but I guess that is all right; we are not paying our national debt, anyhow. We just keep adding to it, so it don’t matter how much it is anyway.” June 11, 1933

“Many a public man wishes there was a law to burn old records.” DT #627, July 30, 1928

“Appointing a commission is not any crime. It’s been considered a very fine way of handling anything, but it seems like a presidential commission don’t get nothin’ done.  They don’t really earn the breakfast that they give ’em at the White House the day they appoint ‘em.” Radio, Apr. 30, 1933

Infrastructure, Border, Baseball, and Basketball

During Infrastructure Week, President Biden introduced a 600-Billion-dollar Infrastructure bill. It earned praise from both Democrats and Republicans until someone discovered that $1.7 TRILLION in non-infrastructure spending had been snuck in. It’s hidden under the roads, bridges, airports, and railroads.

If I gave you a list of 25 items in the bill, I bet you could accurately separate the “infrastructure” items from the “non-infrastructure” expenses. Now, those other expenses may be popular and desirable, but they ought to be debated in a separate bill. (See Will’s first quote below)

Last week I hinted that VP Kamala Harris should refuse President Biden’s request to take control of the border calamity. And she did! A reporter asked when she would go visit the border, and she just laughed. (She does that frequently.) That leaves President Biden in a bind. He promised to visit the border but he likely can’t find any prominent Democrats willing to go with him. Everybody in Congress is afraid the President would require them to accept 100,000 new undocumented immigrants into their district or state. Right there, re-election goes out the window.

Five weeks ago, I suggested that students in places like Chicago, where the teachers refuse to teach in the classroom, go to the border and pretend to be illegal immigrants. Well, San Diego students can do it. Teachers who still refuse to teach their own students in-person because of Covid, volunteered to teach immigrant children. Yes, in-person, with no testing for Covid.

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced they are moving the All-Star game out of Atlanta because they don’t like the new election law in Georgia. That law is hotly debated because it was written by Republicans, and Democrats say it is still too restrictive. But the MLB announcement is raising a ruckus across the country. The Milwaukee Brewers said, “We’ll host it.” Then someone pointed out that Wisconsin already has the same photo ID requirements as Georgia. Senator Schumer jumped in, “Let New York host it in Yankee Stadium.” Hold on; NY has fewer days to vote and it’s tougher to get an absentee ballot than in Georgia.

So here’s my suggestion. To stop any further embarrassing revelations about your state’s elections, none of the teams should offer to host it. Let ‘em play the All-Star game in a location where the players and owners prefer to be loved, making millions of dollars, attracting new fans, and there is no question about election rules, racist or otherwise. Yes, the perfect location is Beijing, China.

In the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four semifinals last night, Baylor won the championship of Texas by beating Houston. And Gonzaga won the West Coast division by beating UCLA on a tie-breaking shot you will see replayed hundreds of times. It’s kinda refreshing that tomorrow the two teams that almost everyone agrees are the best in the country will play for the championship.

This is Easter, a day when Christians around the world celebrate the Risen Savior. It was meaningful even with masks or staying in the parking lot. I watched two services on my home computer: one from my Methodist Church in Columbus, and the other from Claremore, Oklahoma, across the road from the Will Rogers Museum.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Did you see where already there has been over 1,000 Bills introduced in (a special session of Congress). Now it was supposed to just be for Farm Relief, but they got ’em in there for everything from Birth Control to Mass Production…to stop War… to stabilize money…and to make the Star-Spangled Banner the National Anthem.” WA #331, Apr. 29, 1929

“I heard (‘Easter Bonnet’) on the radio. It’s pretty. It’s my favorite tune, with it being Easter.” Radio, Apr. 21, 2935

“I bet any Sunday could be made as popular at church as Easter is if you made ’em fashion shows too… We will do anything, if you just in some way turn it into a show.” DT #2718, Apr. 22, 1935