WSJ letter on pandemic and Iraq

Dear Editor,

In the March 18,19 Journal’s Review section is an article claiming lives saved from covid 19 by use of masks, closures, and vaccines. Several sources tell a different story, as those connections are mere speculation and evidence mounts of actual damage done to our society by these draconian measures.

Further back on page C4 Robert Kaplan tells of how, 20 years later, our war on Iraq may not have been a big success.

I wonder what history will tell us 20 years from now about our government’s reaction to the pandemic. Will it be a sort of Tonkin Gulf moment, full of regret and realization of tragic loss?

Fritz Groszkruger

Letter to Bill Maher

Hi Bill,

I heard a commentary of yours where you decried a divided country. You mentioned Greene and Boebert.

Louis Brandeis pointed out how a nation of individual states can have one state trying one thing without bringing down the whole country while trying that “experiment.” In that sense a divided country is more efficient and more frugal.

Whenever I hear that “uniting” spiel it involves the other side seeing it your way, not the other way around.

Sometimes you seem so disingenuous. I think you know better but aim to keep your leftist audience.

Fritz Groszkruger  


Well, I’m hanging up my keyboard, at least as far as Mid America Publishing is concerned. I haven’t done a real good job lately distracted by back pain after 2 knee replacements. Sounds complicated but so what?

I willtry to continue to send something to this list and that should add some flexability.

Below is some on Joni Ernst, our war-monger big spender Iowa Senator. I replied to a column she wrote about fentanyl. I wrote to her and she replied in that order. What a joke that she might have thought her reply actually addresses my letter,

FEBRUARY 22, 2023

Joni Ernst: It’s time to address our fentanyl epidemic with solutions equivalent to the problem.

Earlier this month, during a visit to the California-Mexico border, Border Patrol agents told me that they had recently been forced to release a smuggler caught with 50 pounds of fentanyl – enough to kill 11 million Americans – because that sector of the border lacked the capacity to detain them.

According to these agents, our border is so overrun that not every apprehended criminal can be detained. Beds in detention facilities are being prioritized based on the seriousness of the crime committed – and space is full every single day.

These agents detailed the stress they undergo daily. Simply put, the Biden administration is not only failing our men and women in green – they are failing the American people. Their policies have incentivized a greater flow of illegal immigration, human smuggling, and lethal drugs.

Tackling the fentanyl epidemic is complicated; but complicated can’t mean complacency. Complicated should not deter us from taking action. Here’s what I propose.

Step 1: More resources for our Border Patrol agents

Border Patrol is in desperate need of more resources. During my recent visits to both San Diego, California, and McAllen, Texas, I heard how our agents are overwhelmed and undermanned. In San Diego specifically, their Port of Entry has 34 lanes of traffic, with 70,000 vehicles and 20,000 pedestrians crossing each day. Drug detecting canine units expedite the screening process, but there are not nearly enough units to ensure each car is properly screened.

In desolate regions of the border, like in Texas, our agents rely on surveillance technology. However, the methods they deploy are significantly out of date, and they often wait months on parts to upgrade their capabilities to spot migrants and cartel activity. Giving our Border Patrol what they need to do their job is an easy ask, and one that my Democratic colleagues should support.

Step 2: An interagency task force

The Biden administration should create an interagency task force – located in Mexico – to curb the flow of illegal drugs, namely fentanyl. It’s a similar strategy that has been deployed elsewhere in the world to combat other hard narcotics, such as cocaine. Allowing more than 30 U.S. agencies to operate in Mexico would ensure maximum coordination and attention to combat the fentanyl epidemic. 

More specifically, the interagency lead should be a Cabinet-level position, and in near-daily contact with the White House, working to improve information sharing and to reduce the fentanyl supply. The Office of National Drug Control Policy previously functioned in a cabinet-level capacity, but the role was de-elevated. Creating a task force with a clear mission is going to take assertive and aggressive leadership by this administration, and I’m hopeful they might actuallylisten and do it.

Step 3: Prosecute the criminals fueling these crises

Finally, we need to start properly prosecuting the criminals fueling our border crisis and fentanyl epidemic. Currently, cartels use “spotters” – individuals who aid their illegal activity at the border by surveilling Border Patrol. Spotters monitor stretches of the open border and report on Border Patrol movements, equipment locations, and other law enforcement activity. I say we crack down on anyone who aids and abets these dangerous cartels by increasing fines and jail time.

We also need to heighten the charges for drug dealers who distribute deadly fentanyl and the individuals profiting from the fentanyl epidemic. Fentanyl continues to kill Americans at a rate of 196 people a day. If a criminal willingly distributes fentanyl to unknowing victims and that individual overdoses or dies, they should face felony murder charges.

We are way past-due for a response that is equivalent to the problem. With the record-breaking border crossingswe’ve seen over the last two years, we cannot afford to waste any more time. I hope President Biden will agree, and work with us to take action.

In a column on page 5 of the March 1 Chronicle Senator Joni Ernst says “it’s time to address the fentanyl epidemic…” I contend that if we actually cared about the over 100,000 people who overdosed last year we would approach it in a different way than we have in the last 99 years.

Dear Joni,

For years I’ve asked drug warriors to tell me if they know of an addict who quit dope because it was not available. The answer was always silence. Dope addicts quit when they want to, not before.

The rash of overdose deaths is because illegality makes it impossible to know the strength of the drug. If the drugs were legal they could be made less harmful by a private testing service like Underwriters Laboratories and paid for with fees from drug companies.

Concerning Mrs. Ernst’s claim of an unsecured border, we have 160,000 troops stationed overseas. The most important job of the federal government, controlling the border, is on the back burner. We shouldn’t sacrifice our own security at the border while defending wealthy nations overseas.

Drug addicts who decide to get clean should be able to seek help without fear of law enforcement. Taxpayers should not be saddled with the costs of the drug war.

So, Mrs. Ernst, bring the troops home to defend the United States and screen potential new citizens. Let the other countries of the world be responsible for their own defense. And let taxpayers pay for essential services instead of playing failed babysitter for the world and a bunch of miserable dope addicts.

Dear Mr. Groszkruger,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about our nation’s immigration policies. It is important for me to hear from folks in Iowa on policy matters such as this. 

America has been, and always will be, a nation of immigrants. I believe that the vast majority of those coming to our country are doing so to create a better life for themselves and their children, and for that I have great sympathy. However, we are also a nation of laws, and it is essential that we enforce those laws to ensure the protection of our homeland. Accordingly, we must secure our borders in order to verify that anyone entering our country is doing so in accordance with the law.

In addition to illegal immigration, the law enforcement personnel stationed on our borders must confront drug smuggling, human trafficking, and the threat of terrorism on a day-to-day basis. There are a number of ways we can approach these issues. Importantly, I support resuming the construction of the border wall and increasing funding for our law enforcement personnel at the border. 

Please know that I will keep your views in mind as this issue continues to be reviewed by the Senate. Feel free to contact my office with any further information, as I always enjoy hearing from Iowans.


Joni K. Ernst
United States Senator

Bowser, Our First Dog

This old story is here as a break from the serious stuff. It’s a dog story. You’ve been warned. The photo is Gretchen with Bowser.

By Karl Groszkruger

Bowser was our first dog. Since we got her before I was born, she was our dog in my early childhood. My brother is 15. He and Bowser were born on the same day. She lived to be 12 years old. I can remember some things she did while she lived with us. I remember she always used to go away from the house to go to the bathroom. One day when we were processing pigs, my sister Gretchen, was carrying little baby pigs to mom so she could castrate them, cut off their tails and teeth, and give them a shot of iron. The pigs were screaming and the mother pig was very protective and she knocked Gretchen down on the pavement and was literally on top of her. All of us stood there dumbfounded except for Bowser. She jumped over a four-foot high fence and jumped up on top of the 400 pound sow and sunk her teeth into the back of the sow’s neck. The sow screamed in pain and retreated.

Then one day, at the beginning of winter, she became short of breath and she would not lie down. We took her to the vet and he found cancer. Attached to her spleen was a softball sized tumor. We decided to have it removed. Mom was there when they opened her up and found the tumor. She told them to take it out. As the vet was removing it, she went into shock. She lost a lot of blood. When she went into shock, the vet told my mom to leave because she wasn’t going to make it. Mom insisted on staying there to the end. She went to Bowser’s head and started petting her and talking to her. “Come on girl, hang on.” She made it through. But the cancer was too bad and she died on the morning of December 5, 1992, a year after her surgery.

The day she died, I woke up to go to the bathroom where Bowser slept. It was about 7:00 in the morning. I went back to bed and woke up about 8:30 and dad found her dead about 7:30. I had been the last one to see her alive. We buried her south of the house under the elm and ash trees. Her grave is marked with a cross we made. I loved her very much.

Ultimate Virtue Signaling

Some who have a life besides wondering why about everything, might wonder what “virtue signaling” is when they read this. It is an important pair of words when put into the context of people caring about the world around them, the environment, and the well-being of their fellow man.

Journalist Siddharth Kara dare not carry a camera. The mining company and state armed guards in the Democratic Republic of Congo have a poorly kept secret. It’s artisanal mining. (It’s not like expensive crusty bread and tangy cheese.)

Some with picks and shovels and some with bare hands, it’s a family affair, from little children to grandma and grandpa finding cobalt for EVs (electric vehicles). Three fourths of the world’s cobalt comes from the Congo. With 10% of auto sales now EVs, cobalt demand has increased a whopping 70 times. That has increased the use of cobalt enough that mechanical means can’t keep up. Imagine the conundrum the holier-than-thou autocrats face in going totally fossil fuel free when they are the greatest battery of all. Fossil fuels have been storing solar energy naturally for centuries.

EVs are purported to be a large part of a transition away from the fossil fuels that enable human life on Earth even though only 29% of fossil fuel usage goes for transportation. Cars are highly visible so those EVs inflate self esteem.

Look at the rich and powerful. Fossil fuels power their private jets to take these superior human beings to Davos, Switzerland, and the World Economic Forum where they can plan a more pristine existence for the rest of us. People actually concerned about climate change would choose to have meetings online, right?

The people on the private jets will be found out eventually, change their minds, and proclaim the earth is dangerously cooling instead. That will enrich the bank accounts of their mansion dwelling friends when the industries in which they bought stock become popular solutions to the newly imagined problem.

I’ve had friends who called our country’s founding documents evil because 250 years ago the authors owned slaves. They use this as a way to declare the contents of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution untenable.

As long as we’ve mentioned stock ownership we should delve into the situation in the Congo. Does an EV owner have some responsibility as far as issues surrounding acquisition of materials used in their cars?

Oil spills ultimately drive up the cost of fossil fuels as the industry accumulates expenses in restoring damaged areas to their natural state.

In the case of EVs the damage is slavery. How do EV manufacturers compensate thousands for time and health lost to their time in the dust and blazing sun? There are two reasons the cobalt mines have armed guards everywhere. One is to keep cameras from exposing the horrific conditions. The other is to keep the slaves from running away.

There are cobalt mines operated with machinery. And these would be enough if lithium batteries only powered phones and flashlights. But a 1,000 pound battery in an EV ups the game considerably (besides making an EV more deadly in a crash).

Basically, the people pushing for the elimination of fossil fuels are at least as guilty of owning slaves as those dastardly Founding Fathers who designed the most prosperous economy on Earth. The ones who own electric cars as a statement of righteousness are either ignorant or despicable in their virtue signaling.