Regarding the article by Robert Paarlberg, “The Environmental Upside of Modern Farming” (Feb. 6 WSJ), The views expressed from an ivory tower academic with an anti-meat agenda should be taken with a grain of salt.
He assumes livestock are evil because they produce methane and manure? Where is the proof, real proof, not computer models, that methane can change the weather? In confinement operations we are beginning to capture methane to use for energy, by the way.
As a cattle farmer, I question his assertion that manure is a bad thing. It is highly prized, not just for known elements like in the chemical fertilizers his utopia would have us use, but for obviously undiscovered benefits to crop production. Well managed farms prevent pollution from manure because it is a valuable resource.
Although pigs and chickens do not flourish on pasture, cattle have the ability to utilize unusable flood prone and otherwise useless land and convert it to food.
I remember, as a kid, the prospect that we will all be eating food from a toothpaste tube. Mr. Paarlberg can have it. I just hope his “School of Government” can leave the rest of us alone in it’s crusade for a “sustainable” world.
I saw him in this band at the Berkley Greek Theater in 1970
I haven’t done a movie review for a while so here goes.
“Little Pink House” is a 2017 film about Susette Kelo and her fight with the city of New London, Connecticut concerning Pfizer’s intention to build a factory on her land. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court.
The president of a local college was hired to push the idea of locating a drug company facility in New London as an economic development scheme. They declared a neighborhood to be blighted and used eminent domain to evict the homeowners.
Susette Kelo had left a failed marriage and bought a house, restored it all by herself, and painted it pink. The movie is captivating and moves along well. Sorta like the sports movies we escape with every so often, you know who to root for. Raise your hand if you are rooting for Pfizer.
The reason for this so-called review is to equate the issues raised in the movie with what is going on today. The idea of private property is being challenged.
Property is usually only referred to as real estate. But property is actually whatever we own. Our wages, our dog, our car, ourselves; it’s all solely our property. The concept of private property is basic to our luxurious lifestyle. We create a better mousetrap because we are rewarded by people who use it to keep their wiring safe. We fix up our house because we live there. We work our jobs because our wages, being private property, can be used by us to make a better life for our families, or even a preferred charity or friend. It’s our choice.
New London saw that a few little houses with a nice view had limited tax income, and cities always need more taxes. There’s also the matter of pride or image. From the governor on down, a big fancy drug company, hotel, condo, and retail “urban village” was basically something to show off.
The Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 in favor of the city and Pfizer. Those great champions of “the people,” Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, David Souter, and Steven Breyer voted for the big corporation. Justice O’Connor, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Justices Scalia and Thomas voted for the homeowners. That’s pretty interesting. The conservative justices opposed the big corporation. How ’bout that?
The site of Susette Kelo’s house is still a vacant lot, as is the rest of the Fort Trumbull neighborhood. After the Supreme Court gave the homeowners the shaft, the city sent them bills for rent totaling tens of thousands of dollars. All that changed after the governor went to prison for unrelated issues. This intervention ended up costing the city and state $78 million. Pfizer never used the land, never hired the promised 3,169 employees, and the $1.2 million in tax revenues never materialized. When the tax breaks expired for their facility across the river, they moved away leaving 1,500 employees unemployed.
In her spiels trying to convince the homeowners to sell, the college president / promoter often says, “Social justice and economic development go hand in hand.”
The meanings of these words have evolved to benefit those in power, that is, organized groups who can take advantage of unorganized, yet productive individuals.
Social justice has become much greater than those two simple words. It no longer means a community of fairness. It now stands for the law engineering society for outcomes, while bypassing the process of natural selection according to our individual skills and passions.
Economic development ultimately has used theft facilitated by ignorance of people who are too busy being valuable to society to pay attention. Law originally came to be to intervene in situations like this.
Social justice and economic development have become sugar-coated thievery. They go hand in hand.
A reader told me he wouldn’t read this column until I wrote about January 6th. With the risk of exposing my hard right bias, here goes.
Right off the bat, this is an opinion piece. How about that? As I peruse media of all kinds I find new life for old words stating opinions. Regarding the election we have “false claims, unsubstantiated, baseless, misinformation, fraud, conspiracy,” and “stolen.”
The courts’ refusal to look into allegations of hanky-panky regarding the vote goes along with a general history of courts for people paying attention. People who generally consider themselves to be more compassionate toward minorities couldn’t be woke if they overlook stolen freedoms of poor and minority suspects who are convinced by courts to plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit to avoid the “sure thing” of a longer sentence. Ha!
Have you ever seen the documentary, “Hacking Democracy?” It was an Emmy nominated HBO film that irrefutably exposed election fraud through electronic voting machines in the 2000 and 2004 elections. The company, Diebold, has since changed its name but its voting machines are in use yet today.
I make these points, not to justify the riot at the Capitol, January 6, but to counter the blatant editorializing roundly accepted as journalism. People who have a life, a family, and a job can’t take the time to do their own investigations into all these omissions and alterations called news A few curious people dig a little deeper and are shocked at what a crooked world has been created by the courts’ enabling of the executive and legislative branches’ transgressions regarding their job descriptions in the Constitution.
The importance of the vote is what causes riots. The vote is like blood is to sharks. The vote as a way to acquire needs and wants undervalues and replaces cooperation with others.
It is not surprising that some Trump supporters turned into a mob like their counterparts of last summer. Neither group had a chance of turning the tide their way. Both groups made more enemies than friends. That’s what anger does and that’s why far reaching decisions should never be made during a crisis.
Government officials solemnly gathered to honor Capitol policeman Brian Sicknick this week. The cause of death has yet to be determined, although you wouldn’t know it from some accounts that had him murdered by Trump supporters.
Sicknick was an interesting guy. He was a National Guardsman who had been deployed to the Middle East by the Bush regime. He often wrote that our involvement in the Middle East was a mistake. He even questioned the holy grail of big government, the space program, saying the money is needed elsewhere and called for regime change in America.
As with September 11, January 6 will grow big government with the Domestic Terrorism Act of 2021. It will shrink our privacy and freedom. Crises are handy that way. Russia and China are way worse, of course.
“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”
- Aldus Huxley, Brave New World 
“Operation Popeye” was a classified U.S. program that deployed cloud-seeding during the Vietnam War. The aim was to hinder North Vietnamese troops and suppress anti-aircraft fire. Whether the program worked remains in question. But after it became public in 1972, it prompted a congressional investigation and, eventually a United Nations treaty forbidding military action intended to cause “earthquakes, tsunamis [or] changes in weather patterns.”
Well this is great. Bombs are fine but don’t go seeding clouds. The program could have had huge benefits for society except for the fact that there are still going to be politicians and national governments, which cause more famine than any drought.
Doesn’t the U.N. treaty show that war is a game played by our so-called leaders, and we are mere disposable pieces on a chess board? If a threat is real, all rules would go out the window. The so-called threats are only inspiration to prop-up an economy based on a death culture.
Boy, are we ever polarized. And it’s no wonder. I was interested in the protest/riot in Tacoma January 25 because I used to hang out in Seattle and have a friend there who put me up when I got all four wisdom teeth yanked out at the university for $52. That’s another story.
The cops were called when people (no wait, it was cars) were doing doughnuts and burnouts in downtown Tacoma. About a hundred people surrounded the cop car and pounded on the hood and windows. The cop inside feared for his life and ran his siren in an attempt to clear a path for his escape. The crowd either didn’t hear it or decided it didn’t apply to them. So he just drove on out, running over a guy. Miraculously, it turns out no one was seriously hurt.
Of course the peaceful protesters of Antifa showed up to promote justice. I guess they were too late to stop the reckless driving.
The first story I read on this came from Jason Rantz, a talk show host in Seattle who infiltrated the Antifa crowd to get the straight story. He said he saw about 150 black clad Antifa gather at the intersection and build a fire in the middle of the street using trash bins and street signs.
Then they marched. Using weapons they brought such as pipes and crowbars, they smashed storefronts and car windows. They tried to tear a fence down at a jail to release prisoners and failed. They chanted to residents to come join them. The locals were having nothing of it. The police didn’t show up until the rioters were getting tired or bored.
The other side of the story was written by Taylor Ardrey of Business Insider. Ardrey wrote that Tavon Williams, who was of the cop car mob told CNN he is “forever scarred.” There was no mention of the marching and rioting.
If you happened upon Fox, who carried Jason Rantz’s account, you would get one story. If you read the Business Insider story, you would think there were some harmless doughnuts and a cop running over people. A few family businesses don’t amount to a hill of beans compared to Chuck Schumer’s “Temple of our democracy,” eh? (meaning the US Capitol)
I emailed Taylor Ardrey and asked, “Were you there?” I have not heard back. Jason Rantz said he was there. In fact he recognized an activist journalist who tweeted that he was there recording the crowds. I called Rantz’s radio station to ask if I could use a photo of him and he spoke to me.
What all this says is that whatever the source, our opinions are not formed by unbiased news. Our votes then follow. What do we know to be true? For public policy to be guided by a vote is stupid. It should be guided by rules made by cool heads in quiet times.
Every departure from the principle of individual sovereignty has had unforeseen consequences that led to more policy changes to correct those mistakes and on and on. The only thing these policies based on votes by a malleable public do is provide more problems for politicians to promise to fix.
And when they fix them Peter is robbed to pay Paul. Peter is resentful. Paul is emboldened. We are further polarized and divided, and vulnerable to exploitation.
The people on the margins are being sacrificed at an alarming rate today. Small businesses, the mentally ill, drug abusers; they have been deemed expendable in order to save face for the present day Captain Ahabs of society.
Who is expendable? Federal surveys show that 40% of Americans are grappling with mental health or drug-related problems. With young adults that figure is 75%. The CDC asked young adults if they had considered suicide in the last thirty days and 25% said yes. These numbers are way higher than previous years.
What we’ve been seeing in the last year or so is a callous attitude toward collateral damage in the war on the coronavirus. A story in the Washington Post details a family’s loss of their 16-year old son who had problems before the virus that were being managed through relationships with friends, until Covid.
The Post story blamed the pandemic and decried the lack of funding in suicide prevention programs. Yep, and my tire dealer throws nails out on the road.
When we question the draconian measures of the Covid response the answer is often shot back, “Look at the science.” So yeah, let’s look at the science.
- To quote a peer reviewed study of ten different countries on social distancing from Stanford University, “In summary, we fail to find strong evidence supporting a role for more restrictive NPIs (non pharmaceutical interventions, social distancing and masks) in the control of Covid in early 2020.”
- Way back in July, CDC Director Robert Redfield said, “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from Covid. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose, that are above excess, than we had as background, than we are seeing deaths from Covid.”
- Multiple studies on the CDC’s website have concluded, “We did not find evidence that surgical-type masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.” This was before there were federal incentives in place to label any doubtful death “Covid related.” Flu molecules infect the same way as supposed coronavirus ones.
- Japan has been derided for their resistance to lockdowns and cautionary approach to vaccines. Western media was harshly critical of Japan’s failure to lockdown and predicted mass deaths. The result of Japan’s excess freedom: Japan’s deaths per million (DPM) is 27. Severely locked down countries of Europe have a DPM of between 1,080 and 1,674.
- World Health Organization envoy, David Nabarro said back in October, “Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never, ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.” And, “It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition.”
Have you heard of the Great Barrington Declaration? Epidemiologists from Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford Universities met in Barrington, Massachusetts after pondering the costs and benefits of government policies supposedly used to stem the pandemic. Between October 2 and October 4, 2020 they penned the declaration. It urges loosening restrictions on economic activity and a focus on protecting vulnerable people instead. The declaration has been signed by 13,290 medical & public health scientists, 40,199 medical practitioners, and 727,141 concerned everyday citizens.
Once again bureaucratic guesses have proven wrong, with dire consequences. The real tragedy in this story is that all the damage done in this war on Covid has accomplished little or nothing. It was not thought through well and trusting souls went along with it, like the doomed crew of the Pequot.
We recently watched Moby Dick, the 1956 version of the Herman Melville book. The second mate read the contract binding Captain Ahab to preserving the ship and hunting whales for oil. The crew had an obligation to overthrow the captain if the ship’s owners weren’t being served by him. The crew trusted the captain and went along with his foolish quest for revenge against the white whale that had severely injured him in years past.
(Note: In a past column I stated that deaths from all causes were lower in 2020 than in previous years. A reader questioned my source. I wrote to him and he said his numbers were based on averages, and we need to wait for final figures.)
It is a form of American music that emulates free markets. Diverse elements coming together to create a unified whole. This gal has some strong lips: