12/05/20: “Ohio Senate passes Juneteenth holiday bill”

Jessie Balmert of the Cincinnati Enquirer and USA Today Network

“Ohio lawmakers took he first step toward making Juneteenth a paid state holiday.”

My first reaction to the Senate passing this piece of legislation by a 32-0 vote was “Do the state employees really need another paid holiday?” Then I wondered “How many paid holidays do they currently get?”

If you aren’t familiar with Juneteenth, you might find it interesting. It represents the day (June 19, 1965) “…Union Major Gen. Gordon Granger , arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that enslaved people were free.” This occurred nearly two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was passed.

The justification for this legislation was stated as:

“Ohioans need a time to reflect and use Juneteenth as a way to bridge gaps and divides between races and have discussions on how slavery itself influenced our society…”

“Bridge gaps and divides between the races”: We currently have Martin Luther King Day as a holiday. His message was one of racial harmony and his desire was a time when one’s character would be their defining trait, not their race. So it seems like we already have a paid holiday designed for this purpose, doesn’t it?

“…Have discussions on how slavery itself influenced our society…”: The last I checked, we have a whole month titled “Black History Month” designed to give us time to reflect on the African American’s experiences and contributions. So is one more paid holiday needed to accomplish this goal? It wouldn’t seem to be necessary.

As I reflected on the Ohio Senate’s action I couldn’t help but be confused. I can understand why Texas might adopt Juneteenth as a state holiday, but Ohio? Texas was a slave state so this was meaningful to them. Ohio NEVER was a slave state or territory! The last time slavery was legal in what is now Ohio is when it was Indian Territory and under British control. When it became part of the United States slavery was outlawed. It was an official part of the Northwest Territory authorization. When the Virginia Military District was opened for settlement, some came, at least in part because they abhorred slavery that was legal in Virginia. Two of those settlers were Thomas & Elanor Worthington. So why should we celebrate Texas history rather than Ohio history? It doesn’t make sense to me.

The timing of the Senate’s action is highly questionable. At this time many citizens are struggling because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus. The State’s budget is under stress and cuts are coming. And Ohio is having to borrow funds to maintain its unemployment benefits. Yet the Ohio Senate, by a 32-0 vote, decided that state employees should be given another tax payer paid holiday. Didn’t even one Ohio Senator see how insulting this would be to those struggling to make ends meet? Didn’t even one Ohio Senator think the timing was bad? Obviously they didn’t!

Maybe you should let your Ohio Senator know what you think about their legislation that would add an additional paid holiday for state employees. I did.

12/09/20: “Ohio governor” Lethal injection no longer execution option”

by Julie Carr Smyth, Farnoush Amiri and Andrew Welsh-Huggins of the Associated Press

“Lethal injection is no longer an option for Ohio executions, and lawmakers must choose a different method of capital punishment before any inmates can be put to death in the future…”

The article goes on to explain further with the following:

“DeWine said he still supports capital punishment as Ohio law. But he has come to question its value…

So if Gov. DeWine questions the value of capital punishment, does he really still support capital punishment as Ohio law? It doesn’t sound like it.

Former Speaker Larry Householder suggested “…the state should reconsider capital punishment because of its cost…”

How does that make any sense? We’re going to stop executing individuals who carry out the most heinous crimes because the executions are too costly? So what will happen to the criminals? Will they be given a life sentence? If so, doesn’t that mean the state will have to pay for their housing, feeding and clothing for the rest of their lives? How much will that cost taxpayers? I suspect it will be much more than the cost of their execution!

So now that the state can’t use lethal injection for executions, what method will the Legislature come up with? Maybe it will be firing squad or hanging? (I think we tried them before and stopped because they were cruel and unusual punishment.) The electric chair was supposed to be the answer to hanging, but that was stopped too. Stoning was the punishment in the Bible, but we consider that barbaric now. I guess that leaves us with beheading as the only option. But ISIS gave that a bad name too!

So what method will the Legislature have to chose from? It looks like they have all been eliminated, doesn’t it? So maybe that was the real purpose of stopping lethal injections.

So now taxpayers are stuck supporting individuals responsible for the most heinous crimes while they live out their lives as others pay for their room, board and clothing.

And the taxpayers have had little, if any say in the decision?

12/10/20: “While Trump thought courts were key to winning, judges disagreed”

by Colleen Long and Ed White of the Associated Press

Located next to the Obituaries in today’s Gazette is the above article by the Associated Press. The subheading of the article is:

“Over 35 of about 50 suits have been dropped or dismissed”

By my math that means that 15 suits haven’t been dismissed and it is unclear if that includes the latest suit to be filed by the state of Texas and joined by sixteen other states. So the article may be premature as it goes on and outlines how judges have dismissed suits.

But rather than go through the rest of the article in which they outline various suits and their outcomes, all we really needed to do is read the first paragraph.

“President Donald Trump and his allies say their lawsuits aimed at subverting the 2020 election and reversing his loss to Joe Biden…”

Let’s read this closely again!

“…lawsuits aimed at subverting the 2020 election…”

So the lawsuits were “aimed at subverting the 2020 election”, not aimed at exposing what they believed were efforts by the Democrats to subvert the 2020 election?

I suspect the Gazette looked for space for this article and just happened to find it next to the Obituaries. But the placement of this article is perfect as it is just the latest example of the death of American “journalism” to appear in the Chillicothe Gazette.

And as far as the Trump and Trump ally lawsuits? Listing them in the obituary section is a bit premature. They haven’t died until the last lawsuit is dismissed.

12/03/20: “UN chief: Go carbon-free and cease ‘war on nature'”

by Seth Borenstein and Frank Jordon of the Associated Press

The article talks about how the use of carbon based fuels is warming the planet starting in the last half of the 1800’s. These types of articles often appear just prior to an upcoming UN climate summit. It looks like this is another case of that occurring. The article states “…the UN gears up for a Dec. 12 virtual climate summit in France on the fifth anniversary of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement.”

I decided to check my IPhone weather AP to see what the ten day weather forecast for Paris is. Paris is forecasted to have heavy cloud cover today. The same is true for the next four days. Then Paris gets a reprieve from the heavy cloud cover with a partially cloudy day. That is predicted to be followed by four more days with heavy cloud cover.

London, England has a similar forecast with nine days of heavy cloud cover and one day of with partially cloudy weather. Berlin, Germany had the same forecast as London. The forecast for Rome, Italy was even worse, if that is even possible. Each of the ten days shown in its forecast shows not only heavy cloud cover, but also a chance of rain. Copenhagen, Denmark is also showing ten days of heavy cloud cover. Lisbon, Portugal has the best weather forecast with two partially cloudy days and eight days of heavy cloud cover and rain. But this isn’t all that unusual. It is winter in the Northern Hemisphere and winter weather there is cold and cloudy.

So you would think that the obvious question for the countries in the Northern Hemisphere would be “If we are going to go “carbon-free” how do we generate electricity in the winter months?” But it doesn’t seem like the question is even being asked.

The article goes on to say “U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered another urgent appeal to curb climate change.” Antonio is from Portugal so you would think he would be concerned about transitioning from fossil fuels. But so far there is no indication he is.

As I’ve talked about in prior blogs, there are only three real options for “carbon-free” electricity production. The options are water, wind and solar. Water has limited application except in unusual locations with large rivers and substantial declines in elevation. Solar needs sunshine so has limited application for several months of the year in most of the planet. And wind is only applicable to select places like coastlines or higher elevations. And even those places are prone to periods of wind lull.

The article states as fact that “Most trapped heat goes into the world’s seas…”. But does that mean heat sinks? No it doesn’t. Heat is transferred from the Earth’s surface by radiation. So as science has taught for centuries, heat rises. That is how the planet cools itself. The greenhouse gases that are blamed for the warming are in the atmosphere. So if heat rises, and the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap the gas and keep it from escaping, it would make sense atmospheric temperatures would have risen significantly in the last 50 years. A good source of information on this and global warming in general is Dr. Roy Spencer’s website.

Of course there is a fourth alternative if we go “carbon-free” and that is to have no or limited electricity for prolonged periods of time. That option would leave much of the northern hemisphere without heat during the winter! ‘”In 2020, over 50 million people have been doubly hit: by climate-related disasters…and COVID-19 pandemic,” the report said’. If you can imagine the Northern Hemisphere in the winter without fossil fuels you can imagine a lot more than 50 million people being impacted. And many of them will be in Secretary-General Guterres’s home country of Portugal!

11/29/20: “Scientists issue a rare call to action on climate”

by Ian James of the Arizona Republic /USA Today Network

In this full page article the struggle to save an endangered species of fish is detailed. And along with that, it details concerns that some scientist have in preserving a large portion of Earth’s surface in its wild state to help maintain the planet’s ecosystems. This certainly is a lofty goal, especially considering what is occurring in some parts of the world.

The scientist most quoted is Prof. Bonar of the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources. Some of his quotes are:

“it is time to acknowledge the urgent need to act to address climate change.”

“Bonar said he feels sad seeing inaction on climate change.”

“If we don’t control emissions, then a lot of our aquatic ecosystems as we know them can disappear.”

Certainly we should all be concerned about our environment and do what we can to maintain it. Pumping ground water to meet the needs of people can have negative affects like land subsidence. Damming rivers to generate electricity have impacts on wildlife like salmon spawning. But do the scientists really think that we can stop climate change? And how much of that change is due to humans verses naturally occurring?

Obviously the climate is changing. It has been changing for the better for nearly 20,000 years. 22,000 years ago huge sheets of ice called glaciers covered most of what is now Canada, the Midwest and New England. That made those regions uninhabitable by plant life, animals and humans. The same was true for much of northern Asia and possibly northern Europe. The glaciers have melted and forest and wildlife thrive where it was impossible for them to just a short 20,000 years ago.

What made the population of North America possible? It was climate change that bound up such huge quantities of fresh water from the oceans that a land bridge formed from Asia to North America. It is believed that nomadic hunters followed herds of animals such as wholly mammoth across the land bridge into North America. The land bridge between the two continents no longer exists. What caused it disappear? The same thing that caused it to appear. Climate change!

The four corners area of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah has been populated by humans for thousands of years. The culture of those people is called the Anasazi Culture and at its peak involved the famous cliff dwellings. What allowed them to gather in larger groups was farming. What made their farming successful was irrigation. Around 1300 AD the cliff dwellings were abandoned. What caused that is still uncertain. But two of the major candidates are disease and climate change.

So when any scientist says we need to act to stop climate change two important questions arise:

  • What would be the ideal climate to stop the change at?
  • Can we actually stop climate change?

If we could stop climate change, what would be the perfect climate? The problem with that question is we are a big planet. So the perfect climate in one place might mean an imperfect climate in others. The perfect example is 22,000 years ago. The areas around the equator were well adapted to life while the areas further north and south were inhospitable. While there is somewhat of a global climate do to distance from the sun, sun spot activity and tilt of the planet, etc., other factors are due to location and topography. California will have a much different climate than the upper Midwest. The upper Midwest’s climate will be similar to places like Germany while California will be similar to southern France and Italy. So what would be the best global climate to stop at?

Obviously that is a ridiculous question to debate. It might be interesting to contemplate, but we can’t stop climate change. A look back at the last 400,000 years of North American climate history tells us that.

Source: September 2004 National Geographic

We see that there are natural cycles that occur including brief (in climate terms) periods of warmth similar to what we are now experiencing followed by a dramatic decline in temperature and eventually glacial advances. This pattern has actually been traced back for approximately 800,000 years or half of the life the present Ice Age.

This is just recent climate history. Earth and its “climate” has been changing for as long as it has existed. As I traveled by plane a few years back I picked up the travel magazine they supplied. There was fascinating article about the massive salt deposits and mines under modern day Detroit. That indicates there once was a massive sea in what is now central North America.

For supposed scientists to call me a “science denier” because I happen to understand that our climate is constantly changing in regular patterns is amusing. Because I understand this real climate science, I call them the “climate liars”. They appear to be lying about real science for political purposes, not out of great concern for the environment, but out of a plan for global control. And it appears that VP Biden is wanting to make John Kerry his new climate czar. Then we will really have science controlled by politicians. That never ends well!

11/26: “Journalist Bernstein says Sen. Portman despises President Trump”

by Scott Wartman of the Cincinnati Enquirer

Scott’s article starts off with the following:

“Sen. Portman has rarely criticized President Donald Trump in the past four years.”

That would seem to be the opposite of what the headline indicates. So what happened?

But the article goes on to talk about how Carl Bernstein has tweeted that Sen. Portman has “repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump & his fitness to be POTUS.”

He also reports Bernstein tweeted “With few exceptions, their craven public silence has helped enable Trump’s most grievous conduct including undermining and discrediting the US electoral system.” So what is going on here?

Sen. Portman is up for election in just two short years. Ohio went heavily for Trump. So for Democrats to have a chance to beat Sen. Portman, they have to distance him from Trump’s supporters. Could this be their first attempt?

So despite the fact that a spokesperson for Sen. Portman denied the report that he didn’t support Trump’s re-election or that Sen. Portman had ever talked to Carl Bernstein, the Cincinnati Enquirer reporter thought this was a news worthy article to write and the Chillicothe Gazette thought it was worthy of including it in its Thanksgiving Day issue?

Fortunately for Sen. Portman, very few Republicans in Ross County get or read the Chillicothe Gazette so it won’t have much impact on driving a wedge between Sen. Portman and Trump supporters. And in case you didn’t know, voters in Ross County voted for Trump over Biden by more than a two to one margin.

I’m guessing that Sen. Portman will have nothing to worry about in 2022. That is unless he has a strong opponent in the primary elections.

PS: Will the Gazette ever learn? Not as long as advertisers keep buying ads and keeping them in business.

Opinion: “It’s Thanksgiving Day, Isn’t It?”

I started cooking for today’s Thanksgiving Day meal a couple days ago. I went into high gear yesterday. That meant I was ready for preparing and cooking the turkey and dressing this morning before a 1:30 PM meal.

After the meal was over and we’d done some preliminary cleanup I decided to take a break. I said to myself: “I wonder what shows about Thanksgiving Day and the Pilgrims are on?” I’d seen some really good ones in the past and wouldn’t mind watching them again. So I turned the television on and punched 135 into the remote for the History Channel. They actually had a show on about the day, or something like it? They were showing “Swampsgiving Day” a show about catching, cooking and eating alligators. Not exactly what I was hoping for!

I turned to 276, Turner Classic Movies, thinking they must be showing a movie about the Pilgrims, the first Thanksgiving or something related to their struggles and accomplishments. No, they weren’t. “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” was showing to be followed by “The Black Stallion” and “Rear Window”. 277 was carrying the National Lampoon Vacation movies and 281 was carrying “Blazing Saddles”. When I turned to PBS it was showing the British Cooking show.

Not one show on the Pilgrims on the 400th Anniversary of the coming to New England?

I guess I’m just out of touch with life in these United States? This was an event that had a profound influence on the founding of our country, on the style of government we have and on our nation’s history. Yet on the 400th Anniversary of the Pilgrim’s coming to North America we don’t find any evidence of the event on television?

So I’m going to do my part here.

The pictures are from my wife’s and my 2010 visit to Plimoth Plantation at Plymouth, Mass. It represents their community in 1626. That was after their long and arduous journey and two long years of hardship. They arrived in 1620 on the Mayflower. Half of those who came were dead by the next spring. More settlers arrived in 1621 on the Fortune, though their fate was not so fortunate. They arrived late in the year with few supplies and again it was a deadly winter. The third ship to arrive was the Anne and it came to Plimoth Plantation in 1623. By then the community was established and with the assistance of the Native Americans were providing for themselves.

During that visit in 2010 my wife and I had a long discussion with William Brewster, the Pilgrim’s religious leader (pictured above in the slide show). How ironic was that since in 2017 I found that William Brewster and his wife Mary were two of my 8,192 eleventh generation great grandparents. Since then I have become a member of the Mayflower Society.

Maybe that explains why I’m concerned that our history and heritage no longer seem important to Americans. But once we forget about the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers and those who have forged our history since, we will lose sight of what has made us a great nation.

I. for one, hope that will never happen!

Gazette: “The BIG Thanksgiving Day paper”

“The Big Thanksgiving Day paper” is the headline that greeted me when I took today’s paper out of the plastic wrapper and folded it out flat. Imagine my surprise to find out that the paper would be bigger than normal. So I checked out the sections:

Section# of PagesPages of Ads
Section A – News62+
Section B – Opinion41/4
Section C – Lifestyle61 1/4
Section D – Sports42

So what is so big about the Thanksgiving Day issue of the Chillicothe Gazette? There were only 20 pages when you exclude the separate advertisements and five and a half of them were taken up with advertisements. That left just fourteen actual pages of “news”. Is that really all that unusual for a Thursday paper? Not really. Especially when that Thursday is Thanksgiving.

As I searched the paper for the “Game page” to cut out for my wife, I came across something in Section B. It was a double wide (two pages) crossword puzzle titled “THE BIG CROSSWORD PUZZLE”. Now that is something “BIG” and unusual. But that left only twelve pages for the local, state and national news plus the normal Game page and obituaries. Nothing unusual or big about that.

I hear from many residents of Ross County, that’s one of the biggest reasons why they no long subscribe to the Chillicothe Gazette.

Opinion: Ford’s Plan to Transition to 100% Renewables

This morning ended my Thanksgiving Day responsibilities. I had the turkey in the roaster and it was well on its way to being done. The pumpkin pie looks great! I had a replacement pecan pie in the oven to replace the overcooked one we were about to throw away. And of course, the cranberry, whipped cream and pecan salad was in the refrigerator keeping cold. So it was time to catch a few minutes of sports.

As we watched the inevitable commercial came on. This time if was by Ford Motor Company telling us about its long history and how it has always kept pace with the times. It went on to brag about how it would be converting it vehicles, manufacturing facilities and other facilities to 100% renewable energy sources. I couldn’t help but ask:

“If Ford is really going to convert to 100% renewable energy sources how will it survive?”

While Ford no longer has all its facilities in Detroit, that still is what we think of when we think car manufacturing and Ford. So what does the Weather AP show for Detroit’s weather over the next ten days?:

DaySun vs CloudsHighLow
Thursday 11/26/20Heavy Clouds4641
Friday 11/27/20Heavy Clouds4530
Saturday 11/28/20Sunny4532
Sunday 11/29/20Sunny4834
Monday 11/30/20Heavy Clouds & Snow3727
Tuesday 12/1/20Heavy Clouds & Snow3427
Wednesday 12/2/20Partially Sunny3627
Thursday 12/3/20Partially Sunny3725
Friday 12/4/20Partially Sunny3628
Saturday 12/5/20Partially Sunny3928

With that weather pattern, who successful will Ford be in converting their entire company’s operations over to 100% renewable energy sources? I think you can guess. It would be a disaster. A disaster if they remain in Detroit.

But this kind of winter weather isn’t unusual for Detroit. The website currentresults.com show an average of four clear days and 120 hours of sunshine for Detroit in the month of January. That’s 120 hours of sun out of 744 total hours in January. And the same site shows that the average wind speed in January is only 11.7 mph for Detroit. That’s well below the rated speed for commercial wind turbines.

So if Detroit has long, cloudy and cold winters, how can it utilize solar panels for generating the necessary electricity to run its operations? And if the average wind speed is just above the speed at which turbines begin to function, but well below the speed where they are capable of producing their maximum level of electricity, what renewable energy source will Ford Motor Company be utilizing?

And what will happen to the demand for electricity when we have transitioned off of fossil fuels for transportation, industry and heating? It will increase dramatically!

Detroit is not unique in its weather patterns. Most of the Midwest and New England states have similar patterns. They include cold, cloudy and slightly windy winters and hot, partially cloudy and nearly windless summers. Since solar and wind are the two major sources of renewable energy supplies (electricity) that transitioning away from fossil fuels hardly makes sense.

That’s especially true if you understand that the man-made global warming crisis is a man-made hoax! See other blog postings under climate change for more on that topic!

Opinion: “The Irony of the Biden Election”

The election appears to be over. The media outlets have called it. While there are some legal challenges left in key states, there is a question as to whether they would impact enough votes to make a difference in the outcome. And now that the election has been “called”, would courts have the nerve to overturn the results if it were justified. I’m guessing they probably wouldn’t. So it is on to a Biden/Harris Administration. (Or is it a Harris/Biden Administration as they both claimed earlier this summer.)

One of the great ironies of the Biden/Harris Administration’s will come in its first year. Both Vice President Biden and Sen. Harris spent the campaign claiming that President Trump had no plan to deal with the Covid-19 virus from the beginning of its outbreak and through the summer. We had VP Biden and columnist like Dick Polman claiming President Trump was responsible for all 220,000 deaths. Obviously that wasn’t a serious claim, mere politics at its worse. And throughout the campaign the Covid-19 virus and the number of cases and deaths became the focus of our local paper and the major news outlets seemingly in concert with the Biden/Harris election efforts.

But that wasn’t the case. President Trump had a plan. It involved cutting off travel from China and then other countries with high case counts. Hospital beds were made available in areas where shortages were projected. The War Time Production Act was activated and a major effort was made in producing testing materials, PPE and equipment such as ventilators. Then there was the “warp speed” program for the development AND distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. And the plan that VP Biden outlined for dealing with the virus in his campaign sounded a lot like the plan that the Trump Administration had already put in place.

So one of the great ironies of the election is the success of the Biden/Harris Administration’s first year will be dependent on how successful the Trump Administration’s Covid-19 virus plan is. If it is successful, we can expect to have a vaccine available before VP Biden takes office. And if the distribution plan the Trump Administration has put in place is real, the most vulnerable to the impact of the virus could have the vaccine available to them before VP Biden is sworn into office.

But if VP Biden and Sen. Harris were correct when they claimed that the Trump Administration had no plan and still doesn’t, then the Biden/Harris Administration’s first year will be marred by high case counts and deaths due to the Covid-19 virus. So the greater the Biden/Harris campaign lie, the more successful their first year will be.

And that will be one of the great ironies of this year’s election!