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Thursday, 26 September 2019 04:51

A Passing Storm or Coming Shipwreck?

The always-amiable Father Andrew Gilligan, who for many years taught Latin at St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco, wanted his students to remember some of the great passages from Virgil's "The Aeneid" long after they had forgotten the arcane rules of Latin grammar. So, he gave us some to memorize.

One was: "Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit." His colloquial translation of this was: "Someday you may look back on even these things and laugh." That is what Aeneas told his men after they sailed through a horrendous storm.

They had escaped from Troy after the Greeks captured it. But they were destined to lay the foundation of the Roman Empire in Italy. The vengeful goddess Juno, seeking to stop them, ordered Aeolus, the god of the winds, to hit them as hard as he could. Neptune, the god of the sea, stopped the storm and spared Aeneas -- and, according to Virgil's story, the future of Rome.

This line from Virgil occurred to me aboard a cruise ship, as we peacefully sailed from a port near Rome, past Sicily, toward Greece and Turkey -- heading in exactly the opposite direction as Aeneas. The seas were calm. The skies were blue. It was hard to imagine what Aeneas went through.

As pantheistic as "The Aeneid" is, Virgil wrote it only decades before the birth of Christ -- the same century during which another great Roman, Cicero, wrote his "Treatise on the Commonwealth," which has been quoted in this column.

"There is a true law, a right reason, conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil," Cicero wrote. "Whether it enjoins or forbids, the good respect its injunctions, and the wicked treat them with indifference. This law cannot be contradicted by any other law and is not liable either to derogation or abrogation."

"Neither the senate nor the people can give us any dispensation for not obeying this universal law of justice," Cicero said. "It is not one thing at Rome and another at Athens; one thing today and another tomorrow; but in all times and nations this universal law must forever reign, eternal and imperishable," he wrote.

"It is the sovereign master and emperor of all beings," said Cicero. "God himself is its author, its promulgator, its enforcer. He who obeys it not, flies from himself, and does violence to the very nature of man."

As these lines demonstrate, Cicero was not a pantheist. He wrote of one God, whose universal law applied to all human beings in all times and all places.

In Rome, the ruins of the Colosseum, built in the first century after the birth of Christ, are within walking distance of St. Peter's Basilica, whose dome was designed by Michelangelo in the 16th century and whose piazza was designed by Bernini in the 17th century.

The interior of the Colosseum may have witnessed hideous things, but its classical beauty is rooted in the same immutable rules of harmony and proportion that guided the designs of the Renaissance.

A little more than a century after Bernini designed the Piazza San Pietro, our Founding Fathers declared the United States an independent nation, appealing as they did so to "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God" and stating that all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."

Thomas Jefferson later described the Declaration of Independence as "an expression of the American mind" and cited the writings of Cicero as one of its inspirations.

That new nation, which embraced the immutable principles articulated by Cicero, soon built a beautiful capital city, whose major structures, such as the Capitol and the White House, reflected the same basic architectural principles as classical -- and Renaissance -- Rome.

Based on that same principle Cicero articulated two thousand years ago, America became the freest and greatest nation on Earth.

In 1969, two American astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, planted our flag on the moon -- a profoundly symbolic moment for a nation that had reached higher than any other both morally and physically. Since Apollo 17 in 1972, we have not returned to the moon.

But we have aborted many millions of babies, declared it a "right" for two people of the same sex to marry and begun a national debate about whether a young man can declare himself a young woman and begin using the ladies' room.

At the same time, our federal government has run up a debt of more than $22 trillion.

The advice Aeneas gave to his men in the wake of that fictional storm that Virgil put into verse more than two thousand years ago could never be applied to the cultural challenge America faces today.

We will never look back on these conflicts with any sort of mirth. But, hopefully, someday soon we will look back and know that we not only weathered the storm but also turned the ship back in the right direction.

small smiley face with sunglasses1

Thursday, 26 September 2019 04:37

Op Ed: Never Forget... Really?

"This month, It's was 18th anniversary of 9/11, and every 9/11, someone says 'we will never forget.'

These words...... like the words “unicorn” or “free health care” or “Islamophobia,” are nonsense words: Words that describe things ..... that simply don't exist.

We always forget; we have to forget. It's the way societies move forward, and it's the way they die, and these things have to be. It's God's will.

Here are some of the things we learned on 9/11 that we've forgotten:

Multiculturalism is crap.
There are better cultures, bad cultures, and even worse cultures.

Ours is better not because we're better people, but because we've inherited better ideas like individual freedom and equality before the law.

Those are better ideas than government by Allah, and dressing up women like the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come so they can't fully participate in life.

Better ideas make better cultures, and better cultures must be defended by both wisdom and force of arms — or worse cultures will conquer and destroy them.

On 9/11, we also remembered briefly that men must be men. The policemen and firemen who charged into the burning buildings to try to save people were essential men, necessary men — men worthy of our honor and respect because they lived up to the responsibility of their manhood, which reminds us of another inescapable truth....

There is only one necessary task of human life, and that is to make and nurture more human life. This is a task that nature has assigned to women. It is in order to protect and preserve that task, and the women who do it, that men must be men. Brave, protective, supportive, and dispassionately wise.

When societies feel rich and safe and prosperous, they put such truths out of their minds and they turn to fluffy nonsense like “irony” or “pumpkin latte” or “redefining marriage” or letting boys dress up as girls or promising everybody everything for free.

The essential divide between conservatives and leftists is that conservatives want society to always live under the restraints of the essential truths. Leftists want to take advantage of history's little holidays when some nation like ours becomes strong enough and rich enough to make everyone feel like it's safe to forget the rules and party.

There's some wisdom on both sides.


If your society is so powerful it can spare a few men to do inessential tasks like writing books or musical comedies, that's better than everyone having to man the front lines. If you can allow some women to leave off baby-making and child-rearing, maybe some of them will enjoy doing something else more. That's fine. It's tolerant and kind to accept gay relationships if you're living in inessential times, so why not do it.

But the gods of the copy-book headings, the gods of the essential truths, are always waiting to return with terror and slaughter as they did [on 9-11] 18 years ago.

And when you denounce motherhood or manhood, when you squander your resources and disrespect your traditions, those gods start sharpening their swords.

This is a very sad world, and one of the saddest things about this world is also one of the most comical: People lie. Everyone lies, everyone lies to himself and to everyone else.
We say things that are absurd and ridiculous and then we insist that they're true. People lie when they can, and only face the truth when they must.

On 9/11, we were forced to face the truth — a lot of truths — and now, by the necessity of human nature, we have forgotten.

We always do.

Enjoy your pumpkin Latte"

Andrew Klavan

Andrew Kavan Show

Following in her father's footsteps, Emily Stith has made a career out of putting small holes in bull's-eyes from a significant distance. And she's doing it while serving her country as a soldier in the Army.

What made you want to become a shooter? Or what happened that led to you becoming a shooter?

My dad was on the Navy Match Grade Team, and one of his teammates, Bruce Girkin, knew about a junior team in Kitsap, Washington. It was every Saturday shooting small bore and I was in love. I got a cold every weekend but I still felt the need to go. Eventually, I was shooting everyday at different ranges and shooting matches on the weekends.

What's it like being recruited by the Army to shoot vs. a university?

I was recruited by both, but I'd have to say the main difference is that everything happens at the pace you need for the Army, as far as shipping out. The Army felt more like home as well, everything they talked about I had some kind of knowledge about because of the huge military influence already in my life.

PATRIOT1 small

What kind of training and practicing does it truly take to compete at your level and be an Olympian?

At least several hours of shooting a day, then some kind of cardio, mental training — whether it be visualization or any mental hurdles you need to overcome — and knowledge about nutrition. It's a 24/7 job. Always do something productive for you and your career, something in regards to what I just mentioned. Of course, letting loose is a big thing — work hard, play hard, but being smart about how it will affect your career.

How would you encourage other women to do something like this as a competitor and maybe a soldier?

If you're just getting started, know that this is such a huge sport. So many different systems you could shoot, and if you don't like one, you might like another. If you're already shooting, don't stop till you've done what you dream of, all you've set out to do. Sometimes you won't have the motivation to go out and shoot every day or work out, but that's when you need the dedication. The dedication to your dreams and goals and once you've achieved the top of that is when you see the dedication pay off.
For a soldier, I'm 5-foot-nothing and had never been in a sport in high school — I was lifting my senior year but that's not a whole lot. If I can go through basic and [Advanced Individual Training], there's nothing stopping you from at least trying. See if you can get in, if you can, do something for the better of most and serve this beautiful country because that in itself is something so extraordinary and rewarding.

What is your favorite hobby outside of shooting?

I enjoy camping, hiking and traveling. I just enjoy being outside all over God's creation.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is proving to myself I can do what I set my mind to. Putting in the hours every day, traveling to matches and showcasing what I've worked for, representing Team USA, and now the Army, and showing others [that] not only America is a force to be reckoned with, but so is the Army and so am I.

Do you have to do anything different to be successful because you are so young?

All of the senior [personnel] in the office already have specific things [that] they know do and don't work for them. As for me, I'm still trying to sort out so many things so I have my own style of shooting — [my] approach to the [target] when I'm looking through the sights, workout habits, nutrition on and off the range, etc.
Also, I'm straight out of high school, so there were a lot of learning curves when I got here I had to work around — and still do. All first-time things. Buying a vehicle, insurance, getting my license, having my first job, time management, keeping military bearing in check, and the list goes on. Just trying to figure everything out, and thank God I've got the support system through family, friends and my team to help me navigate it all.

defense.gov

Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, the Fort Myers Beach area offers its own great beaches as well as being surrounded by barrier and coastal islands to explore. The Working Waterfront Tour is a must do when visiting Southwest Florida. The shrimp fleet of San Carlos Island offloads more Florida pinks than anywhere else in Florida, says a 1999 study by the University of Florida.

Pink Shrimp to Fort Myers Beach is like Alaska King Crab to Alaska. While you won't find Shrimp Boats in the Deadliest Catch you can get up close and personal to our local Shrimping Industry with the Ostego Bay Foundation Marine Science Center's Working Waterfront Three-Hour Guided Tour. Offered every Wednesday from 9 a.m. until noon, weather permitting beginning October 2nd.

The Ostego Bay Foundation has earned the 2019 Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence from the many accolades of the Working Waterfront Tour. The cost for the Tour is only $20.00 per adult and $10.00 for children over 6 years of age. You'll learn about Florida's "Pink Gold" the oldest and largest pink shrimp fishing fleet in Florida. The tour includes a 1 1/2 hour guided visit at the Marine Science Center Museum which contains numerous hands-on exhibits, touch tank, beach exhibit and estuarine aquariums.

The Tour continues with a walking tour of the commercial fishing industry working waterfront, including Erickson & Jensen Supply House, net shop and Trico Shrimp Boat loading dock. See how the boats are unloaded, the trawl doors are built, the shrimp nets are hand-sewn, the seafood is off-loaded, and other important factors used in this unique multi-million dollar industry; a memorable experience! Bring your camera.

Advance reservations are required, call 239-765-8101 for details or register online at http://www.ostegobay.org/waterfront-tours/.


Founded in 1991, the Ostego Bay Foundation Marine Science Center is a self-funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization.

The mission of the Ostego Bay Foundation, Inc. is to promote the understanding, preservation and enhancement of our unique marine environment through education, research and community involvement. The Foundation provides interactive educational experiences to encourage stewardship of our natural resources.

smiley face small with sunglasses1

Wednesday, 25 September 2019 21:14

No Time To Cry For Ailing Springs

 

 

 

Last Saturday, the Florida Springs Institute (FSI) and Kings of the Springs (KOTS) environmental non-profits came together to host a Springs Outing on the Chassahowitzka River in southern Citrus County. Chassahowitzka springs are christened with names like Seven Sisters, Crab Creek, Potter, the Crack, Betteejay, and more. The “Chaz”, as regulars and locals call it, is a little-known but locally popular hangout on hot summer days. With its rope swings, wildlife, and swim-through caves it’s no wonder this spring system has become such a beloved hangout spot, for locals and visitors alike.

Our group was led by Tom Morris, springs biologist and cave diver, featured in the PBS documentary series Water’s Journey, and by Tessa Skiles, daughter of the legendary Wes Skiles who conceived and produced the four Water’s Journey films and created dozens of other important educational resources about the caves and narrow passages that comprise the Floridan Aquifer and its springs. Tessa is the Outreach Director of the Florida Springs Institute and is a passionate outdoors woman and photo/videographer in her own right. She shares her father’s passion for protecting the aquifer, springs, and rivers of Florida. Brent Fannin and David Cobiella, founders of KOTS, and many of their supporters rounded out our group of close to 30 paddleboarders, kayakers, and canoeists.

Our group ranged in age from a 15-year old high school junior, through young professionals, and a few older folks approaching retirement. Most were new to the Chassahowitzka and witnessing their enthusiasm and passion was an invigorating experience for me. Their smiles, laughter, and physical prowess above, on, and under the water warmed my jaded heart.

Although I started the day bemoaning the sad condition of our beloved springs, I was re-infected by their deep passion for what is left to save and cherish. Where I was contemplating writing another springs opinion piece about what we have already lost, my spirits were uplifted and refocused on the unfinished job ahead.

Added to this heartwarming display of humanity’s best instincts, was a story relayed to me by one of the paddlers. This friend had recently been backpacking in the North Carolina Smokey Mountains, and on a remote mountain-top bald, was engaged by a group of Florida day hikers who commented on his Ichetucknee Springs Alliance hat. Queried by the strangers about the condition of the Ichetucknee and other Florida springs, my friend answered the group’s questions by describing the good and the bad. Their conversation eventually turned to the role of politics in springs protection, and one of the strangers identified himself as the former speaker of the Florida house and a Republican. This former legislator assured my friend that the current pro-business-at-any-cost Florida government would eventually come back around to supporting the irreplaceable jewels of our state - healthy springs, rivers, and estuaries.

My morning depression was in part due to a first-hand account I had received about Fanning and Manatee Springs. At Manatee Springs and Catfish Hotel, experienced divers found turbidity so extreme that visibility was reduced to less than six feet and the water emitting from the spring was described as “murky”. Compared to the crystalline clear blue, lushly vegetated Manatee Springs I have known in years past, this spring is best described as dying or dead.

At Fanning Springs, they found blue, clear water and a sandy bottom. Unlike the lost clarity at Manatee Springs, the high nitrate nitrogen levels polluting Fanning Springs are invisible.

Although Fanning has filamentous algae and has lost its former submerged aquatic plants, recent high rainfall has recharged local aquifer levels enough to create a higher flow of clear water.

My friends had Fanning Springs to themselves and thoroughly enjoyed their snorkeling experience in this equally-impaired water body.

Such was the case this past Saturday for our entourage who visited the Chaz. The various springs did not appear healthy, yet they continue to be a magnet for thousands of people who cherish time outdoors. My fellow springs hoppers and I took home memories we will share with our friends and cherish into the future. We all experienced the Real Florida® that we want to preserve for our kids and grandkids. I just hope that all springs visitors realize, as I do, that our responsibility as Florida citizens and thoughtful voters is to insure a bright future for our natural environment.

Robert Knight
Executive Director
of the Howard T. Odum
Florida Springs Institute
in High Springs.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019 21:10

Hemp Will Be A 2020 Cash Crop In Florida

The Florida Department of Agriculture expects to receive 8,000 applications by December and issue 3,000 cultivation permits early next year when the state rolls out its new industrial hemp program.

Some officials estimate the crop could eventually spawn a $30 billion annual industry in the Sunshine State but, as the Senate Agriculture Committee learned Tuesday, the rosy prospectus comes with thorns.

While 37 states have authorized industrial hemp programs in the two years since the crop was legalized under the federal 2018 Farm Bill, all await approval and guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Yet, according to HempBenchmarks.com, there are already more than 400,000 acres producing hemp in 34 states under the 2014 Farm Bill’s pilot program, outpacing processing capacity and market development. As a result, the new domestic commodity’s price has been falling since May.

Nevertheless, State Director of Cannabis Holly Bell told lawmakers, “homegrown” hemp will be a “several million dollar industry that will become hundreds of millions in the next two years.”
Bell said Colorado, Vermont, New York, Kentucky and Tennessee are among states that have given farmers the green light to grow hemp after submitting plans to the USDA months ago without any federal interference.

Florida will do as well in early 2020, Bell said, although she expects USDA guidance before year’s end.

“Everybody else is doing it,” she said. The USDA has “not intervened and stopped any state. By December, if everything goes well, our team is ready to issue permits.”

Bell, hired in February by Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried as the state’s first cannabis czar after helping Tennessee establish its hemp industry during two decades of developing marijuana industries, said Florida’s program will include a workforce component and an automated permit process.

Without the USDA’s approval of the state’s program, however, Agriculture Committee Chairman Sen. Ben Albritton, R-Bartow, a Central Florida farmer, said many farmers who may be interested in adding hemp to their crop mix, – like himself – will be hesitant to do so until the feds sign off.

Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, said hemp could be help the Panhandle recover from 2018’s Hurricane Michael.

In a February hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Senate Bill 1020 – the 2019 bill lawmakers approved to create the state’s hemp program – University of Florida North Florida Research & Education Center Director Glen Aiken recommended hemp and hops as alternative crops for Panhandle farmers recovering from October’s Category 5 storm.

Aiken said there is increasing demand for hemp, which can be used for high-quality fibers and ropes, clothing, even as food.

“I know of an entrepreneur in Kentucky that processes hemp sausage,” he said. “It’s hemp and pork combined. I had some. It’s not the best sausage I’ve ever ate, but it wasn’t too bad either.”

During Tuesday’s pre-session committee primer, agricultural scientists from the University of Florida and FAMU gave presentations of hemp’s prospects in the Sunshine State.

UF Director Dr. Robert Gilbert feared growers could “get ahead of the science” on hemp and said there will be an “emerging crops” summit sometime soon.

Creating a state industrial hemp program has been a priority for Fried since she assumed office in January after being the only Democrat elected to a statewide office in November.

“It’s going to cause an industrial revolution in our state and across the country,” she said in support of SB 1020, noting hemp has as many as 35,000 different uses and its market as a cash crop is only getting brighter as it is considered as a biodegradable replacement for Styrofoam, plastic and paper.

SB 1020, sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, was adopted by the House in a 112-1 vote and by the Senate in a 39-0 tally.

John Haughey
The Center Square

Wednesday, 25 September 2019 21:03

Op Ed: Never Forget... Really?

"This month, It's was 18th anniversary of 9/11, and every 9/11, someone says 'we will never forget.'

These words...... like the words “unicorn” or “free health care” or “Islamophobia,” are nonsense words: Words that describe things ..... that simply don't exist. 

We always forget; we have to forget. It's the way societies move forward, and it's the way they die, and these things have to be. It's God's will.

Here are some of the things we learned on 9/11 that we've forgotten:

Multiculturalism is crap.


There are better cultures, bad cultures, and even worse cultures.

Ours is better not because we're better people, but because we've inherited better ideas like individual freedom and equality before the law.

Those are better ideas than government by Allah, and dressing up women like the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come so they can't fully participate in life.

Better ideas make better cultures, and better cultures must be defended by both wisdom and force of arms — or worse cultures will conquer and destroy them.

On 9/11, we also remembered briefly that men must be men.

The policemen and firemen who charged into the burning buildings to try to save people were essential men, necessary men — men worthy of our honor and respect because they lived up to the responsibility of their manhood, which reminds us of another inescapable truth....

There is only one necessary task of human life, and that is to make and nurture more human life. This is a task that nature has assigned to women. It is in order to protect and preserve that task, and the women who do it, that men must be men. Brave, protective, supportive, and dispassionately wise.

When societies feel rich and safe and prosperous, they put such truths out of their minds and they turn to fluffy nonsense like “irony” or “pumpkin latte” or “redefining marriage” or letting boys dress up as girls or promising everybody everything for free.

The essential divide between conservatives and leftists is that conservatives want society to always live under the restraints of the essential truths.
Leftists want to take advantage of history's little holidays when some nation like ours becomes strong enough and rich enough to make everyone feel like it's safe to forget the rules and party.

There's some wisdom on both sides.


If your society is so powerful it can spare a few men to do inessential tasks like writing books or musical comedies, that's better than everyone having to man the front lines.
If you can allow some women to leave off baby-making and child-rearing, maybe some of them will enjoy doing something else more.

That's fine. It's tolerant and kind to accept gay relationships if you're living in inessential times, so why not do it.

But the gods of the copy-book headings, the gods of the essential truths, are always waiting to return with terror and slaughter as they did [on] this day 18 years ago.

And when you denounce motherhood or manhood, when you squander your resources and disrespect your traditions, those gods start sharpening their swords.

This is a very sad world, and one of the saddest things about this world is also one of the most comical: People lie.

Everyone lies, everyone lies to himself and to everyone else.

We say things that are absurd and ridiculous and then we insist that they're true.

People lie when they can, and only face the truth when they must.

On 9/11, we were forced to face the truth — a lot of truths — and now, by the necessity of human nature, we have forgotten.

We always do.

Enjoy your pumpkin Latte"

Andrew Klavan

Sunday, 22 September 2019 11:58

Benefits of Essential Oil

There are a growing number of people being turned on to the use of essential oils and fragrances as ways to improve their overall general health. There are number of specially products that target specific issues or offer other unique applications. It is important to note that even though these are all-natural products, you do not know what allergies you may or may not have, as well as how your skin might react to any particular topical treatments.

It is best to discuss it with your doctor immediately if you experience any adverse side effects. This is generally not an issue with inhalation methods, ingestion methods, or plants in the home. Here are five ways this increasingly popular form of therapy offers you benefits in your daily life:

Helps Reduce Muscle Pain
Eucalyptus oil helps to reduce inflammation in the muscles and relieve aches and pains. This couldn’t be more important than now in a time in which we are having one of the greatest man made epidemics ever with the opioid crisis. Now more than ever we need to find natural and earthy methods of managing pain symptoms rather than taking large amounts of pills.

Promotes a Sense of Calm and Relaxation
Lavender, sandalwood, bergamot, rose, and chamomile all have various properties that contribute to relaxation, reduced anxiety, calmness, and decreased stress. Of course, not all of them have to be used in conjunction. You may try a few and find that you prefer one or two particular kinds to the others.

Helps Improve Sleep and Overcome Insomnia
This is a huge benefit to anyone who struggles to fall asleep due to conditions such as insomnia or sleep anxiety. Several of those previous oils that aid in increasing calm and relaxation also help with sleep. This is especially true of lavender. Also, jasmine has been known to help carry its users off to dreamland as well.

Helps Increase Energy Levels
Peppermint has been shown to help people establish and maintain higher energy level for longer periods of time. This is a great alternative to energy drinks and coffee. And it truly does have a number of diverse applications due to its versatility. It smells wonderful when used as a topical oil, it’s pleasant when taken as in inhalant, and it tastes good in tea or water in an ingestible drops form. A side benefit is that it also aids in digestion.

Regardless of what individual or combination of these products you may decide to use, it is always important that you read and follow all safety suggestions and warnings. Also, be sure that you are using the right products for the right age groups. Children past toddlers, toddlers, six months to toddlers, and babies fewer than six months all very often have their own specific formulas and blends.

submitted by
Krista Harper

Saturday, 21 September 2019 08:25

Drive An Electric Car; Support Child Labor

If you're driving a battery powered car, enjoy the ride, but please......... don't act smug.

Acknowledge the child slaves who helped produce it. Think about the extraordinary volume of water used to mine metals for the car's energy. Think about the environmental toll the battery car imposes on Mother Earth.

When a politician says "Zero Emission Vehicle," referring to an electric car, consider the claim a bald-faced lie. Do not let it go unchallenged. Show up at e-car promotional events and ask them to stop advancing hazardous mining and human rights atrocities as clean and just. Don't be duped by the "green car" myth.

Colorado politicians out-"greening" each other are forcing a "Zero Emission Vehicle" car revolution few consumers want. This summer the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission adopted California's "Zero Emission Vehicle" standard without legislation or meaningful public process. It means electric cars must comprise 5% of all car dealer sales by 2023. We can expect more battery mandates-by-fiat as California enacts them.

In the latest push for electric cars, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment will partner this week with Denver city and county officials for an event titled "Pass Gas." Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday, politicians will encourage attendees to "Pass Gas" on Bannock Street, between 14th and Colfax avenues, by test-driving electric cars.

"Shrink your contribution to climate change and help improve the air we breathe by passing gas and driving electric," implores the Denver city/county website.

Anyone who follows this advice should know of a recent warning by Amnesty International, which called out the electric car industry for abuses of human rights and the environment.

"Amnesty International has documented serious human rights violations linked to the extraction of the minerals used in lithium-ion batteries," explained the organization in a written statement in March.

Amnesty found the worst violations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Americans pretending they can save the planet with a vehicular fashion statement is the last thing DRC residents need.

More than 70% of the Congolese people lack adequate access to food; 23% of children suffer malnutrition. Life expectancy is 48 years for men; 52 for women. Infant mortality ranks among the highest in the world. They would benefit from access to more fossil fuels -- energy products the American left hopes to eliminate.

To help phase out fossil fuel production, left-wing politicians want more batteries. The children of Africa and other underdeveloped regions get stuck with the trench work. Amnesty reports of finding "children and adults in southern DRC working in hand-dug cobalt mines facing serious health risks, neither protected by the government nor respected by companies that profit from their labor." Amnesty's research links the mines to "electric vehicle companies."

"With more than half of the world's cobalt originating in southern DRC, the chance that the batteries powering electric vehicles are tainted with child labor and other abuses is unacceptably high," Amnesty reports.

UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, discovered more than 40,000 kids working in battery-car mines in 2014 in the southern DRC alone. The number has likely climbed substantially in five years with the political propagation of "ZEV" cars.

Amnesty's concerns with battery cars don't stop with inhumane mining.

"Most of the current manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries is concentrated in China, South Korea and Japan, where electricity generation remains dependent on coal and other polluting sources of power," the organization reports. "...Meanwhile, rising demand for minerals like cobalt, manganese and lithium has led to a surge in interest in deep-sea mining, which studies predict will have serious and irreversible impacts on biodiversity."

The publication Engineering.com found identical concerns and more when it analyzed battery cars for a 2018 article titled "Will Your Electric Car Save the World or Wreck It?" The article explains the unsustainable and environmentally hazardous process of mining metals for battery cars, adding: "Even if the mining industry were ecologically sustainable, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have been known to explode and/or catch fire. Avoiding such incidents, the batteries are extremely difficult to recycle, often resulting in the disposal of a spent, but still toxic and flammable battery in your local landfill."

Though consumers use L-ion batteries in their mobile phones, those gadgets play a comparatively small role in the growing demand for child labor. To compare a cell phone to a battery car, Engineering.com explains, "is like comparing a matchstick to a bonfire." An iPhone weighs a few ounces; Tesla's Model S battery contains 26 pounds of lithium alone, not to mention the assortment of other elements extracted from mines.

The article explains how mining a ton of lithium requires 500,000 gallons of water, which gets tainted with chemicals. Battery car mining consumes up to 65% of the water in some regions, "diverting it from local food production."

"Residents near Chinese graphite mines have remarked on the sparkly nature of air particles, with the dust ultimately contaminating food and water supplies," Engineering.com explains. "In areas surrounding nickel mines, there have been increased rates of deformities and respiratory problems linked to pollution from nickel mining and smelting."

Meanwhile, gasoline and diesel cars support six-figure blue-collar wages for adults (only) working at safe, strictly regulated wellheads throughout Colorado and other parts of the United States. Battery cars move us away from that peaceful arrangement. They push us toward an industry of unregulated child labor and environmental degradation we don't have to look at.

"Pass Gas" with a battery car and appease a politician -- understanding the humanitarian and environmental footprint, which does not pass the smell test.

small smiley face with sunglasses1

 

 

Friday, 20 September 2019 21:37

PENIS STORY COLLAPSES IN FLACCID HEARSAY

	
If I can produce someone who saw John Roberts' penis in college, can we get the Obamacare opinion overturned?
As all MSNBC viewers are well aware, last Sunday's edition of The New York Times ran an excerpt of the book "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation," by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, which revives Debbie Ramirez's accusations against the Supreme Court nominee.
Quick reminder: This is NOT the Kavanaugh accuser with two front doors. It is NOT the Kavanaugh accuser whose own father warned that she had psychological problems.
This is the one who didn't remember what Kavanaugh did to her for more than 30 years, until a few lefty friends helpfully reminded her that they'd heard something about it from a guy, who heard it from a guy, whereupon she spent six days "assessing her memories" during the nomination hearings -- and darned if it didn't all come back to her!
What the guy who heard it from a guy heard was that, at a drunken party in a freshman dorm, Kavanaugh unzipped his pants and stuck his penis in Ramirez's face.
Contrary to Pogrebin and Kelly's claim that "at least" seven people "heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge," this vast array of witnesses includes only one person whose secondhand, rumor-mill story includes both Kavanaugh and Ramirez: Kenneth Appold. (All we know about Appold is that he is a professor at the Princeton Theological Seminary, meaning that he is less likely to believe in God than any person not a professor at the Princeton Theological Seminary.)
The guy Appold claims he heard it from doesn't remember it.
]Are you following how absurd this is?
This is not merely hearsay; it's double hearsay offered by only one person, and he wasn't there, but he heard about it from another person, who denies knowledge of it. And the corpus delecti is something that happened with a group of drunk teenagers 35 years ago.
The main point made by the excerpt is to remind us that truth means nothing to liberals.
Here's the book's big new scoop:
"We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez's allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student."
This story was on the Times' website for more than 24 hours when -- at close to midnight on Sunday -- the paper issued an "Editors' Note" admitting that the victim does not remember it.
I'm not even going to mention that Stier was a lawyer for Bill Clinton, defending him for whipping it out in front of Paula Jones, as governor of Arkansas. Obviously, that's not as serious as doing it as a college freshman.
But could some good reporter -- which excludes anyone in the mainstream media -- look into Stier's undergraduate years? Any embarrassing incidents when he was a freshman? Any rumors or third-hand accounts? While we're at it, can we get Stier's tax returns for the last 30 years? Where's Chuck Johnson when we need him?
Let's consider just the physics of Stier's story.
How can anyone, let alone two or more people, "push" a man's penis into another person's hand? Just how big is Brett Kavanaugh's penis, anyway? Wouldn't a man's penis, if it were able to be "pushed" by one's friends into third parties, need to be erect and at least 3 feet long? Don't push my penis, bro!
The best part of the Times excerpt is the Women's Temperance League tone of the piece.
"(Ramirez's Yale classmates) also had experience with drinking and sexual behavior that Ms. Ramirez -- who had not intended to be intimate with a man until her wedding night -- lacked. ... 'I had gone through high school, I'm the good girl, and now, in one evening, it was all ripped away,' she said in an interview. ..."
If someone from Bob Jones University said that her dreams of marital purity were "ripped away" because she saw a man's penis in college, liberals would never stop laughing."(Kavanaugh) was ... known to attend an annual teenage bacchanal called 'Beach Week,' where the hookups and drinking were more important than the sand and swimming."
It wasn't much of a "beach party" -- if you want to call it that. Instead of wholesome fun, the young people consumed alcoholic beverages and engaged in inappropriate flirting. Everyone said it was inappropriate -- not just us.
Most shocking, from a "Little House on the Prairie" perspective, was this:
"People ... would start to say 'Debbie does ...' playing on the 1978 porn movie 'Debbie Does Dallas.' But Ms. Ramirez didn't understand the reference."
Remind me: Aren't these the same people demanding that we teach kindergartners about "fisting"?
But the "Debbie Does Defamation" authors weren't finished. "(Kavanaugh) came of age during the era of 'Porky's' and 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High.'"
Ha! What do you say, NOW, Trumpsters?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg "came of age during the era of" the Bay of Pigs and the Vietnam War. Can we impeach her?
I'm beginning to suspect that, instead of writing the book, Pogrebin and Kelly screwed around for six months, then pulled an all-nighter the day before it was due. Also, "American Pie" was big!
But half the Democratic candidates for president are demanding Kavanaugh's impeachment on the basis of this sublime idiocy. Trump touched their SCOTUS!
Ann Coulter smallANN COULTER