- Tuesday, 21 May 2019
- Written by PITT DICKEY
I have to admit it. Bob Mueller’s report missed the biggest Russian spy in the 2016 election. How can you miss a 3,500-pound, 18-foot-long Commie Olympicclass swimmer? This Russian spy is the size of the SUV that Tony Soprano used to drive before his unfortunate last meal as James Gandolfini in Rome.
For once, I have to admit that Dear Leader President Trump’s followers are right. The fix from Hillary and Obama was in. Mueller ignored Hillary’s closest confidant, the James Bond of the Seven Seas, Hvaldimir the Beluga whale. Nothing in Mueller’s report mentions spying on Dear Leader’s campaign by Hvaldimir. The lid of the Democratic cover-up is blown all the way to the Arctic Circle. Hvaldimir now is the most famous Russian spy since Col. Rosa Kleb defected from SMERSH to join SPECTRE in the second James Bond Movie, “From Russia With Love.”
Unless you were living under a rock, you will have seen the news about Hvaldimir the Beluga whale who worked in the Russian Secret Undersea Special Forces. For those of you who may have had some sedimentary rock overhead, here is a brief update on the fascinating story Hvaldimir.
Last month, the Hvaldimir was the Beluga spy who came out of the cold. Hvald, as his friends call him, defected to the West in the icy waters of Norway near the island of Rolvosoya. Despite Russian brainwashing attempts, Hvald remained a friendly guy. He will come up to mere humans when called by Norwegians.
Unlike most Beluga whales, Hvald was not skinny dipping. He was wearing a leather harness on which were written the fateful words “Equipment — Saint Petersburg.” It is pretty obvious Hvlad was not from St. Petersburg, Florida, as he squeaked in Russian and not in Spanish. This narrowed his origin down to Commie Land. Observers were quick to point out that his harness was well-suited for mounting a camera or a weapon. Putting two rubles and two rubles together, it quickly became obvious the Commies had rigged Hvald up to be a spy.
The Russkies have an animal re-education facility at Murmansk where they have publicly bragged of teaching sea lions, Beluga whales and seals to do undercover, underwater spying and worse. Clearly, Hvlad was a graduate of the Murmansk Academy of Aquatic Mammals as he is well-trained and can do tricks on command.
The cover story leaked by the Commies was that Hvald served as a pet and escaped from a therapeutic center for underprivileged Russian children. This explanation sounds suspiciously phony — like the cover story that the secret meeting in Trump Tower between Don Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and some Commies was actually about Russian adoptions and not to gather dirt on Hillary.
In reality, the MAAM project is much more like the SPECTRE training camp where Grant, James Bond’s nemesis in “From Russia with Love,” is chosen by Col. Kleb to assassinate Bond. Nothing good happens in Russian training camps for either Beluga whales or would-be assassins.
Not every aquatic animal can be a graduate of MAAM. Only the strong survive and graduate. Consider poor Charlie the Tuna who was a MAAM school dropout after first being rejected by StarKist tuna.
You might remember Charlie in his TV commercials. Charlie desperately wanted to be a StarKist tuna. He was so anxious to be in a StarKist tuna can that he wore a beret and fake glasses to look like a beatnik so StarKist would think he had “good taste.” Charlie would get a rejection note saying “Sorry Charlie” from StarKist on a fishhook. The voiceover would attempt to ease Charlie’s rejection blues by telling him: “Sorry Charlie, StarKist is not looking for tuna with good taste, but rather for tuna that tastes good.” Charlie was a good sport about the whole rejection thing and ended his commercials by telling people to go out and buy StarKist tuna and “Tell ’em Charlie sent you.”
The news has been suspiciously quiet about what has happened to Hvald since his discovery as a former Russian spy. For your eyes only: Has he been arrested? Traded for Bill Clinton? Sent to the gulag of Sea World? Shredded into StarKist Beluga cans? Like the Kingston Trio’s famous song about Charlie on the Metropolitan Transit Authority, his fate is still unknown. He may swim forever neath the seas of Norway. He’s the Beluga who never returned.
So, what, if anything, have we learned today? As usual, not much. Five minutes of your life wasted. But here is a podiatry self-defense tip. If you are ever in the same room with Col. Rosa Kleb and she tries to kick you with her poisoned switchblade shoe, pick up a chair like a lion tamer and keep her away from your shins. If you can avoid her kick, remember you only live twice.
- Monday, 13 May 2019
- Written by KARL MERRITT
On a rather frequent basis, I get to spend time with and engage in conversation with a wonderful group of Christian men. Topics addressed in our discussions run the spectrum from matters of our faith to those of politics and society. Part of my attraction to, and appreciation for, this group is that the tenants of our faith run throughout and provide foundation for whatever the topic might be. That is the case even when we get into what might be considered trivia.
In fact, during a recent gathering, we spent substantial time and energy exploring a question that was put on the table under the “trivia” heading. One gentleman asked how the date for Easter is determined. When none of us could give the precise answer, he reported having read that Easter is held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. That report led us to research “vernal equinox.” After this discussion had gone on for a while, somebody piped up and said, “When I want to know the date for Easter, I just look at the calendar.” We all laughed and went on to other topics.
That “look at the calendar” statement stuck with me. It points to a great truth. That is, deciding how to address some matters does not require all the discussion, all of the back-and-forth, that we invest in deciding on a course of action. There is a rather straight line to the answer, to what should be done. I hold that this is the case with deciding whether there should be a citizenship question on the 2020 census.
The situation referred to here came about when Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross approved a question on citizenship for the 2020 Census. The following segments from an article by Peter Ciurczak provide an overview regarding the contentious debate resulting from Ross’ action. The article is titled “Citizenship and the census, in context.”
It reads, “In late 2017, the Department of Justice (DOJ) under Attorney General Jeff Sessions requested that the Census Bureau, which is overseen by the Commerce Department, incorporate into the 2020 census a question on citizenship status. The DOJ argued that the more granular data allowed by the census would be useful in enforcement of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination against any citizen’s voting rights on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group.
“A number of previous census directors have written to Ross opposing the addition of a citizenship question, while 14 states led by California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra are suing the Trump administration over the inclusion of the question. The Attorneys General charge that introducing a question of citizenship goes against the constitutional requirement to “count each person in our country – whether citizen or noncitizen – ‘once, only once, and in the right place.’”
Seeing that the issue of a census citizenship question does not require all the back-and-forth it is receiving might start with an examination of the claim in the final sentence above. That is, the argument by a group of attorneys general that the Constitution requires counting of each person in our country. As best as I can determine, they take this position based on a part of Article I, sec. 2, clause 3, of the U.S. Constitution. It says:
“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”
Looking above, the crux of the argument from the attorneys general hinges on “…of all other Persons.” From Yahoo Questions, consider the following analysis of that argument in a post titled “What does ‘three fifth’s of all other persons’ mean in the Constitution?”
“It was a compromise between states that supported slavery and those that didn’t when it came to how representatives would be assigned to states and to how taxes would be distributed to the states. Those states which didn’t support slavery only wanted to count the free inhabitants of each state — meaning those states without slavery would receive a greater proportion of representation. Those states which supported slavery wanted all the states inhabitants to count — free or not, which would have given those states more representation. The biggest part, however, was that since slaves could not vote, states with slaves (in particular the slaveholders themselves) would have greater representation in house of representatives and in the electoral college.”
The first takeaway from this quote is that “all other Persons” refers to slaves. By no means does this phrase require counting every person in the country, including any who might have been here illegally. Interestingly, Native Americans were not to be counted. That was an exception. For me, this analysis destroys the prime argument being put forth by the attorneys general. There is an exception for one group and “all other Persons” refers to slaves, not everybody. This is a “look at the calendar” moment.
The second point that demands attention is the motivation of the attorneys general — especially California’s because of its large illegal migrant population. That motivation is similar to those that were at play concerning slaves. This is about increasing the number of persons counted in the census so that states get a larger number of representatives in the House of Representatives. The census count also determines the number of electoral votes allocated to each state. Consequently, in the pursuit of power to influence governmental decisions, counting illegal migrants definitely helps.
Beyond representatives and electoral votes, this push to count illegal migrants is about money going from the federal government to states. An article titled “Debunking the Myths about the Citizenship Question on the 2020 Census Form” includes this statement: “Census data also influence the allocation of more than $800 billion in federal government resources to states, localities, and families every year, such as for health care, education, housing, transportation, rural access to broadband, and other services.” This is further reason for states to push counting of illegal immigrants.
Another argument opposing the citizenship question is that there will be an undercount because some individuals will be reluctant to answer the citizenship question. Given what has been addressed to this point, it seems obvious that we should not be counting those who will not answer because they are in the country illegally. That being the case, why be concerned? Again, this is a “look at the calendar” issue.
It troubles and amazes me that, in this illegal immigration battle, the impact on American citizens seems to get little or no consideration. This is reflected in the tremendous emphasis on illegal migrants, while little or no attention is given to consequences such as what is reported by George J. Borjas. The following is from his article titled “Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers”:
“Both low- and high-skilled natives are affected by the influx of immigrants. But because a disproportionate percentage of immigrants have few skills, it is low-skilled American workers, including many blacks and Hispanics, who have suffered most from this wage dip. The monetary loss is sizable. The typical high school dropout earns about $25,000 annually. According to census data, immigrants admitted in the past two decades lacking a high school diploma have increased the size of the low-skilled workforce by roughly 25%. As a result, the earnings of this particularly vulnerable group dropped by between $800 and $1,500 each year.
Given all that is presented here, and similarly compelling considerations not even addressed, I cannot make sense of the back-and-forth regarding having a citizenship question on the 2020 census. This is a “look at the calendar” matter.