Corona Bologna

Here I sit. It’s day something or other of the Corona Derangement Syndrome Democratic Party shutdown of the formerly free nation called the United States of America. I’ve not ventured away from my home since March 18 when I had an appointment at my local VA clinic. In fact, I had two appointments that week, one at the Houston VA Hospital and the other at the clinic the next day. They weren’t appointments I made because I am sick, but rather were appointments related to my diabetes that had been previously scheduled to monitor my condition. (I’m doing very well, thank you.) A few days later the Democrats who run Houston announced stay-at-home orders and the immigrant judge – he’s Indian – who runs my county followed suit. Since that time I’ve been spending most of my time in my Lazy Boy either working on a novel, checking out certain web sites for information on the virus or watching meaningless streaming movies and series on our widescreen TV. My wife has been busying herself upstairs making masks to send to friends. By the way, I did not see very many people at all wearing masks at my appointments, including the young resident neurologist I saw at the main hospital or the nurse practitioner I saw at the clinic the following day. They were screening everyone, by taking temperatures and asking questions. The clinic required patients to fill out a questionnaire while the hospital only asked questions. Since that time I have been at home while my wife has been making runs to the grocery store every few days.

With so much idle time, I’ve been following the reports on the virus daily. When I say “reports,” I mean the official reports put out by state agencies and the Center for Disease Control, not the media. At first, I checked three university web sites – Johns Hopkins, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington – until I realized they are getting their information largely from the media rather than the official sources that actually keep records, specifically the CDC. At first I followed the World Health Organization, but I came to realize that their numbers are behind actual reports and may be biased toward certain countries, specifically China. I compared the data shown on the various university sites with the information reported by certain individual state health departments and discovered that the universities, particularly Johns Hopkins, were reporting cases far in excess of the actual numbers recorded by the states. I have since learned that their models use information from the media and often count the same case multiple times. So, I quit using them and confined my interest to mostly official sources.

At first, my wife and I watched the daily Coronavirus Task Force press briefings. At the time, Sling was carrying Fox News, the only network that was carrying the briefings in their entirety. Then Sling dropped Fox and there were no other outlets carrying the entire briefing. Now, the first time I saw Dr.  Anthony Fauci, I told my wife that I don’t trust him. He was making some kind of pronouncement that the United States would have millions of cases and as many as a million deaths. He reminded me of Dr. Neal Frank, the former head of the National Hurricane Center, who spread panic in the Houston area when Hurricane Rita was coming in as a CAT 5 by talking about all the damage CAT 5 winds could do to houses some 50 miles inland without pointing out that such winds NEVER occur that far inland. A chart on the site for the organization he founded showed how winds decrease by 50 knots IMMEDIATELY upon reaching shore and continue to decrease as the storm center moves further inland. (Panic spread through Houston and people got on the roads who should have stayed home. The end result was more deaths from heat stroke than from the storm itself.) Then when word got out that the CDC was directing medical personnel to count every death of a person who showed evidence of having the virus as being caused by the virus, Fauci brushed it off, claiming that there are always conspiracists who see conspiracy in everything. Actually, the CDC DOES instruct medical personnel to count deaths of anyone who might have the virus as caused by it, even if the actual cause of death was heart attack or some other disease such as cancer or severe diabetes. Hospitals are paid additional funds for every patient admitted with COVID-19, $13,000 and $39,000 if they are put on a ventilator. Incidentally, the United States and the UK are the only countries counting “deaths in the wider community” as caused by the virus.

As it turns out, Fauci is a bureaucrat, as is Deborah Birx, his female sidekick. Fauci went into the Public Health Service in the 1960s as a means of dodging the military draft and avoiding military service in Vietnam. At the time, doctors were required to serve in the military. The Public Health Service provided another option. Fauci chose that avenue and eventually found a home with the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, which he has headed since 1984. In short, Fauci is a bureaucrat, and an old one at that. At almost eighty years old, Fauci is an old man – he’s five years older than me and I’m an old man. He should have retired at least a decade ago. Granted, he has valuable experience from working with various epidemics but he’s also at an age where people start having memory and other mental issues. Birx is Fauci’s protégé. Although an Army officer, she was detailed to the National Institutes of Health and was under his supervision. She went back to the Army at Walter Reed Hospital where she directed the Army’s HIV program. Even though she was still in the Army, she went to work for the CDC in 2008. She retired from the Army as a full colonel but remained with the CDC in their HIV program. Barack Obama nominated her to be Ambassador at Large and US Global AIDS coordinator (which gives a hint of her political leanings.) Fauci and Birx are being hailed as “experts” on COVID-19, but in reality, they’re not. Fauci has experience with other infectious diseases, including HIV, but the virus is new and no one is really an expert. Birx’s expertise is with HIV (AIDS), which is spread by physical contact, specifically anal intercourse and the use of dirty needles by drug addicts. It originated in Africa where it was transmitted into the human population from monkeys, then was spread primarily by homosexuals. I remember an article in People magazine about a Canadian flight attendant (male) who caught the disease in Africa then spread it through more than a thousand homosexual encounters. Birx was appointed to the Coronavirus Task Force, a special organization set up in the State Department in late January. It was initially headed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alax Asar. Fuci was also appointed to the task force, along with a number of others from the White House cabinet and staff, including the head of the CDC. The task force doesn’t seem to have done much until Vice President Mike Pence was appointed to head it. Birx was added the same day. Her role is response coordinator.

There is considerable controversy over the origin of the virus. Chinese state doctors claim it started in a fish market in Wuhan, and that it came from Horseshoe bats and jumped from them to Civets, a catlike creature found in Asia, then to humans, although how it was supposed to have spread is unclear. Some Chinese are known to eat both bats and Civets. However, earlier in the year an article appeared in a Chinese journal reporting that the disease actually originated in a lab in Wuhan, and that it jumped from there. One report is that a young female intern contracted the virus then gave it to her boyfriend. US intelligence agencies have found evidence that the virus came from a lab “by accident.” However, a former high-ranking US Army officer/biochemist who was involved in germ warfare experiments believes it could very well have originated at the US Army biological warfare lab at Ft. Detrick, Maryland and was then spread to China deliberately by US Army personnel who competed in the 2019 Military World Games, which were held in Wuhan this past October.  (This is not beyond the realm of possibility – the games were held at the end of October and the virus first appeared in Wuhan in November.) Although I’ve not seen anything about it myself, the Chinese are alleged to have claimed that the virus could not be spread by human to human contact initially. Incidentally, a number of American institutions and universities were involved with that lab, including Fauci’s organization, which contributed several million (taxpayer) dollars to the lab.

Although the term “coronavirus” has become practically universal to describe the virus, it is actually a misnomer because there are numerous coronaviruses, so termed because of the crown-like protrusions found on the cells. Coronaviruses are believed to date back into early human history although they weren’t discovered until 1960. Actually, the common cold is now believed to be caused by a coronavirus. In fact, the symptoms for COVID-19 are basically the same as a cold. Researchers claim the virus is so mild in most people they don’t even know they have it. The media focuses on the severe cases, particularly those that cause death. As of right now, the official count (not the ones shown in the media) is 1.19 million cases and 70,802 deaths in the United States. That works out to a death rate of just under 6%. However, some 8,000 Americans die EVERY DAY, which means there have been some 450,000 deaths in the US in the past two months. Only about 15% of reported deaths in the past two months are due to the virus, and that may be a misnomer due to the way deaths are counted. As case counts began rising, primarily due to the infestation in New York City, the Centers for Disease control sent out instructions for doctors and coroners to fill out death certificates. They were instructed to attribute ALL deaths where COVID-19 was suspected to the virus, regardless of the actual cause of death. Now, the vast majority of deaths are among people 65 years old and older, many of whom were suffering from some kind of illness – cancer, heart problems, diabetes in particular, as well as severe morbid obesity. Those problems all can lead to other problems. For example, a person with cancer dies often of pneumonia or organ failure due to the cancer reaching the brain. Instead of attributing those deaths to the particular illness, those deaths are being attributed to COVID-19 EVEN THOUGH THE VIRUS WAS NOT THE CAUSE OF DEATH!!! The alleged “first death” in the United States has been attributed to an infection in a woman’s heart that caused a valve to fail. The infection is believed to have been caused by the virus. As it so happens, my 29-year old nephew was deathly ill this past summer due to infection – doctors call it “vegetation” – in a heart valve. (He recovered.) Maybe the woman’s infection was caused by the virus, but then again, maybe not. I have seen reports of a case where a man who died of a drug overdose was reported as a COVID-19 death because he had tested positive for the virus.

I am not being impacted financially by the virus because my income comes from retirement and disability payments. But there are millions of Americans who are, and they are the people who can least afford the loss of a paycheck. I live in a county just outside of Houston – we’re within the Houston metro area. As of right now, we have 1,332 reported cases (meaning they tested positive on a test) and there have been 32 deaths. The population of the county is some 800,000 (probably closer to 900,000 now.) Less than TWO HUNDREDTHS of the population have been diagnosed with the illness! And only .00375% of the population have died! The numbers are even lower for Houston/Harris county although there are more cases and more deaths. And the country was shut down for this!!! The media keeps talking about working from home, which they can do, but how about the cooks, waiters and waitresses, sales clerks, laborers, factory workers, etc. and etc. who are no longer drawing a paycheck? They have no money to buy food, to pay rent, for medical care or what have you. In short, it’s a DAMN TRAVESTY! The blame for this can be laid at Fauci’s feet – he’s the one who insisted on “social distancing” and shelter in place.

Then there is the media piling on Donald Trump. A week or so ago, the head of the science and technology department at the Department of Homeland Security gave a briefing on the findings of tests that showed that temperature, humidity and sunlight kill the virus. (These tests proved findings made previously.) They also showed the effect of bleach and Isopropyl alcohol on the virus – they destroy it. These were important revelations, but the media focused on a couple of offhand comments, questions actually, that Trump made at the conclusion of the briefing. One pertained to the possibility of directing UV light into the lungs and the other to the injection of bleach or other disinfectants into the bloodstream to treat the virus. Now, it so happens that a publically-held company had just announced that they were working with Cedars of Sinai hospital in Los Angeles to develop a means of directing UV light to the lungs. Then, You Tube pulled the company’s video (apparently because it confirmed what President Trump had said.) The president implied in his comment that there is ongoing research on the possibility of injecting compounds to kill the virus. There was all kind of hue and cry about how anyone could inject poisons into a person. Apparently, those who were spouting off don’t know what chemo or many vaccines are. The fact is that poisonous substances are used to treat diseases and parasites in humans as well as animals. Earlier this year, we had to have one of our dogs treated for heartworms. The treatment? How about three injections of CYANIDE! The media – and Speaker of the House Pelosi – claimed that Trump had suggested INGESTING disinfectants. The issue was amplified when the makers of Lysol put out a disclaimer advising people not to ingest their products. That, folks, is FAKE NEWS! Before that, there was the media controversy over the use of Chloroquine the derivative Hydroxychloroquine to treat patients with the virus and perhaps prevent it. Now. Chloroquine is not a new drug. It actually dates back to the 1930s when it was developed as an alternative to Atabrine, the common malaria preventive. I took both of them when I served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War with no ill effects. To hear the media tell it, the drug is dangerous and should not be used when it is actually a common drug used for numerous things, including treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. The media went wild when President Trump advocated it’s use to treat COVID-19 patients (and some medical personnel spoke out against the method while others praised it.)[1]  Granted, the president’s briefings were often tedious and boring. I got so damn tired of hearing the word “respirator”! As it turns out, the use of respirators on COVID-19 patients is practically an act of futility. Most patients who are placed on ventilators – which are actually life support machines – are already too far gone for the ventilator to do much good. I have seen articles stating that nine out of ten of patients on ventilators die.

Soon after I started paying attention to the data, I noticed something. The areas where the most cases were being recorded were in the same general climate. They were nearly all north of the 30th Parallel and south of the 50th Parallel. Northern Italy, where the virus first went wild, is at 45N. New York City, the one area of the world with the most cases and a large chunk of the more than 75,000 deaths recorded in the United States is at 41N. In fact, roughly half of the deaths in the United States are in the area in and around New York City and those that aren’t are mostly between 40N and 45N. Wuhan, China where the virus allegedly began, is at 31N – and much of China as well as India and Southeast Asia is south of 30N. Lower parallel numbers mean closer to the equator, which means warmer temperatures and warmer temperatures kills the virus and reduce spread. That’s why China has less than 90,000 cases and less than 5,000 deaths while the United States has over a million cases and over 75,000 deaths, most of which are well north of 30N. It’s why Vietnam has only 271 confirmed cases and 0 deaths and Thailand has 2,988 cases and 54 deaths while Cambodia has 122 cases and 0 deaths and Laos has 19 cases and 0 deaths. In the United States, some 50,000 of the 71,000 deaths have occurred in eight states generally along the 40N parallel. Much of California is along this line – San Francisco is at 38N. Almost 800,000 of the some 1.2 million reported cases in the US are also in those eight states. Those numbers should tell us something. The state with the highest number of deaths outside of those eight states is Louisiana, which had a high number of cases and deaths soon after the Mardi Gras celebration, but which has since settled into a much lower rate of increase.

The media is hailing New York Governor Mario Cuomo as a hero because of his “handling of the crisis” but the facts are that New York alone has more cases than ANY country and almost as many deaths! How is that “handling the crisis?” If you look at a map of the cases in the United States, you’ll see a massive blob centered on New York City with smaller pinpoints elsewhere in the country with circles around large population centers like Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas (metro area) and Houston. More than half of all cases are in and around New York City along with most of the deaths, yet Cuomo is supposed to be some kind of hero?!! The man mishandled everything, along with his fellow Democrat, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio. Granted, New York City has a unique situation in that JFK Airport is one of the major aerial ports for international travel. The area also has a large population of immigrants from around the world, including large numbers of Chinese, many of whom returned to China for the annual Chinese New Year Celebration then came back to the United States. Although the first reported case of the virus was a Jewish health worker who had been to Italy, the virus quickly spread among the Chinese population in Queens, which is perhaps the hardest hit area in the United States. The city itself is an incubator for communicable disease. People live in multistory buildings, the brownstones so often shown in movies, and use community elevators and stairways, places where germs and viruses are prevalent. Cuomo did literally NOTHING to prevent the spread of the disease until the WHO came out with the social distancing recommendation. He complained when neighboring states became alarmed about infected New Yorkers fleeing into their states and spreading the disease when he should have restricted travel within the infected area and, particularly, out of the city. He is on television every day and spends most of his time whining about Federal aid. He was the one who kept whining about the lack of ventilators, a lack that never materialized. Those who praise Cuomo are misguided.

Then there are the mayors and county judges, many of whom are Democrats. Back in late February, Mayor Sylvester Turner, the mayor of Houston, and his stooge, Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo, put out an order shutting down the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which had already started. There were already thirteen reported cases of the virus in the Houston area, eight in Fort Bend County and five in Houston. They were all passengers on a Nile River cruise somehow connected to Rice University that turned out to be a source of infection. Turner and Hidalgo, who is a Colombian immigrant by the way, decided to shut down the show and ordered the participants and vendors to disperse. Theirs were the first such actions in the nation. Soon professional sports organizations were canceling games and others were taking drastic actions. Turner and Hidalgo claimed they were taking the action they did because a case had emerged in Montgomery County, the county just north of Harris, and the patient had no history of international travel or KNOWN contact with anyone who had. The patient had visited the livestock show and rodeo barbecue cookoff a few days before. Since that time, Hidalgo, in particular, has taken one drastic action after another, including putting out an order requiring that anyone who ventures out of their home must wear a face mask.

Now, the issue of masks has been confusing. Thanks to the media, people have the idea that wearing a mask will protect them. Actually, it won’t. Medical professionals know, or should, that the reason for masks and medical gowns in operating rooms is TO PROTECT THE PATIENT! They are to protect against particles dropping into open wounds and/or mouths and causing infection. The CDC’s recommendation for wearing cloth masks is that they might possibly prevent the spread of the molecules that cause the virus by people who have it and don’t know it, which raises another question. Just what is the basis for the claim that perhaps millions of people have or have had the virus and not known it? Diseases are diagnosed based on symptoms and tests. If a person hasn’t seen a doctor, there’s no way to know if they might have had a disease. As for tests, only a small fraction of the American public will EVER be tested for COVID-19 barring the establishment of totalitarian government. Masks DO NOT prevent the spread of viruses, by the way. The molecules that cause COVID-19 are 1/1000ths the width of a human hair. Get that? A thousand of the molecules can sit next to each other across the top of a single hair. There is no cloth (or paper) known to man that can prevent those molecules from penetrating it in the event of a sneeze or even a cough or speech. Any substance capable of preventing penetration by COVID-19 molecules would also prevent breathing. Making masks – as my wife does – may be good therapy but the masks are not going to protect those who wear them from the virus and it’s doubtful they’ll protect others.

Ever since word of the Chinese virus reached the United States, the media and politicians have been hyping it. “WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!” was the cry. Politicians, including in the White House, were predicting millions of deaths. In reality, the proportion of deaths to the population is small, only .338 per 1,000 population. All deaths per 1,000 in the US average 8.8. Reported COVID-19 deaths are therefore only a tiny fraction of the number of deaths from all causes, and this doesn’t take into consideration that many, perhaps most, of the deaths attributed to the virus were actually due to other causes. Yet even though the number of deaths attributed to the virus is tiny in relation to all deaths that can be expected in the United States, the media acts like every death is a new story, and that it means the virus is somehow “winning,” although how an inanimate molecule can win anything is beyond me. The fact is that COVID-19 is merely another respiratory system disease, a virus, that is mild in most people but can be severe and even deadly in some instances. It is NOT another Yellow Fever or Cholera or even SARS, which killed almost 10% of those affected. By comparison, COVID-19 has only killed some 6.8% of those affected worldwide. Some 5.92% of those reported with the virus in the US have died. (The actual death rate is unknown because only certain categories of people have been diagnosed or tested in large numbers.)

Most Americans get their information from the media, which claims to be the great purveyors of truth. Members of the media like to proclaim that they are the main subjects of the First Amendment to the Constitution which actually addressed the rights of the individual. In reality, where the term “the press” is used in the First Amendment, it refers to the printing press, not to newspapers per se. The First Amendment guarantees free speech, or at least it’s suppose too. Speech is actually an expression of thought, as is the written word. “The press” is a means of distributing the written word whether in a pamphlet, a book, a letter or a sign on a post or wall. The media is actually commercialization of the press. The main goal of the media is to make money, lots of it. They make money both by subscriptions and sales and through advertising revenue. The media also is a means of spreading propaganda. The first newspapers were actually pamphlets and were political. Various political organizations throughout history have had their own pamphleteers. Some passed as newspapers. The broadcast media followed suit. Today what we get from newspapers as well as radio and television – and the internet – is propaganda with a particular political agenda. Since November 8, 2016, that agenda has been to get Donald Trump out of office. The New York Times has gone so far as to state that their goal is to spread adverse information about Trump. CNN has also been open about their intent to embarrass the president at every turn. Consequently, print and broadcast commercial media has been hyping the COVID-19 pandemic with the intention of somehow attributing it to Trump. Never mind that it is Andrew Cuomo and Bill De Blasio who allowed things to get out of hand in New York, where all of the broadcast stations and the New York Times are based. They are out of touch with the rest of the nation, and function under the belief that everything that applies to New York City, specifically Manhattan, applies to the rest of the nation as well. They can’t seem to grasp that COVID-19 is only prevalent in New York, specially in New York City and Northern New Jersey. The rest of the country has cases concentrated here and there. Their stories are written for a New York audience. Each day they talk about how the virus is increasing in other states, particularly in rural areas, somehow implying that such increases – which are actually the result of increased testing – somehow take the pressure off of them. They push social distancing and wearing of masks on the entire country without recognizing that it’s not needed in much of the country.

Speaking of “social distancing,” there’s no concrete proof that it’s had any effect on the spread of the virus. When it was first implemented, there were very few cases in the Houston area where I live. Now there are some 10,000, give or take a few. (Fortunately, the number of deaths is very low, about 3%.) Social distancing was declared by the World Health Organization on March 11 and the media and politicians immediately embraced it. At the time, there had been nine cases reported in the county where I live, eight of them passengers on the Nile cruise that was responsible for the first thirteen cases in the Houston area as well in certain other states. By March 19, the numbers had risen to 24, then it dropped to 19 before rising to 24 again. By March 29, the day before the county began testing, there were 119 cases (testing had begun in adjacent Harris County a week or so before, and residents of other counties were allowed to test.) Since that time, the number of reported cases has continued to climb until there are 1332 reported cases in the county, with 204 in my zip code – Harris County has over 7,000 reported cases although only some 4,000 are reported as active (Fort Bend County doesn’t show active cases.) Obviously, social distancing and shelter-in-place have had only limited effect, if any, on the spread of the disease. Proponents of the measures would say that there would have been more without it but that is merely speculation. No one knows or can know. As many know, the country of Sweden has not implemented social distancing and shelter in place and their rate of cases per million population is no greater than in countries that have, and much lower than many, including the United States.

   While the media has been most prolific in throwing out bullshit, Donald Trump has done more than his share as well. He kept claiming that if he hadn’t taken drastic action, “millions” of Americans would die. He said repeatedly that he had been advised to “do nothing” but he’d taken drastic action instead and saved countless lives. (My personal opinion is that doing no more than restricting travel into the United States was the best course of action.) He based that claim on what he had been told by Fauci and Birx, who got their information from modeling that was based on faulty information. Bear in mind that models are only as accurate as the numbers fed into them. If one number is off, the entire model is off. He also kept claiming the virus is the worst since 1918. It’s not – the Asian Flu epidemic in 1957-58 affected millions worldwide and killed at least a million people and possibly as many as four million. An estimated 70,000-100,000 died in the United States. I got so tired of hearing it that I Emailed the White House and told them to tell him it was not true and to shut up about it. I didn’t hear him mention it again after that. Dr. Tony Fauci has also made some outlandish proclamations.

This mess has taught me one thing. I am a fundamentalist Christian and I believe the prophesy made by the Apostle John while he was in exile on the Isle of Patmos. John prophesied, based on the vision he saw, that a man would arise who would dominate the world then be revealed as the antichrist, and that he’d be assisted by “the false prophet,” the leader of a false church sitting on seven hills, which obviously refers to Rome since the only other city on seven hills is Lynchburg, Virginia and Jerry Falwell has been dead for several years. I wondered what kind of event would cause the people of the world to become subservient to such a ruler. Now I know.

[1] The inanity of it all became apparent after a Michigan legislator, a black female Democrat, went public with her account of how the drug had helped her. She had been taking the drug for arthritis and when she heard President Trump advocate it’s use on TV, she told her doctor she’d like to try it. It worked and she recovered within a short period of time. After she met with the president, her local Democratic party took steps to throw her out of the party.

They’re Out of Their Cotton-Picking Minds!

Now, I don’t watch FOX News. In fact, I don’t even have cable – I got rid of it several years ago and went to a leaf antenna and streaming. However, I must say that the reaction to a comment by FOX contributor David Bossie to “Democratic strategist” Joel Payne that he was “out of his cotton-picking mind” is way out of proportion. Payne, who is of African ancestry, took offense at the comment because “my relatives picked cotton.” My response to that is – so fucking what? I picked my cotton, my daddy did, my mother did, my brother did and my sisters did and so did my grandmother, aunts and uncles, not to mention my neighbors. In fact, if you lived in the rural South prior to the 1960s when the use of mechanical cotton pickers became widespread and were able to get to the fields, you picked cotton. Picking cotton was so much a part of the culture that rural schools had split “vacations,” with school starting back in July for six weeks, then getting out for “cotton picking” in the fall.

Payne’s reaction is that of a northern black person with little real knowledge of the South and of the practices before his time. (He’s also a “Democratic strategist,” which says a lot.) Black northerners have been attributing racial prejudice to sayings common in the South for decades. For example, when I was in the Air Force, I had a roommate who was a mulatto from Harlem – his father was “Irish” and his mother was black. The first thing he said to me when we met was that I had better not ever call him nigger – as if I ever had any attention of doing so. (“Nigger” was known to be considered by blacks as synonymous with a “sorry” white person. Incidentally, the term “white trash” originated with slaves who used it to refer to poor whites with no land or slaves of their own.) That, however, is not my point. He went on a trip as a student with a sergeant instructor from Georgia who, like most Southerners, had a habit of calling everyone “boy.” My roommate took umbrage, but the sergeant, who lived across the hall from us, sat him down and explained that everyone in the South called each other “boy” and “girl” regardless of whether they were white or black. Although we never became friends, at least he seemed to understand that everyone wasn’t looking down on him after that.

It seems that blacks in the North have concocted a number of mistaken ideas. An example is the term “soul food” which came about in the 1960s when blacks from the South opened restaurants in New York and other northern cities and called their fare “soul food” at a time when blacks had started referring to certain forms of music and black culture as “soul.” In truth, what is now commonly called soul food is actually nothing but rural Southern cooking. Rural people in the South, white and black, made full use of the animals they slaughtered and grew crops foreign to northerners such as collard and turnip greens. Hog intestines were cleaned and called chitlins, which is short for chitterlings. White families ate them, as did blacks. Personally, I love chitlins the way my mother fixed them. She breaded and fried them and we ate them with her biscuits. Catfish were practically a delicacy at our house (blacks were famous for eating “rough fish” such as carp and buffalo.)

Payne seems to have taken exception to Bossie’s comment because his grandparents were sharecroppers. Again, so what? Share cropping was a means by which people who owned no land of their own could make a crop and living, and large numbers of sharecroppers were white. Sharecropping was a means of allowing a landowner to get full use of their land. Before farming became mechanized, a single family could farm some forty acres. Although it’s commonly believed – apparently especially by blacks – that sharecropping came along after the Civil War, the practice actually dates back for centuries and was and still is common in many parts of the world. (There is a difference between a sharecropper and a tenant farmer. Sharecroppers are laborers who provide the labor to raise a crop for a share while a tenant farmer rents the land from the landowner and provides everything necessary to raise a crop. Tenant farming is common today – my own land is rented to local farmers to raise a crop each year.) Sharecroppers were provided everything they needed by the landowner, including a house and plot of land where they could grow their own food and raise hogs and maintain a cow or two for milk.

There is a common misconception that picking cotton is hard work. Actually, while cotton-picking by hand is tedious, it’s not particularly hard and its definitely not backbreaking. Personally, I’d much rather pick cotton out in the open fall air then work in a foundry or factory. Cotton-picking is not a constant, year-long task. Cotton becomes ripe for picking in late summer or early fall, depending on the length of the growing season and when the crop is planted, and is picked over a 6-8 week period. The image of slaves or sharecroppers laboring in the fields from dusk to dawn 365 days a year is false; the actual days spent in the field for cotton-picking is more like 65 days, if that.

As for the use of the term “cotton-picking” as an adjective, the origin is unsure. So, for that matter, is the meaning except that it is used to add emphasis to a statement – for example, “She’s a cotton-picking liar!” Another common use is “Just a cotton-picking minute!” “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind” is another. However, in no way is the use of the term “cotton-picking” derogatory to blacks, as the media often claims. The only connection to blacks is that blacks picked cotton, but so did whites.

Border Diversion

The news media – and Democrats – have focused their attention over the past few days on the McAllen, Texas area and the Health and Human Services facilities where young children who were brought into the country illegally are being housed until they can be sent to relatives in the United States or returned to their parents, who have been incarcerated for violating US immigration laws. There has been copious handwringing and ain’t it awfuls by people who have no clue about the actual events. What many Americans fail to grasp is that it is no coincidence that this “story” broke almost immediately after the contents of the DOJ Office of the Attorney General report on the Hillary Clinton Email investigation was released. When the report was first released – and before anyone in the media had read it – the “news” was that the report had found no evidence of bias, but then it came out that, in fact, there had  been multiple incidents of demonstrated bias on the part of five senior investigators. That’s when the shit hit the fan and the media realized it had to come up with something to divert attention from the report. They decided to focus on the plight of illegal immigrants who were being charged for Federal crimes and incarcerated, and were separated from their children as a result. The tactic worked, although it’s now coming out that members of the media and left-wing politicians have exaggerated the situation and in some cases, outright lied.

For some time now, thousands of teenagers, mostly from Central America, have been detained along the Mexican border. In recent weeks, there has been a horde of people coming up from Central America, particularly Honduras and El Salvador, with the intent of sneaking across the Rio Grande River into Texas then making their way to cities in hopes of finding employment. When they are caught, some claim that they are seeking asylum, not so much for political reasons but because they claim they are fleeing gang violence or, in the case of women, domestic abuse. Since they are in violation of Federal immigration laws, they are charged and incarcerated until their case can be brought to court. Many illegals are women, who have brought children and grandchildren with them. Dick Durbin, a left-winger from Illinois, claimed these people are coming from “three of the most dangerous countries in the world.” His comment was a lie – those countries don’t even come close to such an assertion. In fact they rank BELOW EVEN THE UNITED STATES, not to mention Mexico.

Now, while the United States does admit people who seek asylum, they – and everyone else – are required to enter the United States at an official port of entry where they present themselves as asylum-seekers to the Homeland Security people at the facility. US law requires that ANYONE who crosses the border, regardless of their citizenship, MUST enter through an official entry point – without exception. In the case of the people currently being detained, they snuck across the border and were apprehended by the Border Patrol. The only thing “new” is that there have been increasing numbers in recent weeks. The leftwing American media has misrepresented the situation. An example is the current TIME magazine cover story, which originally claimed that a little girl shown looking up at President Donald Trump was separated from her mother. In fact, the photograph was taken by a Getty News photographer who was on a ride-a-long with a Border Patrol agent who came across a group of illegals who had just crossed the Rio Grande on a raft. The photo was snapped of the tearful little girl while her mother was being searched. The photo was represented as showing a little girl who was being separated from her mother when, in fact, there was no separation. As a matter of fact, small children under the age of four ARE NOT separated from their parents.

While accounts of children and parents being separated at the border is heart-wrenching, the media’s true intent is to divert the nation’s and the world’s attention away from the DOJ/FBI OIG report on the Hillary Clinton Email investigations and the appearance of the report’s author, Michael Horowitz, before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the resulting firings of Federal agents who exhibited bias toward Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump in communications with other agents. One of those fired was former Deputy for Counterespionage Peter Strzok, who led the Email investigation then took over the investigation of alleged Russian “interference” in the US presidential election. Strzok’s security clearance was stripped from him and he was escorted from FBI Headquarters this past Friday. Horowitz revealed to the Senate committee that Strzok is under investigation for his role in the initiation of the Russia investigation, and the possibility that he used his position because he was biased against Donald Trump. His cohort and alleged lover, Lisa Page, left the FBI a month ago. Of course, there has been little mention of Strzok’s removal in the so-called “mainstream” media because they’re focusing on the “situation” on the border and on the wording on the back of the raincoat First Lady Melanie Trump wore onto the Air Force transport that took her to McAllen, Texas to inspect the facilities where children are housed while their disposition is determined. (Federal policy is to send them to live with relatives who are in the US legally if at all possible. If not, they remain in DHS hands until their parents’ case has been decided then are usually deported along with them.)