Ham Radio, Homebrew, and great political conversations

I’m writing this week’s article from a rather unusual location – in a tent, in the middle of a farmer’s field, out in the boondocks of Thompson Connecticut.  Surrounding me are three other tents, a few camping trailers, four generators, a bunch of laptop computers, and over a dozen radio transceivers.  Strung up in the trees is about a mile of wires in the form of antennas.  The day before this was an empty field and tomorrow afternoon it will be an empty field again. 

This is my station

The two dozen individuals gathered with me in the middle of this field for the weekend have two things in common, we are all ham radio operators and we all belong to the Eastern Connecticut Amateur Radio Association.  All across this country thousands of clubs gathered in similar locations and thousands of individuals operated from their homes. This weekend all of us Amateur Radio operators are taking part in the single largest emergency communications exercise in the world, which is known as Field Day

Field Day is something we Amateur Radio operators take very serious because emergency communications is the heart and soul of Amateur Radio.  Whenever there is a major disaster such as a hurricane or an earthquake the only communications into and out of the affected area is through Amateur Radio.  We provide essential communications during medium and small scale disasters also. 

For the weekend my club, which is a small club, set up five complete stations.  All of the stations are completely self contained, running on either generators or deep cycle marine batteries charged by solar panels.  The wire antennas are all strung up in trees by ropes.  From these portable stations we were able to contact over a thousand similar stations all across the United States and many across the globe.  I personally talked to France and Sotland along with 30 states..

All year round we plan for Field Day and we continuously practice our emergency communications skills and test our equipment.

Field Day is also a social event.  We always have a potluck supper and we gather together all weekend just to gab.  The club I belong to is one of the hardier clubs, we decided to hold our usual Field Day despite the Coronavirus. 

The social aspect of Field Day allows me to combine two of my other favorite hobbies, brewing beer and engaging political discussions.  Every year for Field Day I brew up a batch of Field Day Amber beer and bring it to share with everyone.  It is always a big hit with the club members. 

Even though we are located in New England there is a large percentage of conservatives and libertarians in our club.  All sides of the political spectrum get along great in our club.  The Coronavirus did not deter any of us right wingers from attending.  This weekend I engaged in a great many enjoyable political discussions with fellow patriots and many liberals.   Beer and political discussions go so great together,

Things would be so much better in the US if the news media was worthy of our trust and respect

All across the board, on every single issue the Mainstream News Media has failed the American people.  They have gone way past failing to inform us on so many key issues, they are intentionally misinforming us.  This has produced truly disastrous results, namely the recent rioting that rocked so many US cities and the Coronavirus lockdowns that have crippled the US economy and destroyed so many businesses.

The Mainstream News Media is more than deserving of the label Fake News, which I will use for the remainder of this article.  They have completely thrown out all objectivity, and are now the propaganda arm of the Democrat party and the progressive side of the political spectrum.  This article News Media Credibility Rating Falls to a New Low indirectly provides the proof of the bias, which reached an extreme level during the Obama Administration, only to be surpassed during the Trump Presidency.

As America grapples with a historic crisis under the leadership of a Republican president who frequently derides the media as “fake news,” new Morning Consult trend data finds Americans’ views of the fourth estate’s credibility have hit a new low during the Trump administration, largely driven by declines among Republicans.

The share of U.S. adults who said nine leading media outlets — including CBS and The New York Times — were credible has dropped roughly 9 percentage points since December 2016, from 60.6 percent to an average of 51.2 percent today. Last year, the average credibility rating sat at 55.4 percent.

As was seen in last year’s analysis, Republicans are driving this drop.

If the Fake News was not so incredibly biased toward the political left then the disapproval ratings of the networks by both parties would be roughly equal.  The drastic lopsidedness of the disapproval and approval is proof that the coverage is severely slanted to one side.

Sadly Fox News is no longer the Conservative powerhouse it used to be and that shows in the media survey.

Fox News is the only media entity to remain relatively unscathed, though the share of GOP adults who find it credible has slipped 6 points since 2016. Two-thirds of Republicans say the “Fair and Balanced” outlet is credible, a figure that’s more than 20 points higher than the next outlet’s credibility rating among Republicans (CBS, at 46 percent). 

The Fake News has particularly failed the entire nation during the Coronavirus and the survey proves it.

The poll comes at a particularly sensitive time for news information, as residents across the country seek out accurate reports on the coronavirus pandemic. Recent polling shows a country divided over the job that news media is doing: Fifty-five percent of respondents in a March 13-22 Gallup survey disapproved of the news media’s handling of the coronavirus in the United States, while a Pew survey, fielded March 19-24, reported that 54 percent of the public said the news media is doing a “good” or “excellent” job responding to the outbreak.

From the very beginning of the Coronavirus crisis the Fake News gave far more airtime to the scientists and experts that had predictions of doom and gloom. I believe this was done on purpose so government officials would lockdown the United States and tank the economy in an attempt to influence the 2020 election.  This has resulted in enormous amounts of pain and suffering as businesses all across the US close for good.

The media is going to keep the panic over Coronavirus going until the election in an attempt to cram through mail in voting everywhere and to keep the economy sputtering along so they can hammer President Trump over it. This Bloomberg headline is proof of that: Virus Surges Across U.S., Throwing Reopenings Into Disarray.

Would the recent riots that resulted in such terrible destruction have occurred if the media had not jumped to the wrong conclusions and taken them to such an extreme during the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown incidents?  Many years of the Fake News pushing the false narrative that the US is still a systematically racist nation provided the fuel and lit the fuse of the recent riots. Fake News needs to be held accountable, not by the government, but by its viewers.

A Modest Proposal to end the National Anthem kneeling conundrum

It has been maintained by many of the National Anthem kneelers and many on the political left that the keeling during National Anthem has nothing to do with disrespecting our flag, our military, or our country.  This was echoed by Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt when he tweeted this:

if you still think it’s about disrespecting the flag or our military, you clearly haven’t been listening.

Was he right about that?  Let’s look at what Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien had to say about this issue:

The players have a right to protest, a right to be heard and a right to be who they are. They’re not taking a knee because they’re against our flag. They’re taking a knee because they haven’t been treated equally in this country for over 400 years.

To me the entire kneeling during the National Anthem is all about disrespecting our flag and everything associated with it.  Why else would they take this action specifically during the National Anthem?

There is no greater expert on this whole kneeling issue than Colin Kaepernick.  Here is his justification for kneeling:

I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder

I believe that whole quote is dripping with disrespect for our flag, country, and everything else.  The United States does not have a perfect record when it comes to its treatment of people of color, far from it when you examine slavery, segregation, and racism.  However this country has made enormous strides and is no longer a racist nation.  Protesting racism specifically during the National Anthem is very disrespectful to the flag, our military, and those that gave their life for our country.  It is so disrespectful it pisses me off a great deal.    I know I’m far from alone.  Based on social media and the drop in NFL viewer ship a very large segment of the country agrees with me.

Every single individual has a right to protest as they wish as long as long as they do it peacefully.  That most definitely includes kneeling during the National Anthem.  Because freedom of speech and freedom of expression are two way streets it is perfectly fine to criticize those who kneel.  Some individuals do not understand this. 

It is the timing of the protesting that pisses people off.  Since the kneelers claim that their kneeling has nothing to do with disrespecting the flag why don’t we make them prove it? 

I have just a proposal to end the anthem kneeling situation and make the kneelers prove it has nothing to do with disrespecting the flag.  The NFL, NASCAR, and all other sports associations should specifically set aside time for any athlete to protest racism and racial injustice in any manner they see fit.  The stadium announcers and TV broadcasters should announce the time to protest and the reason behind the protesting.  They should make a big deal about it.  The kneelers will find that they have far more support for their protesting and their cause if the stand during the anthem and protest during that allotted time. 

Government officials are picking and choosing which individuals get to exercise which rights

I’m living in midsized town called Webster Massachusetts.  Because of the Coronavirus lockdowns the Memorial Day parade was canceled in my town along with fireworks on July 4th.  The local high school canceled graduation.  Businesses were forced to close.  There are three Catholic Churches here, along with a Baptist Church, and several other denominations; all of which have not held services for months. While all of this was not going on a Black Lives Matter protest was held. 

I have no problem with the Black Lives Matter protest being held in my town even though I have many issues with the sponsoring organization, mainly their connection with many attacks on police officers, their anti police officer message, and their Marxist message.  I completely support their right to hold protests and to spread their message.  It bothers me greatly that all of us locals are denied so many of our most fundamental rights while an outside group was able to exercise their rights.

This type of injustice is going on all across this great nation.  Yes free speech and freedom to assemble are such fundamental rights that they are listed in the First Amendment.  The right of all of us to attend which ever church service we wish to as often as we wish is also listed in the First Amendment. 

The right of all of us to do as we please, to come and go as we please, to work where we please, and to run what type of business we want to are all covered under liberty. This most fundamental right is being denied to tens of millions across this nation.   Some individuals are allowed to come and go because they are deemed essential workers, and some businesses are allowed to open because they are classified as essential.  Far too often these classifications do not make sense.  They are made for political reasons.  Governments should never pick and choose winners and losers.  Liberty is a fundamental right that can only be denied to individuals who have been found guilty in a court of law

The Black Lives protests are welcomed by local and state officials.  Conservative groups in many states held protests against the unjust lockdowns.   Were these anti lockdown protests welcomed as warmly?  Were any conservative protests denied or harassed?  I haven’t heard of any instances of conservative permits being denied or harassment but I’m guessing they happened.  If you are aware of any please let me know in the comments.

These lockdowns are unjust along with the business closings.  It is wall past time to restore the liberty and rights of everyone in the United States by opening every state back fully.

These riots are the end result of progressive indoctrination

The death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer was an appalling crime, one worthy of outrage from everyone.  The despicable nature of the crime more than justified widespread protest across the United Sates. 

Unfortunately the protests turned into the wide scale rioting and destruction because far too many college students and young adults have been brainwashed into believing that violence is an acceptable form of protest.  This is something that they are being taught on college campuses.  Had they been taught civics and the original meaning of the Constitution they would know that peaceful protesting is the only valid form of protesting.  Here is the exact text of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The right to protest is a combination of the rights of free speech, assemble, and petition.  The amendment clearly states that the right to assemble must be done peaceably.  Rioting, looting, throwing rocks, and other forms of violence are not peaceable therefore they are not valid forms of protest.

For decades college students, and recently high school students, are being taught that the United States is now, and has always been, an inherently racist nation.  They are receiving a highly edited history of this nation with only the worst components of our history blown way out of proportion.  That has led to tremendous and unjustified anger, especially in the minority communities.

ANTIFA is a common entity on college campuses whose members are very often recruited and taught on college campuses. They are being taught that the use of violence is an acceptable form of expression especially against people who have different beliefs. Check out this Breitbart article

A new poll has revealed that young and college-educated Americans are more likely to support the recent riots that have taken place in major cities around the nation. 58 percent of respondents with a four-year degree agreed that riots are “fully or partially justified,” including such acts as burning a police station down.

Progressive indoctrination has also misled whole generations into believing that capitalism is an unjust system that exploits everyone especially minorities.  That has led to the belief that looting is an acceptable remedy for this injustice.

Restoring our educational system is the best way prevents these riots from happening again.  We must teach again concepts such as liberty, and the original understanding of the Constitution, and the true virtues of capitalism.

Blind obedience to the government has never been an American virtue

Every time I see large groups of individuals gather to protest the draconian restrictions many governors have placed on their citizens I am happy.  I am also relieved to know that decades of progressive indoctrination has not squashed this in everyone, even though educators and the media have made great inroads.  Far too many have blindly accepted the trampling of their rights and far too many oppose the efforts of their liberty minded friends.  Of course the liberal media has done an excellent job vilifying those who demand a return to the good old days when freedom and liberty were the only normal we accepted.

I am extremely happy and relieved that the mass protests have not resulted in spikes in   virus cases.  It it did happen I know the media would have trumpeted that news loudly. 

When researching last week’s article I came across the perfect example of the type of liberal indoctrination that takes place.  This example was this definition of the rule of law I found on the Merriam Webster Dictionary “a situation in which the laws of a country are obeyed by everyone.”  When I saw the definition I was angered because it goes against so many important principles that are at the core of our great republic.  These principles have been core principles since the first sparks of the American Revolution began.

There is nothing more American than taking a stand against unjust laws.  That notion was at the very heart of the American Revolution.  Thomas Jefferson immortalized this principle when he wrote this in a letter to James Madison:

I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccesful rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government.

I want to make it clear that I am in no way advocating armed rebellion now or ever.  Nonviolent civil disobedience has always proved to be far more effective.  I am extremely grateful that we have the Second Amendment to protect our God-given natural right to bear arms which is our ultimate defense against a tyrannical government.

We must only accept laws that are just. If they are not we must speak out and protest.  Questioning unjust laws does not mean we do not value the rule of law, it means we properly understand it is a two way street. 

For the rule of law to apply the laws must also be passed by those who have the true authority to pass such laws.  Governors issuing stay at home orders and lockdowns most likely do not have the proper authority under the state constitutions therefore they are not valid laws.

The US Constitution is the supreme law of the land in the United States.  Laws that violate the Constitution are not valid therefore the rule of law does not apply.  We should protest unconstitutional laws more readily.

Many states, including Massachusetts, are way too slow with their reopening process even though the curve of the Coronavirus has trended downward and not just flattened. I am hoping the protests soon kick into high gear.

Coronavirus lockdowns violate the US Constitution and the Rule of Law

Thanks to our abysmal educational system most of us do not have a proper understanding of the US Constitution, mostly in regards to the relationship between the federal government and states. Under the original understanding of the Constitution the States are mostly independent nations held together by a weak federal government.  That has not changed, only our elected officials have ignored the original meaning. 

The US Constitution as originally ratified only restrained the states in a few key areas, all of which are listed in Article 1 Section 10.  It was very difficult for state laws to violate the US Constitution.   We have been conditioned to mistakenly believe the Supreme Court has the authority overturn state laws and state laws do regularly violate the US Constitution. 

If it was not for the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment the state Coronavirus lockdowns and other actions would not violate the US Constitution.  Here are the clauses of that amendment which are violated by the state lockdowns.

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The shelter in place orders and similar lockdown orders deprive a large percentage of the inhabitants of the states of their liberty.  Liberty is the freedom to do as you please as long as you don’t hurt anyone.  A state or local government can only deprive an individual of their liberty if that individual has been found guilty in a court of law. There are no exceptions for emergencies.  Forcing stores to close also violates the liberty of the owners and workers of the stores.

Labeling certain individuals as essential and others not essential workers and allowing them to travel based on that classification violates the equal protection clause.  Closing only certain stores also violates the equal protection clause.

According the Section Five of the Fourteenth Amendment the US congress through the formal legislative process not the Supreme Court has the authority to overturn state laws that violate that amendment.  That was done in response to the Dred Scott Case.

Lockdowns violate the Rule of Law.  This concept is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as:

The restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws

These lockdowns are arbitrary rules made up by governors.  They apply only to certain individuals.  They are not well thought out and do tremendous harm.  They are unjust rules.

Be careful which dictionary you use, some are deeply erroneous.  Here is how the Merriam Webster dictionary defines the Rule of Law “a situation in which the laws of a country are obeyed by everyone.” For the Rule of Law to apply the law must be just and it must be a valid law passed by those with the proper authority.  Ignoring or protesting unjust laws are valid methods of maintaining the Rule of Law.

The Coronavirus lockdowns and everything else violate state constitutions and state laws. That is the proper level for fighting these unjust rules and practices.

We the People decide what is normal not the government

One phrase that has been bandied about far too often during this Coronavirus crisis is “the new normal.”  It deeply disturbs me every time I hear an elected member from our government, at any level, declare that the end result of their plans for reopening our country will be a new normal. 

Whenever one of our elected representatives uses that phrase they are acting like a dictator.  They are treating us like subjects rather that citizens of a Constitutional Republic.  Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts acted like a dictator when he declared this to be phase four of  his torturously slow plan for reopening this state:

Phase 4 will be the “New Normal” – development of vaccine and/or therapy enables resumption of new normal.

The use the phrase “new normal” as the end goal is a sign of surrender to the virus.  It is defeatist.  It is not something we Americans should ever strive for.  The only acceptable end result for any challenge facing this country is a complete return to the normal we had before the challenge began.

When a  politician declares that the end scenario of any crisis will result in a new normal they are declaring that they want to fundamentally transform this nation in some way.  It is unacceptable to us Americans that our government will unilaterally transform this nation in some way. We the people must always be the the agents of change for any change no matter how small or local.

It also bothers me greatly that phase four of the Baker plan will only commence when a vaccine or therapy enables it.  There is no guarantee when that would happen.  Until then we are stuck in phase3 which is defined as “Phase 3 will be “Vigilant” – additional industries resume operations with guidance.”   It will mean nothing but government interference,

The entire Baker plan, as unveiled on this past Monday, is as slow and arduous as I feared when I wrote last week’s article.  I’m afraid that by the time we reach the end of it the economic devastation will be quite catastrophic. We need to let Governor Baker know that his plan is way too slow.

It looks like Massachusetts may not be opening any time soon

Governor Charlie Baker had originally announced that all nonessential businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would remain closed until May 4th.  That date was later postponed another two weeks.  Most of us in this state were hoping and expecting that when that date is finally reached things would rapidly return to normal  I was one of them.  My hopes were rudely squashed when I saw this article on social media: Baker: Mass. Businesses Closed Due To Coronavirus Won’t Be ‘Off To The Races’ On May 18.

Here is how Governor Baker describes his plans for the opening process:

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said that while he hopes some businesses will be able to resume operations soon after May 18, he added it will be a gradual process and not “off to the races.”

“There won’t be anyone firing a starting gun on May 18 and saying everybody’s off to the races, but we do hope certain types of businesses and workplaces will be able to begin resuming operations, under the guidelines established through this process, and based on the fact that we will have hit certain triggers, with respect to the status of the virus here in Massachusetts,” said Baker.

Instead  of the rapid reopening we were expecting it looks now like it will be a long arduous process. According this quote from Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito the process might not even begin on the 18th.

“There seems to be some with an understanding that May 18 is a magical date. May 18 is the date that we said the report of this advisory board will be released,” she said, adding “It doesn’t mean that the economy across our Commonwealth will just reopen. It’s just not possible.”

How arduous will the process be? Check out this quote from Governor Charlie Baker.

“In the coming weeks we’re prepared to have more concrete plans on what each phase of reopening will look like, where certain activities and industries fit into which phase, general business guidance about social distancing, personal protection, and cleaning protocols that all businesses will need to adhere to upon reopening, and industry specific guidance and protocols for reopening safely,”

If Governor Baker’s reopening plan proves to be as slow and torturous as it seems from this article I’m not sure how many businesses will be left to open.  How many people will have their livelihood destroyed for good?  I believe the economic carnage by a painfully slow process will be staggering.  I don’t believe the people of Massachusetts will stand by and let such a slow process play out.  A major protest took place on this past Monday with at least a couple thousand in attendance.  The protests will soon spread and become larger,  Hopefully Governor Baker will listen.

Rather than relying on a committee of experts to come up with a plan which will be implemented by bureaucrats I believe Governor Baker should just let the business owners and the people of  Massachusetts come up with their own plan.  Decentralized decision making is always far superior to mandates from bureaucrats

We must not let politicians use Coronavirus as an excuse to transform the US

Just about every day since the Coronavirus crisis began I’ve seen progressive politicians voice the disturbing notion that this is a perfect opportunity to transform the United States in some way.  Always their proposals will make the United States a more progressive nation.  These politicians are nothing but shameful opportunists. We should resist these calls very strenuously.

Several progressive elected officials and Hillary Clinton have proposed that enacting Medicare for all would be a perfect solution our current crisis.  They are living in a fantasy world.  Socialized Medicine has an abysmal track record.  Check out how nations with socialized medicine have fared during this crisis.  The US has preformed far better.  Nothing would destroy the United Sates medical system, which is by far the best in the world, faster. 

Joe Biden, and others, have, proposed enacting the Green New Deal because of Coronavus.  That would destroy our energy sector, which thanks to the efforts of President Trump, made the US a net positive producer of energy.

Universal basic income has been proposed many times, including recently by Nancy Pelosi, as a temporary solution to our crisis.  Once enacted that new entitlement would quickly become permanent.   Nothing would trap generation after generation in poverty more securely than this.

Changes to our electoral system such as voting by mail and vote harvesting are the most dangerous changes proposed by progressives.  If they were enacted progressives would win election after election because of their willingness to use fraud and to deceit to win elections. 

Getting everything back to the way we were before the Coronavirus crisis as quickly as possible is the best and quickest way to restore our economy and standard of living.