Monday, October 19, 2020

GLOBAL SUICIDE

 

Surprisingly, I’m not going to write about the upcoming election. I want to focus instead on a question. There are several major and a few minor nuclear-endowed countries that are currently ‘unfriendly’ to the United States of America. So, why haven’t any of them attempted to utilize those weapons to create an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) and ‘knock us back to the stone age’? I think the answer lies in the idea that it would be global suicide.

 

Let’s assume for one moment that several submarines have surfaced in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as well as the Gulf of Mexico. None are identifiable and there is no radio traffic from them at all. At a pre-selected time, all launch nuclear-tipped missiles into the atmosphere. At roughly eighteen miles, they detonate at various points above the US. An EMP is generated that knocks out over eighty percent of all electronic and electrical devices in the country.

 

While the US retains its nuclear capability (we have subs in the water, planes in the air, and our ICBMs are hardened,) we have no idea who to retaliate against. It doesn’t matter. Whoever did this has committed worldwide suicide anyway.

 

There are roughly four hundred operational nuclear power plants on the planet. About half of those are in the US. While a report generated in 1977 stated that an EMP would be no more than a nuisance to these plants because of the redundancies and backups, it failed to take into consideration one factor, humans.

 

Each of the safety and backup systems in some way depends on at least one human action. So, it is not unreasonable to assume that perhaps as few as 25% (likely a lot more) of these plants are going to be immediately abandoned as people try to find their way home to their loved ones. Twenty-five percent of two hundred is fifty. Fifty abandoned nuclear power plants. Fifty potential meltdowns and containment breaches. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island will look like firecrackers in comparison. Even if there are no containment breaches, the spent rod pools depend on  specific water levels to cover them (spent rods are kept in these pools for about ten years until the ‘cool down’ though they may remain dangerously radioactive for as long as ten thousand years.) With no one to maintain the water level, the hot rods are exposed to the air and begin to meltdown. This puts the radioactive particles into the atmosphere. None of this is speculation, it happened at the Fukushima Daiichi plant during the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Multiply that by fifty with no one coming back to take care of the problem.

 

I am talking about a radioactive plume over the US and, eventually, over the entire planet. Will that radiation reach lethal levels? I have no idea, no one does, but the probability is there, and it is not low. That scenario is also not lost on most of the countries with nuclear weapons that could generate an EMP.

 

Eliminating nuclear power plants is NOT the answer. Fossil fuels will not last forever. Solar and wind power cannot generate enough power for our energy-hungry nation (or the world.) Fusion reactors may hold the eventual key, but we are not there yet. For now, all we can do is pray that no one is stupid or fanatical enough to attempt the kind of EMP attack I’ve envisioned here.

 

KM

Saturday, September 12, 2020

WHEN THE SKY REALLY FALLS

 

Let me ask you a question. What would you do if you knew the world was coming to an end? Not just your world, your life, but the entire planet. I’ll even give you a time-frame to work with, ninety days. What would you do with those last three months of your life?

 

The question isn’t as silly or far-fetched as you might imagine. While it is unlikely that anything man-made could wipe out all life (it’s just barely possible, but not likely,) the universe isn’t quite so limited. We now have the ability, as a race, to see some of the larger and more dangerous objects in space that might be headed our way, if we know where to look and when. In 1994 the fragments from the comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 collided with Jupiter (it had been ripped to pieces by Jupiter’s tidal forces in 1992.) Pieces larger than a mile impacted the planet at cometary speeds of 134,000 miles per hour (37.22 miles per second.) And, there were several of them. According to the Earth Impact Effects Program, a quarter mile asteroid striking the earth would release the energy of 3,300 megatons of TNT. That’s roughly equivalent to 60% of the world’s remaining nuclear weapons detonated at the same time, in the same place. The crater would be about twice the width of Manhattan. Now, multiply that by four and within a very short time almost all life on earth would be threatened (a worldwide ice age would ensue no matter where it hit.) Putting in the information I have for a one mile asteroid or rocky comet, I was curious what the effect would be two thousand miles away if Apollo asteroid (53319) 1999 JM8 were to hit us as it is considered the most potentially dangerous Near-Earth Object in our system.

 

 

Your Inputs:

    Distance from Impact: 3220.00 km ( = 2000.00 miles )

    Projectile diameter: 7.00 km ( = 4.35 miles )

    Projectile Density: 8000 kg/m3 (this is a high-end estimate)

    Impact Velocity: 25.00 km per second ( = 15.50 miles per second, averaged estimate )

    Impact Angle: 60 degrees (randomly picked)

    Target Density: 2750 kg/m3 (I chose a land strike here)

    Target Type: Crystalline Rock

 

Energy:

    Energy before atmospheric entry: 4.49 x 1023 Joules = 1.07 x 108 megatons TNT (this is pretty low)

    The average interval between impacts of this size somewhere on Earth during the last 4 billion years is 1.7 x 108years

 

Major Global Changes:

    The Earth is not strongly disturbed by the impact and loses negligible mass.

    The impact does not make a noticeable change in the tilt of Earth's axis (< 5 hundredths of a degree).

    Depending on the direction and location of impact, the collision may cause a change in the length of the day of up to 1.4 milliseconds.

    The impact does not shift the Earth's orbit noticeably.

 

Crater Dimensions:

    Transient Crater Diameter: 82.2 km ( = 51 miles )

    Transient Crater Depth: 29.1 km ( = 18.1 miles )

    Final Crater Diameter: 147 km ( = 91.1 miles )

    Final Crater Depth: 1.33 km ( = 0.825 miles )  

    The crater formed is a complex crater.

    The volume of the target melted or vaporized is 3460 km3 = 830 miles3

    Roughly half the melt remains in the crater, where its average thickness is 652 meters ( = 2140 feet ).

 

Thermal Radiation:

    The fireball is below the horizon. There is no direct thermal radiation.

 

Seismic Effects:

    The major seismic shaking will arrive approximately 10.7 minutes after impact.

    Richter Scale Magnitude: 10.0 (This is greater than any earthquake in recorded history)

    Mercalli Scale Intensity at a distance of 3220 km:

 

Ejecta:

    The ejecta will arrive approximately 18 minutes after the impact.

    At your position there is a fine dusting of ejecta with occasional larger fragments

    Average Ejecta Thickness: 1.22 cm ( = 0.481 inches )

    Mean Fragment Diameter: 101 microns ( = 3.99 thousandths of an inch )

 

 

Air Blast:

    The air blast will arrive approximately 2.71 hours after impact.

    Peak Overpressure: 16000 Pa = 0.16 bars = 2.27 psi

    Max wind velocity: 35.4 m/s = 79.1 mph (TWO THOUSAND MILES AWAY!)

    Sound Intensity: 84 dB (Loud as heavy traffic)

    Damage Description:

        Glass windows may shatter.

        Glass windows will shatter.

 

So, what happens a thousand miles away if the object is moving at cometary speeds and hits water at a 45-degree angle?

 

 

Your Inputs:

    Distance from Impact: 1610.00 km ( = 1000.00 miles )

    Projectile diameter: 7.00 km ( = 4.35 miles )

    Projectile Density: 8000 kg/m3

    Impact Velocity: 55.00 km per second ( = 34.20 miles per second )

    Impact Angle: 45 degrees

    Target Density: 1000 kg/m3

    Target Type: Liquid water of depth 152.0 meters ( = 500.0 feet ), over crystalline rock.

 

Energy:

    Energy before atmospheric entry: 2.17 x 1024 Joules = 5.19 x 108 megatons TNT

    The average interval between impacts of this size somewhere on Earth during the last 4 billion years is 5.7 x 108years

 

Major Global Changes:

    The Earth is not strongly disturbed by the impact and loses negligible mass.

    The impact does not make a noticeable change in the tilt of Earth's axis (< 5 hundredths of a degree).

    Depending on the direction and location of impact, the collision may cause a change in the length of the day of up to 4.36 milliseconds.

    The impact does not shift the Earth's orbit noticeably.

 

Crater Dimensions:

    The crater opened in the water has a diameter of 179 km ( = 111 miles ).

    For the crater formed in the seafloor:

    Transient Crater Diameter: 109 km ( = 67.8 miles )

    Transient Crater Depth: 38.6 km ( = 24 miles )

    Final Crater Diameter: 202 km ( = 125 miles )

    Final Crater Depth: 1.46 km ( = 0.908 miles )  

    The crater formed is a complex crater.

    The volume of the target melted or vaporized is 13500 km3 = 3250 miles3

    Roughly half the melt remains in the crater, where its average thickness is 1.45 km ( = 0.899 miles ).

 

Thermal Radiation: 

    Time for maximum radiation: 4.71 seconds after impact

    Visible fireball radius: 56.6 km ( = 35.2 miles )

    The fireball appears 8 times larger than the sun

    Thermal Exposure: 4.75 x 107 Joules/m2

    Duration of Irradiation: 56.1 minutes

    Radiant flux (relative to the sun): 14.1

    Effects of Thermal Radiation:

        Clothing ignites

        Much of the body suffers third degree burns

        Newspaper ignites

        Plywood flames

        Deciduous trees ignite

        Grass ignites

 

 

Seismic Effects:

    The major seismic shaking will arrive approximately 5.37 minutes after impact.

    Richter Scale Magnitude: 10.4 (This is greater than any earthquake in recorded history)

   

Ejecta:

    The ejecta will arrive approximately 11 minutes after the impact.

    At your position there is a fine dusting of ejecta with occasional larger fragments

    Average Ejecta Thickness: 30.3 cm ( = 11.9 inches )

    Mean Fragment Diameter: 884 microns ( = 34.8 thousandths of an inch )

 

Air Blast:

    The air blast will arrive approximately 1.36 hours after impact.

    Peak Overpressure: 159000 Pa = 1.59 bars = 22.6 psi

    Max wind velocity: 244 m/s = 545 mph

    Sound Intensity: 104 dB (May cause ear pain)

    Damage Description:

        Multistory wall-bearing buildings will collapse.

        Wood frame buildings will almost completely collapse.

        Highway truss bridges will collapse.

        Glass windows may shatter.

        Glass windows will shatter.

        Up to 90 percent of trees blown down; remainder stripped of branches and leaves.

 

Tsunami Wave:

    The impact-generated tsunami wave arrives approximately 11.6 hours after impact.

    Tsunami wave amplitude is between 8.5 meters ( = 27.8 feet) and 16.9 meters ( = 55.6 feet).

 

And don’t think you’ve escaped anything if you are on the other side of the planet. With an ejecta between half an inch and twelve inches, the sun would be cut off for years, possibly decades, and current crops would be buried worldwide. This doesn’t even presuppose the fact that such a collision would trigger an earthquake on every fault line and activate the entire ‘ring-of-fire’ volcano system.

 

We don’t have anywhere near the capability to stop asteroids or comets of this size. But asteroids and comets aren’t the only threat.

 

A massive gamma ray burst anywhere relatively close to our solar system could devastate the planet. Scientists have calculated that gamma-ray radiation from a relatively nearby star explosion hitting the Earth for only ten seconds could deplete up to half of the atmosphere's protective ozone layer. But it is much more likely to last longer than ten seconds. Gamma ray ‘flashes’ can also come from rapidly spinning neutron stars or pulsars. Right now, the closest pulsar to earth is PSR J0108-1431 which is about 280 light years away. But wait, there’s more…

 

A truly massive solar event could easily sterilize portions of the planet. Huge solar flares and ejecta have been known to happen. Should a solar flare of sufficient intensity strike the earth, anything and everything beneath it for the time it lasted would be vaporized. The shockwave would spread out from that point and travel possibly thousands of miles. At the same time, it’s more than likely the ozone layer would completely disappear.

 

None of this is ‘speculation,’ it’s all science.

 

Public interest in space research is mediocre at best which means that we are and will remain at risk until something catastrophic happens and people demand better. Until then, there is nothing you can do about the situation except pray.

 

So, I ask you again, if you knew you only had three months before the world ended, what would you do?

 

KM

Monday, July 27, 2020

FOR THE TRUE BELIEVERS


The conspiracy theorists are having a field day. According to these otherwise rational people, COVID-19 is all about getting President Trump out of office. They point to what they call ‘facts’ such as the much lower than predicted mortality rate (forgetting that we have the best health professionals in the world, just ask ANY of the foreign countries that send their people here to study,) and the supposed reporting errors that keep cropping up (forgetting that a HUGE number of people don’t go to the doctor when they get it, and that EVERY test ever created has a margin of error.) But let’s examine the idea that this is all about making sure President Trump doesn’t get reelected.

The Chinese must be at the top of the list of people wanting Mr. Trump out of office. You can’t blame them, our President wants balanced trade with them and that is something they haven’t had to worry about in decades. So, since we can trace the origin of the virus to China (if it’s real, we’ll get to that too) that must mean the Chinese manufactured a virus, infected and killed their own population and then infected the whole world just to make sure the U.S. got it. Clever these Chinese! Or, I suppose, it could have originated in bats just like most of these things do and then got into the human population just like a regular virus. Nah.

Perhaps the entire thing is fake! There is no virus. It’s just another form of the flu. Of course, you have to wonder why countries like Iran, who are friends of China, have mortality rates of over five percent from this flu. But what’s a few deaths between friends, as long as Trump is out of office, right? Why that sounds so rational…just say it out loud a few times.

Obviously I think the virus is real. I have friends who have caught it and tell of the lasting effects from it, something you don’t see from influenza. Do I believe that there is a concerted effort to unseat President Trump? Yes, but as usual most people, including the authorities, aren’t connecting the dots.

Look at the flags and symbols that the ‘protestors’ who are looting and ruining our cities are using. In 1962 Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union said, "We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have communism." If you want a conspiracy theory, how about asking, “Is there a coordinated effort for this social change by electing leaders who will cave to what these protestors want, communism?” Mayors who join the protestors or refuse to act when they take over large portions of their cities. Governors who get angry when the Federal Government acts to protect Federal property from vandalism. Members of Congress (specifically, some women) who scream and object when vandals and arsonists are arrested for their actions. Democrats may think this is progressive, but I will remind you that under a Communist regime only a very few will have the privileges you enjoy today. And if anyone from the news services is reading this, you should be shaking in your boots because there will only be a need for one news service under a Communist regime.

KM

Sunday, July 19, 2020

WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND


I am moving and leaving my beloved lake. As fans of my books know, the lake has been the calming inspiration that has helped me write the entire Senses Novels series. Now, circumstances are such that I must say goodbye, and it’s hard. These last few precious days that I have left to look at that small body of water are complicated right now by the extreme heat we are having and the fact that I’m involved in trying to get everything ready for the move. To be perfectly honest, I am so affected by the situation that I haven’t really worked on my latest novel in weeks except to add a word or line here and there.

I have moved so many times that, for me, a place is usually just a place. This time things have been different. Normally, when I look out my window and look at the lake in the early morning hours, I am transported to different places and different times. The lake has acted as a sort of lens helping me to see clearly the characters and situations that make up the stories I put on the page.

At this point, I have no idea where I will end up except to say that it will be somewhere in the state of Texas. How this will affect what I write and when it will be published is to be determined. I know that God has a special place and purpose for me through this, but like you, I’m human, and being forced out of my comfort zone is rough.

Georgia has been kind to me in so many ways, it will always have a special place in my heart. For the most part, the people here have exhibited that wonderful southern hospitality that they are so famous for. I am honored to call many native Georgians my friends.

The Lord has decided it’s time for me to have a new adventure. I pray that He opens my eyes to whatever it is He is trying to show and teach me. I also pray that every one of you reading this is and stays healthy and happy.

I leave behind a special place but know that He will put me somewhere just as special.

KM

Saturday, June 27, 2020

SAINTS


I was reminded of something last night and it’s been on my mind and heart all night. We have been foster parents and then adoptive parents for many years. Including our own children, we have raised more than twenty-eight youngsters. These kids ranged in age from nearly newborn to young teens. Most, not all, had and probably still have some severe emotional or physical trauma that affects them. In some cases, this trauma is apparent, in others, not so much. As the ‘parents’ of these kids, we have been called saints. While the sentiment is nice, I can tell you, that foster and adoptive parents aren’t saints. We’re just people, like you, doing the best we can.

In an era where the divide between races seems starker than ever, that line doesn’t exist, or at least for us, didn’t exist, while fostering. Kids are kids, no matter the color, gender, or background. I will tell you that members of my own family thought we were crazy for fostering, after all, we already had birth children our own. I can also tell you that fostering, and adopting is not something that everyone should consider. It is much harder than you can imagine, but not for the reasons that you might think.

The ultimate goal of the foster care system is reunification. That means the foster parents are in the role of ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ only temporarily for the children while the birth parents are working on whatever problem they have that resulted in the kids being put into the system. It also means, in most cases, the children will be going back to their birth parents at some point. Imagine raising a child for a year, two years, or longer, and then having to see them leave, likely never to return. That, at least for us, was the hardest thing about fostering. Yes, the children will act out, sometimes really aggressively, but we are trained for that. What you can’t train for is the emotional vacuum left when it’s time for them to go home.

Every child we got was given the choice, the could call us mom and dad, or uncle and aunt while they were with us. I can’t remember a single one choosing to call us uncle and aunt.

There are people who foster for money. I can’t even imagine that. There is simply no way that I can see what a state pays for fostering even beginning to cover what it costs to raise a child. I know that we spent far more on each one than the state could possibly cover. It’s what you do for your kids. But money isn’t and never should be the point. Love is the point. There are over 400,000 kids in the system today. Think about that number, it’s overwhelming. For one minute, just one minute, put yourself in their place.

You are a child. No matter how bad the situation, you’ve been taken away from the only home you’ve ever known, the only parents you’ve ever had in the dead of night. Some stranger has driven you with a few of your clothes and maybe a toy or two to some other stranger’s house. These people, who you don’t know put you into a bed you’ve never slept in before and tell you to go to sleep. You are in a house with sights and smells that are completely alien to you. How do you think you’d feel? If the word terrified popped into your head, you are 100% correct. That is exactly how these kids feel. They don’t know how to act, they don’t know what to say. If they are lucky, they’ll cry themselves to sleep that first night, if not, they’ll just lie there being scared. Nothing the foster parent says or does is going to change that on the first night, nothing. That’s a heartbreak every foster parent has felt, the helplessness of night one.

In the morning, most of these kids will tell you they aren’t hungry. They’ll start asking questions about going home, questions about what is happening with mom, questions about their siblings, questions you can’t answer. Often, more tears.

Am I painting too bleak a picture? Then let me also say that once past the first few days, once a routine is established and some slight bond of trust is built, it gets better. The kids may or may not open up about their situation, that isn’t up to the foster parent, it’s up to the child. What you are looking for is the first smile. A real smile, not one generated as a mask to the world.

I don’t have the time or space to teach a course on foster parenting here. What I wanted you to know is that we struggle just like you. Every kid is different, every single one unique, and wonderful in their own way. It’s hard sometimes, what worthwhile things that we do aren’t? If you have ever considered fostering, even for a moment, please take the time to check into it. These kids need you. There are so many foster care organizations out there I can’t even begin to list them here, just GOOGLE foster care. You’ll find an organization near you that can give you more information to get started.

Really change the world, be a parent to a child in need.

KM

Thursday, June 11, 2020

COLORBLIND


Some people have commented to me that they haven’t seen me post anything about the ‘recent race issues’ that seem to be plaguing our country. They are wondering why I am silent on the subject. Most don’t like my answer. I detest the hypocrisy that I am seeing from all sides.

Does anyone really think that racism is worse today than it was in the past? If you do, I suggest that you walk down any city street and count the number of interracial couples. As little as fifty years ago, black and white marriage would still have been considered an oddity. Do I think that some, and I will emphasize some, police officers and even full departments profile African-Americans? Absolutely, and I think it’s not only shameful, but they should be prosecuted for violating the fourth amendment. No American should be afraid that they are going to be pulled over and have problems with the police based solely on the color of their skin.

I have to tell you though, that percentage-wise, more African-Americans are racially biased than Caucasians. Preconceived notions about white people as a general class abound in the African-American community. And, I don’t understand any of it completely. Let me give you a little personal history lesson.

When I was in High School, I transferred from a school that was (heavily) predominantly Mexican-American to one that was racially split between African-Americans and Caucasians. My first day, I was cautioned by my school councilor that there were certain hallways I should avoid because of the lack of pigmentation in my skin (I made it sound nicer than he put it.) I laughed at him and told him I would take the ones closest to my class, period. I was attacked, once. I was never bothered again because ‘they thought I was crazy.’ One of my best friends in that school, Greg, was black.

The school had actually been rocked by riots the year before I attended, so naturally they were on edge. At one point, there was supposed to be a ‘big fight’ between the blacks and the whites. I was between classes, waiting for one to start when my white friends came running in and told me about the fight, asking me to join them. My comment was, “Why? What are you fighting for?” They had no answer and took off. No more than a minute later, Greg came running in and told me about the fight and asked me to join him. I started laughing, he looked confused, I held up my hands and turned them over, “Have you noticed?” Greg said, “Nobody thinks of you as white.” Think about that for one minute. Why would he say that?  The answer is simple, and it’s true for more Americans than people realize. When it comes to race, I’m colorblind.

I don’t care if you are black, white, red, brown, or yellow. Skin pigmentation means nothing to me except you have either better or lesser protection against the sun. Anyone that has been a foster parent for any length of time knows this. I dare say that my wife and I raised more African-American kids than most black parents ever will. I didn’t treat them any different than my own. BECAUSE THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. If you believe that we did it out of some sort of misplaced guilt, think again. I’ve never owned a slave. To the best of my knowledge, none of my ancestors owned slaves, though some WERE slaves. I can’t be a reflection of YOUR guilt over something that I had nothing to do with.

Racism exists. But the number of people who are really racist today in America is fleetingly small. And, it exists on all sides of the rainbow. I have seen several shows advertised recently with titles like “Where do we go from here” and “An honest conversation.” Then, I look at who is on those ‘panels’, who is talking. From what I saw, they certainly weren’t racially mixed and there was NO Conservative viewpoint permitted. What, exactly, do you expect to solve that way? I see special television programs, special church services, etc. all focused on the black and white relationship. While there’s nothing wrong with any of that in-and-of-itself, my question is, why wait until it becomes some kind of burning social issue?

I have neighbors whose skin color is different than mine, I like to think we’re all friends. I know that if they needed my help, they’d have it. I have lived and worked in countries where the population had a different skin color than me. I have very close friends in all of them. The concept of white, or for that matter, black superiority is as ridiculous as believing the moon is made of green cheese. Sitting around, wringing our hands, or going out and burning down neighborhoods, or even writing posts, won’t change the few closed minds that believe there is a difference. So, how do we make sure that there is equal treatment for everyone?

First, you can’t. Not as long as some people believe that they deserve special treatment. This applies mainly to our politicians, so we need to strip them of all their ‘perks.’ ONE.HUNDRED.PERCENT.OF.THEM. Do that, let them feel what the ‘common’ person feels, and you might see some change.

Second, from a grassroots level, we should hold the police accountable. That should have been done all along anyway. Accountability doesn’t mean we persecute them. It means we have some independent group that reviews the stops and arrests records of each department to see if they are out of proportion for a segment of our population. If they are, we take action by either replacing or retraining the people in charge and then on the street.

Third, every cop in the country needs to be retrained in restraint techniques. I’m an old(er) man, but I can put a person that outweighs me by a hundred pounds on the ground and keep him there without much effort and without injuring them. No matter how much they fight me.

Fourth, we need to arrest, try, and convict anyone who destroys public and private property. Rioters don’t really care about social causes (with the exception of people like ANTIFA,) that’s just the excuse. They care about getting something for nothing.

Fifth, ANTIFA needs to be designated as a terrorist group and treated as such. So does EVERY white supremacist group (KKK, NAZI party, etc.) and the Black Panthers. I’ll bet that the last one pisses some people off. But, I have seen elections where the presence of the BP was there to intimidate people into either not voting or voting for a specific person or group.

I don’t expect anyone to agree with everything or may anything I’ve said here. It doesn’t matter. This is the way I see it. If you want to change, learn to be colorblind.

KM

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

SO, YOU THINK YOU’RE FREE


I am amused by all the people fighting, crying, and whining about how the ‘stay-at-home’ orders are a violation of their freedoms. Why am I amused? Because what you call freedom is and has been an illusion since the time of Abraham Lincoln. Let me cite a few examples for you.

The United States Gold Reserve Act of January 30, 1934. With the stroke of a pen, it became illegal for US citizens to own gold coins and bullion. FDR’s administration instituted this, and it didn’t change back until Richard Nixon was President. YOU WERE NOT FREE TO OWN GOLD. Read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Reserve_Act

During the Civil War, the federal government was responsible for the greatest amount of newspaper suppression in the nation’s history. More than 300 newspapers were shut down. About half-way through the war, Lincoln changed his mind about violating the first amendment so aggressively. Yup, FREEDOM OF THE PRESS WENT RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW. Read more about that here: http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~w304644/ajha/americanjournalism/fall09.pdf

Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the first year of the Civil War. He even ignored a Supreme Court justice's decision overturning his order. He allowed people to be held indefinitely without trial. Doesn’t look like a lot of freedom there, does it? BASIC RIGHTS IN THE CONSTITUTION WERE RESCINDED. Read more about it here: https://www.usnews.com/news/history/articles/2009/02/10/revoking-civil-liberties-lincolns-constitutional-dilemma

How about all the rationing and price ceilings during World War II? How free were you to have a closet full of butter or sugar? Read about that here: https://www.nps.gov/articles/rationing-in-wwii.htm

As most of you who are regular readers know, I am a strong Constitutionalist. That means I believe the Constitution is the ruling document for the United States of America, our LAW OF THE LAND. Here’s the catch, the Constitution establishes the three branches of government. And, the Supreme Court has, since 1824, stated that the states have the right to impose quarantines and reasonable restrictions on travel…AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED OR DISCRIMINATORY. Yes, I have heard the conspiracy theories about how certain political affiliations want the lock-down orders and want them to continue to destroy the President. I won’t comment on the merits of that theory except to say, cutting off your nose to spite your face is a long-standing tradition in American politics (please note, there is also a theory that the whole thing was just to keep Joe Biden home so he wouldn’t make any more huge blunders.)

Do I think that there are violations of the first and fourteenth amendment happening? Yes. Do I think that the whole thing has been some kind of hoax to usurp our freedoms? No. I believe for some power-hungry politicians, that was an unexpected benefit, one they are loathe to relinquish. I also believe that rushing to get everyone back to ‘normal’ can be dangerous. Herd immunity is a great idea, but it requires the thinking that there are acceptable losses.

The more laws that are passed and not challenged in front of the Supreme Court, the more Executive Orders issued without any restraint, the less FREEDOM we ALL have. We aren’t free, we haven’t been free for more than 150 years.

KM