Food factory

On a recent vacation, my wife and I drove several hundred miles on California route 99, formerly US-99, in central California. Mile after mile of fields of food. It was almost like driving in a huge food factory. And this is the part of California that regularly votes Republican. Why? I haven’t been able to figure it out. Most of the farms are quite large and I suspect that most employees working there will never be business owners. So why do they vote against their economic interests?

Dumb idea

Bill O’Reilly wants to hire and fund a mercenary army to fight ISIS. Dumb idea. Doesn’t he know that Rome fell when its citizens stopped fighting for their country and hired mercenaries instead? The mercenaries eventually turned on Rome when they decided it was more rewarding and less dangerous to loot Rome rather than fight Rome’s external enemies.

US bombing

“A Problem from Hell” America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power, our current ambassador to the UN who previously was a reporter and then a student of law at Harvard. The book is about a variety of acts of genocide that the US either caused or ignored or both. This is what she has to say about Richard Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam war.

“British journalist William Shawcross and others have argued that the Khmer Rouge ranks swelled primarily because of the U.S. intervention. Chhit Do, a Khmer Rouge leader from northern Cambodia who later defected, described the effect of U.S. bombing:

Every time after there had been bombing, they would take the people to see the craters, to see how big and deep the craters were, to see how the earth had been gouged out and scorched…. The ordinary people…sometimes literally shit in their pants when the big bombs and shells came….their minds just froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told…That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over….It was because of their dissatisfaction with the bombing that they kept on cooperating with the Khmer Rouge, joining up with the Khmer Rouge, sending their children off to go with them.”

The Khmer Rouge murdered approximately 2 million people out of an estimated population of 8 million. Foreign journalists also were killed. Some people were shot, others stabbed and many bludgeoned to death with farm implements. That occurred in Southeast Asia in the 1970s. People in the Middle East in 2014 are likely to react to US bombing as the Cambodians did; humans have changed very little in the intervening years.

Stephen F. Hayes

Cheney, The Untold Story of America’s Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President by Stephen F. Hayes and published in 2007. Steve Hayes is a regular on FOX News and I read this book to discover how good a writer he is. He writes well and I agreed with much of what he wrote. However, I also read the book to find out what makes Cheney tick and that I could not discover. I also wanted Cheney’s thoughts on Osama bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora, Afghanistan in late 2001 and there was nothing in the book about that and very little about Afghanistan

Joni Ernst

Joni Ernst is running for the US Senate in Iowa as a Republican. I received a message from her this morning asking for a donation. I declined as she is a climate change denier among other things. She stated, “Everything is on the line in Iowa’s Senate race. Make no mistake; Joni Ernst will be the 51st vote in the Senate that puts an end to the mismanagement we’ve seen in Washington.” If that were true, she would be voting with the Democrats, not the GOP.