A Baseball Centennial

Andrew “Rube” Foster was a premier pitcher during the first two decades of the twentieth century. He gained fame with the (Philadelphia) Cuban X Giants. Foster pitched four of the five X Giants wins in the 1903 “colored championship of the world,” beating the Philadelphia Giants. The next year, Foster joined the Philadelphia Giants. He won twenty games, including two no-hitters, and led the team to the championship, beating his former team, the X Giants.

(The Cuban Giants formed in 1885 as being dark-skinned Latin American players to evade the ban on Negro players. The X Giants split off from the Cuban Giants.)

Foster posted a 25-3 won-lost record win in 1905 and the Philadelphia Giants repeated as champions. In 1907, he became player/manager for the Chicago Leland Giants. The team won 110 games, including a 48 consecutive, and lost only ten.

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The Neverending Inauguration Story

Take a break from the 2020 campaign and reminisce about previous presidential transitions. Bill Clinton in 1997 and George W. Bush in 2001 limited contributions to their presidential inauguration festivities to $100,000 from any one donor. Bush upped the limit to $250,000 in 2005. Barack Obama did not accept contributions from corporations, labor unions, PACs (political action committees) or lobbyists for his 2009 inauguration celebration. Individual gifts were capped at $50,000. Still, he set the record with a $53 million haul.

The current occupant of the White House had no such limits. Thirty donors contributed $1,000,000 or more to the total of $107 million. What’s still in question is where all that money went.

Surprise! A lot of it went into the Trump Organization.

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The Bundy Chronicles

Remember Cliven Bundy and his boy Ammon? They faced off with the Bureau of Land Management—the other B.L.M.—in 2014 because they didn’t want to pay rent for federal land. They said their livestock should graze for free, that U.S. taxpayers should subsidize their ranching business. When B.L.M. came to impound Bundy’s cattle, they recruited the right-wing Oath Keepers “militia” to join them in a stand-off with the B.L.M.

On the second day of 2016, Ammon led an armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. The takeover was to support father-and-son arsonists Dwight and Steve Hammond. They had been convicted of torching more than a hundred acres of federal grazing land to get rid of juniper and sagebrush, so more grass for their grazing cattle would grow. (They were recently pardoned by the current occupant of the White House.)

The months-long occupation resulted in property damage totaling millions of dollars to the Refuge’s headquarters.

Since that time, Ammon has distinguished himself by declaring the Mormon church had been infiltrated by socialists, globalists and environmentalists. He has criticized the current president’s immigration policy regarding Central Americans seeking asylum, expressed support for Black Lives Matter and said the United States is like Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

During August of 2020, he led mask-less demonstrations at the Idaho state capitol protesting COVID 19 restrictions and disrupted legislative sessions. State police handcuffed him to a chair and wheeled him out.

Last week Ammon Bundy attended his son’s high-school football game, but was refused admission because he was not wearing a mask. Watching the game from behind the end zone, he refused to comply with requirement to wear a mask on school property. When he wouldn’t leave, the game was cancelled at half time. “I don’t give two shits what you have to say, you’ve ruined it for everybody!” a woman told him on her way out.

Saving Birds from Renewable Energy

As electricity-producing wind farms proliferate, more birds die. Researchers have found a simple solution to the birds being killed by flying into wind turbines. Painting one of the three blades black reduces the carnage by seventy percent. One black blade minimizes “motion smear” of the whirling blades, making a turbine more visible.

According to a noted expert, wind turbines are a mortal danger to already-endangered bald eagles. “The windmills are killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles. They’re killing them by the hundreds.” The expert went on to state his credentials: “I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody.”

An actual scientist says about a hundred bald eagles are killed annually by wind turbines. The total of all bird deaths caused by turbine blades is about three-hundred-thousand birds each year.

For some perspective:

  • Various studies estimate that in the United States, cats kill two- or three- billion (with a “B”) birds each year.
  • Flying into windows causes the death of somewhere between four-hundred thousand and a billion birds.
  • Crashing into cell and radio towers claim another seven-million bird lives.

Enough about birds. What about people? According to that same noted expert, wind turbines also cause cancer in humans.

Banking on the Post Office

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has been on the job since July, two months. He is eminently qualified for the position, having been a major donor—more than $2 million—to the current occupant of the White House and the Republican Party. He has no post office experience but does hold investments in companies who compete with the Postal Service.

At a public meeting of the U.S. Postal Service’s Board of Governors DeJoy spoke to the coming election and the likely surge of mail-in ballots. One would expect that a person new on the job would see this as an opportunity to exercise leadership and meet the challenge of delivering citizens’ votes. One would expect him to be urging lawmakers to provide support for this urgent undertaking.

Instead, Mr. DeJoy is so far best known for banning overtime at the expense of prompt delivery of mail. He said that U.S.P.S. has its operational standards and it is up to election officials in the various states to adapt their procedures to U.S.P.S. capabilities.

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