Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Friday Funnies


I'm sorry...I just can't stop!

An Angry Woman!

Dogs Are Cool

Subtle Message

I'm sure this is a joke played on him by his buddies.  At least I'm reasonably sure...

Sierra April Snow Pack

I've gone up to the Bishop Creek area for several years fishing with some buddies.  We were up there two years ago during the height of the drought and the water level had dropped to record lows.  Well, if you've been paying attention at all you know that this past Winter has resulted in record snowfall in the Sierra Nevada.  As a result many, many areas that would normally be accessible by this time in the year are unpassable.  This is a photo of the road up to South Lake which should normally be free of snow.  Pretty amazing!  And good fishing coming soon!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Motivation Monday

Earth Day

I remember the first Earth Day.  A good alternative name would've been Optimism Day.  There was a general feeling that humans had, over the centuries, impacted the Earth and we all need to figure out how to minimize that impact going into the future.  This was about 1970.  It wasn't catastrophe.  It wasn't political.  It wasn't hyper-partisan.  It was just humans trying to understand and see if there were things that we could do to be better stewards of our planet.  At that time science had not become political.  Scientific findings were generally accepted.

But as these things go, the day has been appropriated.  It is now partisan, political, and the urgency to do something has been elevated to stratospheric proportions.  It seems like everything else in our it now, life as we know it is in jeopardy, conservatives are troglodytes and to blame, liberals are the only responsible ones left on the planet.  Or something like that.  It's really sad.  I mean, I majored in a life science (Forestry) in college.  I've been environmentally aware and responsible for a long, long time.  I do what I can.  Which in the end is all any of us can do.  But as I've said before in this space, there are many, many con men trying to appropriate this issue to their advantage.  All I'll say is what I've said...follow the money.

Which brings me to this year's Earth Day and the idiotic, partisan, political nature of the marches.  It's really just gotten so far away from the purpose that it is sad.  John Stossel, a guy I sometimes agree with pretty strongly, has a great article over at  You can read it here.  The title is "Earth Day Dopes".  Pretty much says it all.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sexual Harassment Hyperbole

One of the things I'm very happy about in retirement is that I'm not subject to some of the sexual harassment hyperbole in the workplace that we see every day.  Of course, I suppose I could suffer some crazy accusation in real life, but that's not too likely.  It's funny how the longer you live, the crazier things seem to become.  Maybe that's because we get used to life as we know it and think it was just fine the way it was.  Maybe that's human nature.  Don't know.  But it seems to me that the whole industry of sexual harassment has really seen the pendulum swing way over to the other side of where it was.

Now don't get me wrong.  I strongly believe in equality of the sexes.  The closest women to me are generally strong, confident and empowered women.  I lived in a world (US Navy) for 25 years that evolved in how we treated women.  It went from token to experimenting with integration to grudging acceptance to widespread acceptance and recognition of the value of women in the service.  Today they are integrated into virtually every specialty.  But it wasn't all smooth sailing.  There were bumps along the road.  And I experienced and dealt with many of them.  Of course, with any change of that magnitude hiccups and difficulties are to be expected.  The pioneering women in the early days of the Navy should be very proud of where the sea service stands today.

When I left the Navy I went to work for a major aerospace company.  It was a male dominated environment.  Lots of engineers, contracts specialists, technicians, etc that were predominantly male. But here's the thing.  Over the years I worked there the company went to extraordinary lengths to recruit and hire qualified women into both entry level and upper positions.  And they have been very successful.  Is there more to do?  Absolutely.  But today, the opportunities for women in the aerospace industry are almost unlimited.  The CEO of the largest aerospace company in the world, Lockheed Martin, is a woman.  When I retired I was amazed at how far the company had come and as I looked around, there were women in virtually every level of management.  Was it always easy for them?  No.  They had to fight through a lot of prejudice and, I'm sure, harassment.  But there was progress and it continues today.

Which brings me to my disappointment and, frankly, astonishment of a couple of sexual harassment stories in the news.  The first involves former Senator Jim Webb.  You probably know the story.  He has had a distinguished and honorable career.  But 40 years ago as a 1st Lt in the Marines during Vietnam, he was against women in the military.  He wrote about it and used some intemperate language.  Since that time, and has he has matured and gained more experience, he has apologized and by his actions improved the lot of women in the military.  Fast forward to today and he was going to be honored by the US Naval Academy (he's a grad) as a distinguished graduate.  However, several women or women's groups were determined to protest the award based on his remarks 40 years ago.  So he withdrew from consideration.  He did this because he loves the Naval Academy and didn't want to stain the award.  I understand his decision but I'm deeply disappointed that the Academy didn't insist on presenting him this award.  Because in truth they capitulated to blackmail.  CDR Salamander has a good summary over on his blog and you can read it here.  This is an all too typical story these days.  We've got to find a way to forgive.  We've got to find a way to realize that minds change and thoughts evolve.  And we've got to find a way to accept disagreement without killing each other.

The second story has been screaming through the headlines for the last week or so.  Of course it's the Bill O'Reilly firing over at Fox News.  Now let me just state uncategorically that I rarely watched him because he's a blowhard, a jackass, and a bully.  There's no doubt about that.  At least on the air there is no doubt about it.  You know the story.  He and Fox were supposed to have paid out around $13 million dollars to keep some women who accused him of sexual harassment quiet.  Not having walked in a celebrity's shoes, maybe that's the standard way of doing things.  I don't know.  Personally, I think that's pretty cowardly.  Either face your accuser and go toe to toe for the win or admit your sins and quit.  Simple as that.  Paying folks off seems pretty smarmy to me.  But once the stories came out, he was a dead man walking.  Sponsors bailed.  Network executives dumped him quickly.  But here's my question.  Did they do that because of his behavior or because they were afraid of the potential lawsuits or because they were afraid of the feminist mafia or because they believed rumors and just wanted to get ahead of the crises or for some other reason.  If it was the first, good for them.  But I suspect it was because of one of the others.

I've only seen one of the accusers story.  You can check it out below.  A couple of things stand out.  First, the evidence is thin.  Extraordinarily thin.  Her reaction was curious.  No questioning, no confrontation, no going to superiors, no immediate accusations.  She lets 8 or 10 years go by, gets a high powered lawyer (who by the way admits that O'Reilly is a target to take down), and comes forward in the absolute most friendly and gooey environment imaginable, The View.  So I'm not buying it.  And if this is all they got, then O'Reilly is getting railroaded.  But it's too late.  The horse is out of the barn.  He's done for.  Now he'll be fine thank you very much.  He won't be visiting any soup kitchens.  But his reputation is in tatters.  And I can't help but think that it was more important for many of his accusers to either get a pay off or take him down with a vengeance than seek justice.  I don't think these women are furthering the cause of women's rights...because they just look weak.

I really don't know where we're going in this country regarding women's rights.  I thought we were headed in the right direction but lately I'm not so sure.  I see women demonstrating because they are denied rights and I try to figure out where that is.  It's simply not my experience.  I see women claiming that they aren't paid equally and I try to figure out how that can be when I just don't see any difference.  Is it just me?  I've got to question that.  In my experience pay is determined by competence.  I've seen plenty of studies to refute the claim of pay inequality, but the myth persists.  I see women deeply disappointed that we don't have a woman President, while not admitting that their candidate was probably the worst and most flawed candidate in our history.  I spend a fair amount of time volunteering in schools and see strong, smart, talented girls doing everything and more that the boys do, and yet I'm told they are at a disadvantage.  I see women demonstrating fiercely for the right to an abortion to the point that it is the only thing that matters.  I truly believe that most Americans think that abortions are terrible but should be legal.  I agree with Bubba in this matter...abortions should be safe, legal and rare.  It's an important issue...but not the only issue.  All of this worries me a bit but then I think they are just the ramblings of an old guy and we've been doing that forever.  I've got 5 granddaughters who are smart, beautiful, accomplished, powerful, fierce, and have all the potential in the world.  I really hope that they won't listen to the folks who tell them they aren't good enough.  I really hope they won't listen to the folks who tell them that every action by the males around them are suspect and likely can be harassment.  I really hope they won't listen to the folks who tell them that they have to wait their turn, expect less, and find a man to make them happy.  But here's what gives me hope.  I've got a great son and daughter (and son-in-law and daughter-in-law) who have their heads on straight and are teaching their kids well.  So I'm hopeful...hopeful that those little girls will have a strong foundation, wise teaching, and develop a steady compass for their lives.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Happy Tax Day

We all pay taxes.  Property tax.  Sales tax.  Payroll tax.  Federal and State income tax.  It seems to never end.  And every year come April 15 there are big stories about "Tax Day is here".  Of course, this year since April 15th was on a Saturday and Monday was a holiday, today is tax day.

Preparing and submitting your taxes has become big business.  Recently, the National Society of Accountants (NSA) conducted a survey which showed that the average cost of professional tax preparation is $261. This is price that most tax preparers will charge for a 1040 Tax Form with itemized deductions (Schedule A) plus a state tax return.  This is an average and if your taxes are little more complicated you might be paying a lot more.  Even for simple forms that can be prepared by software such as Turbo Tax, it isn't cheap.  So no wonder that so many people yearn for simpler tax schemes that will reduce the burden of complicated tax preparation.

Usually most folks on either end of the age spectrum have pretty simple taxes.  When we were younger we used TurboTax because I didn't have complicated investments or other issues involving write offs.  And as we entered retirement, things got a lot simpler and turned to TurboTax again.  But in between we had a professional tax preparer do our taxes.  And it wasn't cheap.  One of the reasons is to make sure you're taking the maximum allowable write offs so as to minimize your tax.  Of course, you need to know what a write off is...

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Friday Funnies

Stealing this from a friend who sent it to a number of buds.  It's pretty funny.  But I in no way endorse it...😆

Men's Rules
At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down

Finally, the guys' side of the story.
( I must admit, it's pretty good.)
We always hear 'the rules'
From the female side
Now here are the rules from the male side.
These are our rules!
Please note.. these are all numbered '1 '

1. Men are NOT mind readers

1. Learn to work the toilet seat.
You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down.
We need it up, you need it down.
You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports It's like the full moon
or the changing of the tides.
Let it be.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want.
Let us be clear on this one:
Subtle hints do not work!
Strong hints do not work!
Obvious hints do not work!
Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do.
Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.
In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 Days.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are.
Don't ask us.

 1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one

 1. You can either ask us to do something
or tell us how you want it done.
Not both.
If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.
Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched..
We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say 'nothing,' We will act like nothing's wrong.
We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, Expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... Really.

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as hunting, fishing, golfing, or something with wheels.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

1. Thank you for reading this.
Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight.

But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.

You and Your Taxes

Since Tax Day (April if you didn't know) is just around the corner, I thought I'd share an article I saw over at  It's a pretty good primer on all things tax related.  It gives a good history and some really interesting stats that should make us all wonder about how we've gotten to this point.  Now don't get me wrong...I see the need for a progressive income tax system.  But I also think it needs to be made much simpler and easier.  I'm hoping that President Trump will include this goal as he tackles tax reform...but like with a lot of things these days...I just don't know.

The Long Sordid Tale of the American Income Tax
The high cost of the 16th Amendment
Veronique de Rugy

It's the time of year again when most Americans will be filing their income taxes. As if that's not painful enough all by itself, here's a little more salt for your wounds.

First, some history: In 1913 the U.S. federal individual income tax was enacted following the passage of the 16th Amendment, which granted Washington the authority to take a piece of citizens' paychecks. According to the Tax Foundation, the top tax rate that year (adjusted for inflation) was 7 percent on income above $11.5 million; the lowest rate was 1 percent on income under $463,826.

Oh, how things have changed. The tax code today is a 76,000-page monstrosity, and the current top marginal rate of 39.6 percent will hit all married filers with taxable income of $466,950 and higher.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government collected $3.249 trillion in taxes in 2015. Almost half of that amount came from the income tax, meaning that the average income tax per return was $10,300. Most of it is withheld from our paychecks during the year—thanks, Milton Friedman!—and the rest is owed come April. If you've over-withheld (i.e., if you extended an interest-free loan to the federal government), you will get a refund.

But don't go thinking you can refuse the withholding, invest that money, let it grow in the market, and then pay your entire tax bill at the end of the year. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is eager to get its hands on your cash right away, so it penalizes anyone who owes more than $1,000 (after subtracting their withholding and estimated tax payments) or who's paid less than 90 percent of their tax burden for the current year or 100 percent of their tax burden for the prior one—whichever is smaller. With the IRS, each time you play, you lose.

Not everyone owes $10,000 per year, of course. The federal income tax is progressive, which means the top earners pay a much larger share of the tab. According to IRS statistics, in 2013 the top 1 percent of households paid about 37 percent of federal income tax revenues collected, while the top 10 percent paid roughly 70 cents of every dollar collected through the federal income tax.

For all the talk of the rich not contributing their fair share, the United States has a more progressive tax system than the social democracies of Europe, even if our top tax bracket is technically lower than theirs. This is in part because lower-income Americans benefit from refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, which offset their federal income taxes and, for some, their payroll taxes too.

The United States also starts applying its top rate at a higher level of income. In France the top rate is 45 percent, but it's applied to all income above $170,396. In the U.S., on the other hand, a couple has to pull in nearly half a million dollars in a year before the 39.6 percent rate kicks in. So while the French have a higher marginal rate, it applies to a lower level of income, making that country's tax system more regressive than ours.

The flip side of America's progressivity is that the bottom 50 percent of households in the U.S. only shoulder 2.8 percent of the total tax burden. Though it was politically fatal to say so out loud, then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney was right in 2012 when he remarked that 47 percent of Americans don't pay any federal income tax. In 2015, that number dropped to 45.3 percent, or a total of 77.5 million tax "units" (that is, individuals and married couples), according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

But not even those who owe no federal income taxes get off scot-free. The incredible complexity of our income tax scheme makes it costly for everyone to comply with. According to the IRS, filing an income tax return will take each taxpayer an average of 8 hours and cost $120 per non-business return. As Joshua Caherty at the Tax Foundation explained, the cumulative compliance cost of filing all those individual tax returns in 2012 was over $20 billion. "The time consumption is further burdensome," he said. "Considering 8 hours each…Americans spent over 1.35 billion hours filing individual taxes." And that cost gets much higher if you add in the distortions created by the income tax, like when people decide to buy a home rather than rent solely to get a tax break.

There's also considerable anxiety associated with filing taxes. Google "income tax filing" and "stress" and you'll find millions of websites offering advice meant to help people reduce the mental anguish of tax season. One of the reasons stress levels are so affected is that the IRS is incredibly powerful—and unlike other crimes, when someone has a conflict with the IRS, the constitutional presumption of innocence doesn't exist: You're guilty until proven otherwise. And while you're being investigated, the IRS can seize your assets and otherwise make your life a living hell in ways you may never fully recover from.

Don't count on the IRS to help you figure out how to comply with the tricky and convoluted tax code, either. For that, you'll need to hire a professional, since several years ago the agency stopped answering questions during tax seasons. The reason? A lack of resources to assist taxpayers, it said.

In the rush to file their returns, many Americans will not look closely enough at their W-2s to realize they probably paid more in federal payroll taxes than in federal income taxes last year. In fact, only high-income earners or those who get most of their income in non-wage form typically see their income tax burdens exceed their payroll taxes.

In 2015, the feds took $1.065 trillion from our collective paychecks for Social Security and a small part of Medicare. The current tax rate for the former program is 6.2 percent paid by employees and 6.2 percent paid by employers; for the latter program it's 1.45 percent paid by employees and 1.45 percent paid by employers. These rates apply to income up to $118,000.

But don't be fooled: As most economists will tell you, the person who officially pays the tax isn't necessarily the one who actually shoulders its burden. While an employee many only see her income shrink by 7.65 percent due to the two federal payroll taxes, she's also coughing up the employer's share in the form of lower wages.

Eight out of every 10 dollars collected by the federal government comes from payroll and income taxes. Unfortunately, we don't have the comfort of knowing that this revenue is put to good use. Much of it goes to pay for programs that should be privatized or handled at the state level, such as education and transportation; programs in desperate need of fundamental reform, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security; and programs that could be seriously constrained, such as military spending.

But let's end on a happier note. On April 15, when your taxes are due, you can find a little peace in knowing that Tax Freedom Day is just around the corner. That's the point in the calendar year when the nation has collectively earned enough money to pay off its total tax bill for the year. In 2014 the Tax Foundation estimated that we spent about 30 percent of our national income on taxes at all levels. Thus, we achieved tax freedom three-tenths of the way through the year, on April 21. Only after that do Americans start earning money for things other than running their government—whether they agree with its priorities or not.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Job Requirement

Choose Your News

Saw this on Sheryl Attkinson's site and thought I'd share.  I've posted a few times about making sure you're checking lots of sources for your news.  This is a pretty good update that you can refer to so that you know what you're getting.  You can believe what you want...just make sure you realize what you're being fed!

Cool Pic

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Well Deserved Honor

One of my favorite writers, Peggy Noonan, was just honored with the Pulitzer Prize.  I've referenced her columns many times on this blog and think she is terrific. Well deserved!  You can read about it here. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

TLAM Strike in Syria

By now everyone knows we launched 50+ TLAMs at an airbase in Syria.  If you have to ask why, then you've either been boycotting the news or living under a rock.  The gas attack that Assad and his boys launched a few days ago was horrific.  It demanded an answer.  Nikki Haley's damning speech in the UN was good, but not enough.  If you'd like a good, quick, initial summary of the strike, you can read it here.

As the CDR said, it was proportional and about the right amount of response.  I know all the hand-wringers will come out and say it was an act of war that needed Congressional approval.  I guess they just ignored all the bombs we dropped from Reapers over the last 8 years.  Other's will say it's a slippery slope.  No it's not.  It's proportional and appropriate.  I trust Mattis and McMaster to know what they are doing.  Don't be surprised if there are other actions taken by allies in the region.  Don't know what...just don't be surprised.  Others will say that Trump is going back on his campaign promise of non-intervention.  Okay...fair enough.  But before you get all hot and bothered about that, take a few minutes to see the accounts of the gas attacks.  And the study a little Edmund Burke.  Then we can talk.

But here's the best thing.  Trump was in Mar-A-Lago hosting the Chines Premier.  He wasn't dithering in the Situation Room, micro-managing his Generals and troops.  He obviously has trust in Mattis and the chain of command.  If that isn't a breath of fresh air, I don't know what is!  This action also tells the world that we are willing to take action.  Was it perfect?  Time will tell.  But we are willing to take action.  We are willing to stand up for the defenseless and stand by our friends and allies.  We draw no red lines.  We take action.  Breath of fresh air!

Friday Funnies

Lots of ways to achieve success...

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Motivation Monday

Climate Hysteria II

Saw this little comparison and it seems to me to be pretty spot on.  Everytime I hear somethng about climate change there is a hue and cry about the urgency to install regulations and shut down industries.  And if you believe that more investigation and analysis is required and that it is a long term problem that deserves a reasoned approach, then you are intent on destroying mankind.  There is no center ground.  It doesn't take much of a search to discover all the evidence of climate change data manipulation.  And it's not helping their cause.  

More Hysteria

The Best Choice

Now this is what I call a great write-in vote!

Dogs Are Cool

And welcome in the finest establishments!

Is This What They Meant?

Climate Hysteria

Why is everything a crises?  Why do so many people go bonkers over almost everything?  Maybe I've not noticed it previously, but it seems like more and more people think almost any issue is urgent, world altering, and if you're not in agreement, you're a troglodyte.  It's a phenomenon that is not only sort of ugly, it's also worrisome.  I keep going back to the 24-hour news cycle, the continuous access to cable news, the rabble-rousing nature of talk radio, and the propensity of some people to protest and demonstrate at the drop of a hat.  I also think this whole phenomenon contributes to the attitude that everything is a near term problem that must be handled and solved now.  There don't seem to be long term problems.  If it makes the news or is in the public eye, then it must be something that must be attacked.  I mean, calm down people.

Which brings me to the subject of climate hysteria.  I don't think there is another subject that better fits the characterization described above of trying to solve long term problems with short term solutions.  Let me be clear.  I believe the climate change is an issue.  I believe that man has had an impact on what we see happening to the planet.  I believe we should take measures to solve this problem.  But, for me anyway, the key is to find solutions that are in concert with our life on Earth.  I believe that there are solutions.  And those solutions lie in conservation, wise use, and innovation.  They do not lie in shaming present industries and shutting down entire industries.  They do not lie in climate change conferences, or conventions, or theories, or manipulated data, or "settled" science.  If Americans have proven anything, it's that they can solve problems through innovation.  So we need to calm down.  We need to seek long term solutions through wise use and innovation.

I saw the article below in the WSJ on this subject and it really resonated.  The epitome of the hysteria is that we enact onerous rules and drive industries out of business in order to "position the U.S. for leadership in international discussions".  You've got to be shitting me!  Since the hysterical bureaucrats are not running the show anymore, I hope that we can start to look for solutions.

The Climate Yawns
Donald Trump is no more a planet wrecker than Barack Obama (as measured to the third decimal).

March 31, 2017 

The oddest criticism of Donald Trump’s climate action this week was the claim, mentioned almost triumphantly by every news source, that it would save few coal jobs. The economic and technological forces, especially the flood of low-carbon natural gas from fracking, are just too powerful.

Then why, if you’re a Democrat, put yourself in that position in the first place to take blame for killing coal jobs? Why enact a costly regulation to do what the market was doing for free? When everybody else wanted to blame the Florida recount for his 2000 defeat, Al Gore was smart enough privately to blame gun control. When you lose your home state as presidential candidate, something is wrong. The same blundering ineptitude explains how the Obama alliance with the greens threw away first Congress and then a presidency.

Of course the news reports are right: “The regulatory changes are entirely outweighed by these technological changes, not to mention the price of natural gas or renewables,” Mark Muro of the Brookings Institution was quoted telling the New York Times .

So potent and large are these global forces that repealing the Obama rules, costly as they are, not only won’t affect coal jobs, it won’t affect climate.

Gina McCarthy, Mr. Obama’s EPA administrator, admitted as much when confronted, during a 2015 House hearing, with the fact that, by the agency’s own climate models, the effect would be only 1/100th of a degree Celsius. Instead, she said success should be measured in terms of “positioning the U.S. for leadership in an international discussion.”

Even so, many climate activists felt the need to walk back Ms. McCarthy’s concession by insisting Obama policies would have a measurable effect—on the amount of CO 2 released. Yes, the relative decrease would be tiny but measurable, though the climate effect would be zip. This is akin to medical researchers claiming a drug a success because it’s detectable in the bloodstream, not because it improves health.

And don’t get us started on the “social cost of carbon,” a mechanism of policy justification created by the Obama EPA to assign a dollar-value benefit to carbon abatement rules that, in total, will produce zero impact on climate.

Pile up all the government policies enacted or seriously on the table, and their net effect is zilch. A new McKinsey study, that would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad, points out that Germany’s switch to renewables has been a success by almost every metric except CO 2 output—which is up instead of down.

Rising energy prices to support this energy transition have had one measurable effect—more than 330,000 German households have had their electricity shut off in the past year from nonpayment of bills almost three times as high as those paid by U.S. households.

Germany, needless to add, is many greens’ idea of a country “positioned for leadership in international discussions.”

No rational consideration, however, will abate the torrent of priestly imprecations hurled by green activists this week at Mr. Trump. The New York Times insists that Trumpian action “risks the planet”—plainly false since nothing either Mr. Trump or Mr. Obama did will make a difference to the planet.

Literally no amount of money dissipated on climate policy is excessive to such people, because their shamanistic status is directly proportional to the social waste they can conjure. In the realm of religion are we called upon to perform symbolic actions whose purpose (and cost) is aimed at testifying to our membership in the elect.

The most poignant question, however, is what happened to Democrats? They were once a party whose members cared whether policy was efficient and produced benefits for the American people.

Democrats deserve a large share of the credit for the rescue of the failing U.S. economy of the 1970s by throwing out a host of perverse regulatory policies, not that they embrace or even acknowledge this legacy today—which is the problem.

Airline deregulation was born in Ted Kennedy’s administrative practice subcommittee. His aide, Stephen Breyer, now a Supreme Court justice, recalled a working-class Boston constituent asking why the senator was focused on airline issues when this voter could never afford to fly. “That is why,” said Kennedy.

The Democratic Party once had a brain where regulation was concerned, understanding that the ultimate purpose was a net public good, not an in-gathering of power to Washington for the benefit of lobbyists and influence peddlers.

It was not yet today’s Democratic Party of Chuck Schumer, who isn’t stupid and yet is associated with no body of policy thought or analysis. If he even has anybody on his staff deputized to think about the results of policy, it probably is the lowliest intern.

A wrecking ball of a president was the Trump electorate’s answer to this problem. It’s hard even now to say they were wrong. If he delivers nothing in the next four years, it is alarming to suspect that this likely would still be a better result than we would have gotten under Hillary Clinton.