Afghanistan timeline

  • Soviet Russia supports a moderate Afghan government.
  • Ronald Reagan doesn’t like Communists.
  • Mujahedeen are anti-communist, so Reagan gives them weapons.
  • The Russians leave Afghanistan.
  • The Taliban take over.
  • After 9/11, the Taliban won’t give up Osama bin Laden
  • GWB decides to punish the Taliban by arming their enemies.
  • This doesn’t work.
  • More and more American soldiers are sent there to fight.
  • That doesn’t work; the Taliban grows stronger.
  • President Obama scales back the American military presence.
  • President Trump proposes an end to the war; General Mattis quits.
  • President Trump negotiates an end to the war with the Taliban.
  • President Biden affirms the agreement to leave Afghanistan.
  • The Afghan Govt. is routed.
Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Tom Reed’s 2020 Financial Disclosure


Reports are due May 15 of the following year. The House has 30 days more to post them. It isn’t clear why Tom waits till the last minute. Tom requested a 90 day extension in 2019 and 2020; it isn’t clear why.

Tom’s 2020 report is very different from previous years. There is no mention of Tom’s previous business interests.

Tom and family visited Tokyo at the expense of “The Former Members of Congress”  in February 2020.


Corning Inc. IRA<$15,000<$15,000<$15,000<$15,000
CenturyLink IRA (Level 3 Communications)<$15,000<$15,000<$15,000<$15,000
M&T Bank accounts<$100,000<$50,000<$50,000<$50,000
Mineral RightsNoneNoneNoneNone
R&R Properties<$250,000<$250,000<$250,000
R&R Resource Recovery<$250,000<$250,000<$500,000
Twin Tiers Medical Billing  <$50,000
Financial Data


  1. Tom again failed to note that Level 3 Communications merged with CenturyLink.
  2. Mineral rights are said to have no value until developed.
  3. Tom and family visited the Czech Republic in August 2015 at the expense of the Ripon Society and Franklin Center.
  4. Tom and family visited London, England in November 2016 at the expense of the Ripon Society and Franklin Center.
  5. Tom and family visited Berlin, Germany in August 2017 at the expense of the Ripon Society and Franklin Center.
  6. Tom and family visited Paris, France in November 2018 at the expense of the Ripon Society and Franklin Center.
  7. Tom visited Rzeszow, Poland,  in September   2019 at the expense of the Republican Main Street Partnership.
  8. Tom visited the Panetta Institute in San Francisco at their expense to receive an award in November,2019.
  9. Tom and family visited Tokyo in Feb. 2020 at the expense of “The Former Members of Congress.”
  10. This may explain why Tom’s businesses reportedly paid no taxes: “LLCs don’t pay taxes themselves. Instead, profits and losses are listed on the personal tax returns of the owner(s).”

Click to access 10038348.pdf

Click to access 10026746.pdf

Posted in 2020, Congress, Political | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Colonial Pipeline

I suppose the operation of a pipeline requires coordinated control of pumps and valves along its 5000 mile length. This could certainly be done securely.

  • Employees at stations along the pipeline could operate the equipment. Instructions could come from telephone calls, couriers, or text messages. This would be crude and expensive but secure.
  • A private communication network with telephone wires or radio communication links is possible. This would also be secure, but expensive.

Evidently the designers decided to use cheap computers and internet communications. This left the pipeline vulnerable to hackers. It was a cheap solution, but not secure. The design evidently had no provisions for backup, so when the computer system was attacked, the flow of fuel ceased.

The company decided to pay ransom. I believe this should be illegal. If companies were forbidden to pay, the ransomware criminals would be out of business. Paying guarantees future attacks.

Posted in Terrorism | Tagged | 1 Comment

Maricopa County Voting Machines

Typical voting machine

Unfortunately, after a loss of physical custody and control, no comprehensive methods exist to fully rehabilitate the compromised equipment or provide adequate assurance that they remain safe to use. — Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs

We won’t use any of the returned equipment unless the county, state and vendor are confident there’s no malicious hardware or software installed on those devices. — Megan Gilbertson, Communications Director for Maricopa County’s Elections Department

I find Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ concerns overstated. The voting machines would need to be inspected for physical modifications. The software should be be checked for changes and reloaded if necessary. The machines should be retested. Election officials should have the same concerns about new equipment from the manufacturer, which should be inspected and tested for proper operation. Recertifying the voting machines may be costly, but not likely as costly as replacing them.

Posted in Political | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Term Limits for Congress

He went of to Congress and served a spell
Fixin’ up the government and laws as well.
Took over Washington, I heard tell,
And patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell.

The Ballad of Davy Crockett, words by Thomas Blackburn

Term limits for Congress require an amendment to The Constitution. Two letters in two days have come to me urging term limits for members of Congress. This is a terrible idea–we can vote bad apples out now, if we have the will. With term limits, inexperienced members would have no goal but to get rich quick. Remember John Boehner’s complaint about newly elected members? Term limits would make lunacy the new normal.

Nikki Haley, Honorary Chair of “Stand for America” writes: “You know it’s too late to stop the damage done by the decades Pelosi, Waters, Schiff, and others have spent in office. But it’s not too late to stop this new class of radicals (Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib) from inflicting several more decades of damage.”

Specifically Haley’s letter claims Rep. Ocasio-Cortez seeks to push socialist policies such as Medicare for all and a green new deal on an unwilling country. She blames Rep. Omar for statements she finds offensive. She attacks Rep. Tlaib for naming Israel as a racist state.

Haley suggests that term limits will force these representatives, elected by the voters in their districts, out of office. Of course she asks for money.

Senator Cruz, writing on behalf of “US Term Limits,” assures readers that voters want ordinary Americans, who will only serve for a short time, to take office, solve our problems, and then go home. Cruz also asks for money.

Businesses recognize that experience is valuable. Experienced workers are rewarded with higher than starting wages. The same is true for Congress–experience is valuable, members doing a good job need to be retained.

Posted in Congress, Political | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

H.R. 51 — “To provide for the admission of the State of Washington, D.C. into the Union.”

Contributed by Arthur Ahrens

For the second time in history, the House passed legislation Thursday to make the District of Columbia the nation’s 51st state. H.R. 51 would shrink the federal district to a two-mile-square enclave — including federal buildings such as the Capitol and the White House. The rest of the residential and commercial areas would become the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, to honor abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Republican senators from less populous states have worried that D.C. statehood would “dilute” their states’ power, as Sen. Steve Daines (Mont.) put it this week. Some Republicans, such as Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), have said they would prefer having D.C. retroceded to Maryland, which Maryland has not supported. Other Republicans dismiss statehood as a Democratic power grab, since it is likely the new state would be “Blue”.

Some facts:

Wyoming has 2 senators, 1 congressman, population 578,759.

Vermont has 2 senators, 1 congressman, population 623,989.

DC has 0 senators, 1 congressman with limited voting privileges, population 705749 which, if the staff mathemetician is correct, is more than either Vermont or Wyoming.

Should Washington, D.C. Become the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth?

Posted in Congress, Constitution, Political | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Rep. Tom Reed on Certain Legislation

Tom Reed Wrote:

Last week, we voted “yes” on H.R. 1195, a bill that will require the Department of Labor to address instances of work place violence in healthcare, social service, and other areas. This safety measure creates an interim occupational safety and health standard that will encourage employers in different sectors to take actions that will protect workers from workplace violence.

CRS Summary

Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act

“This bill requires the Department of Labor to address workplace violence in health care, social service, and other sectors.

Specifically, Labor must issue an interim occupational safety and health standard that requires certain employers to take actions to protect workers and other personnel from workplace violence. The standard applies to employers in the health care sector, in the social service sector, and in sectors that conduct activities similar to those in the health care and social service sectors.

In addition, Labor must promulgate a final standard within a specified time line.”

Tom Reed wrote:

We also voted “yes” on H.R. 1482, a bill that revises the duties of the Office of Credit Risk Management to include overseeing certified development companies (CDC) that will participate in the 504 Loan Program of the Small Business Administration, requiring the SBA to create environmental requirements for the entity. Through the 504 Loan Program, small businesses are able to procure funding through the SBA for modernization or expansion improvements.

CRS Summary

504 Credit Risk Management Improvement Act of 2021

“This bill revises the duties of the Office of Credit Risk Management to include oversight of a certified development company (CDC) that participates in the 504 Loan Program of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and it requires the SBA to issue rules related to certain environmental requirements. The 504 Loan Program provides a small business with SBA financing—through a CDC intermediary—for expansion or modernization.

Specifically, the bill requires the office to oversee any CDC that participates in the program and to conduct file reviews with respect to loan closings under the program. Further, the bill authorizes the office to take formal and informal enforcement actions against a CDC for specified violations and to charge each CDC a fee.

The SBA must issue rules to clarify the procedures necessary for an eligible CDC to comply with certain environmental requirements.”

Posted in Legislation, Reed's Views | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Belonging to a movement

Anomie in societies or individuals, is a condition of instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values or from a lack of purpose or ideals. — Émile Durkheim. 

Professors back from secret missions
Resume their proper eruditions,
    Though some regret it;
They liked their dictaphones a lot,
They met some big wheels, and do not
    Let you forget it. — W. H. Auden

Some Germans were perhaps attracted to the Nazi movement because it gave them a sense of belonging. Membership gave them new importance and the ability to smash social norms.

Seyward Darby claims in “Sisters in Hate,” that “Hate can be understood as a social bond, a complex phenomenon that occurs among people as a means of mattering and belonging.” 

Americans may have joined the Trump movement because it gave them a feeling of importance, a chance to smash norms, and a feeling of belonging. These feelings must be strong enough so what the movement professed didn’t much matter, or more likely resonated with preexisting, perhaps shadowy, beliefs.

Posted in Political | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Firearm regulation

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) generally opposes firearm regulation. On Wednesday, March 10, the house considered H.R. 1446 “To strengthen the background check procedures to be followed before a Federal firearms licensee may transfer a firearm to a person who is not such a licensee.”

H.R. 1446 Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 CRS Summary as introduced in House (03/01/2021)

This bill revises background check requirements applicable to proposed firearm transfers from a federal firearms licensee (e.g., a licensed gun dealer) to an unlicensed person.

Specifically, it increases the amount of time, from 3 business days to a minimum of 10 business days, that a federal firearms licensee must wait to receive a completed background check prior to transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person. (This type of transaction is often referred to as a default proceed transaction.)

If a submitted background check remains incomplete after 10 business days, then the prospective purchaser may submit a petition for a final firearms eligibility determination. If an additional 10 days elapse without a final determination, then the federal firearms licensee may transfer the firearm to the prospective purchaser.

Surprisingly, Tom Reed was one of a few Republicans who voted in favor of certain amendments, which were approved by recorded vote.


1. Burgess (TX): Requires the Department of JusticeInspector General to submit a report to Congress on the number of NICS denials referred for investigation after a firearm was sold to a person who was later found to be ineligible.

2. Levin, Mike (CA): Adds to the GAO reports in the bill,which are to be completed one year, three years, and five years after enactment, data disaggregated by state and the basis for denial in state law.

3. McBath (GA): Amends the domestic violence reportingprovision to require that the effects of the Act on domestic violence, domestic abuse, dating partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking will be disaggregated by state.

4. Neguse (CO), Schneider (IL): Strikes section 4 and replaces it to require the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to make an annual report, which shall be available to the public, that provides disaggregated information on background check denials not made within the 10-day period.

Tom Reed is known to be concerned about sexual assault, particularly when a relative is a victim or a Democratic politician is accused, so it may have been Amendment 3 which caught his eye. Tom Reed may like H.R. 1446 better as amended, but probably not well enough to vote in favor.

Posted in Reed's Views | Tagged , | 3 Comments


Some observations on “The-Presidents-Advisory-1776-Commission-Final-Report.”

Human progress didn’t end in 1776 as the authors of this report would have us believe.

The facts of our founding are not partisan. They are a matter of history. Controversies about the meaning of the founding can begin to be resolved by looking at the facts of our nation’s founding. Properly understood, these facts address the concerns and aspirations of Americans of all social classes, income levels, races and religions, regions and walks of life.

The growing gap between rich and poor, racial discrimination, antisemitism, white supremacy, and religious bigotry are ignored.

Yet, while Fascism died in 1945 with the
collapse of the Axis powers, it was quickly replaced by a
new threat, …

Fascism didn’t die; it is alive and well in America today.

Finally, the right to keep and bear arms is required by
the fundamental natural right to life: no man may justly
be denied the means of his own defense. The political
significance of this right is hardly less important. An
armed people is a people capable of defending their
liberty no less than their lives and is the last, desperate
check against the worst tyranny

That’s what right-wing militias would have us believe. After the events of Jan. 6, 2021, we should reject that notion.

The Civil Rights Movement was almost immediately
turned to programs that ran counter to the lofty ideals
of the founders. The ideas that drove this change had
been growing in America for decades, and they
distorted many areas of policy in the half century that
followed. Among the distortions was the abandonment
of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity in favor of
“group rights” not unlike those advanced by Calhoun
and his followers. The justification for reversing the
promise of color-blind civil rights was that past
discrimination requires present effort, or affirmative
action in the form of preferential treatment, to
overcome long-accrued inequalities. Those forms of
preferential treatment built up in our system over time,
first in administrative rulings, then executive orders,
later in congressionally passed law, and finally were
sanctified by the Supreme Court.

Color blind laws generally leave people of color at an unending disadvantage.

States and school districts should reject any curriculum
that promotes one-sided partisan opinions, activist
propaganda, or factional ideologies that demean
America’s heritage, dishonor our heroes, or deny our

The report is contradictory–it says education should be up to local communities, then recommends standard as quoted above.

Universities in the United States are often today
hotbeds of anti-Americanism, libel, and censorship that
combine to generate in students and in the broader
culture at the very least disdain and at worst outright
hatred for this country.

At my first full time job, my supervisor told me that the engineering professors at my university were all communists. I knew better. The above is similar nonsense.

Americans yearn for timeless stories and noble heroes
that inspire them to be good, brave, diligent, daring,
generous, honest, and compassionate.

If only it were so.

The final report goes on to discuss and promote religion, disparage “identity politics,” and promote “proper education.” There is much there to accept or reject.

Posted in 2020 | Tagged | 4 Comments