Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Best and Worst That America Has to Offer

Friends, what a strange time this is in our nation's history.  On one hand, today we witnessed the first ever launch of a crewed spacecraft by a private company: SpaceX.  We also saw the USA get back into human spaceflight -- on our terms -- for the first time since 2011.  Frankly, I believe that, for all our self-pity and theatrics, the coronavirus pandemic will be a tiny footnote in history...but the dawn of the age of private sector space flight will be remembered for as long as humans inhabit the Earth (and a few other planets besides?).  We crossed a threshold today that could transform our species from a planetary phenomenon to a galactic one.  That's the definition of a "big deal"!  Only in America, as they say...

On the other hand, even as we celebrate this milestone, many of our inner cities are smoking ruins, and the media is whipping up unprecedented hatred and paranoia among many black citizens.  Any CNN or MSNBC viewer would think that white racism was at an all time high, and that the GOP puts the KKK to shame in terms of its advocacy of white supremacy and racial oppression.  Of course, none of this is true, and black America has made many strides, not the least of which is the achievement of legal/political equality and, in most cases, membership in the middle class.  Does residual racism exist?  You bet, but the simple fact is that black people have never been less oppressed than they are in early 21st century America.  They have precious little reason to labor under a sense of utter despair, therefore, and even less reason to attack one another, the police, and private businesses and infrastructure in their own neighborhoods.  Every American is entitled to protest -- no American is entitled to run riot and to harm others.  Enough is enough.  Most of all, we need to see an end to the incitement of racial grievances by the Left and by the mainstream media.  Every assault, every act of arson, every epithet hurled at law enforcement, and, yes, every life lost in the past few days, and in the days to come, is and ought to be on their conscience.  Shame on them!  Here's hoping that America will someday be one, and that those who profit by dividing us will be left in history's dust.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Biden Follies

Friends, this week's Newsmaker Show is stimulating, to say the least!  It might even curl your toes.

In terms of current events, me and Brian concentrate on the exciting prospect of the resumption of Made-in-America human spaceflight, thanks to Elon Musk's SpaceX.  We also talk about Biden's recent statement that black voters who aren't already sure they're voting for him "ain't black"!  I diagnose it as typical liberal entitlement and contempt for dissent, rather than dementia, although no doubt there's a little dementia thrown in for good measure.  We also discuss the question of whether all voting should be done by mail.

In "This Day in History," Brian and I hash over the plight of Jewish refugees in the 1930s, Sweden's outrageous support for the Viet Cong, FDR's machinations to provoke war between the U.S. and Nazi Germany in 1941, and President Nixon's arms control successes.

It's a great show.  It'll be even greater once you become a part of it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

"The King" Says: Get Off Your Duff, America! See the Sights!

Friends, my latest article is a must-read...but let's be honest: aren't they all?  This piece is about why, given the steady retreat of the coronavirus, the time has come for Americans to get out and about and to start traveling again.  Our tourism and hospitality industry has been decimated, but there's no reason why it needs to stay that way.  Read on to learn why...

Monday, May 25, 2020

What I Learned From Watching "True Grit" (1969)

Friends, the WaddyIsRight movie club is still going strong, and yesterday I watched True Grit.  It was another superb choice.  Here's what I learned:

1.  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.  A girl scorned is almost as bad.

2.  In the Wild West, a "waddy" was slang for a cowboy!  How about that?  This must explain why I'm so rough-and-tough and fond of denim.

3.  If you take a switch to the behind of someone else's teenage daughter, you're apt to get your head caved in with a rock.  Don't do it!!!

4.  Rooster Cogburn is one of the toughest hombres around.  He may not be easy to get along with, but he gets the job done!

5.  Revenge is sweet.

6.  Don't take a rifle to a poker game.  A pistol, maybe.

7.  Women aren't prone to violence, but they sure are the reason for a lot of it!

8.  Even a fat old man has his moments.

And there you have it.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a lot of your other top picks online, so keep those movie recommendations coming.

Also, I've penned another exquisite op-ed, which you can anticipate here on the blog tomorrow.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Half the Country is Rooting for the Virus...But We're Beating It Anyway

Good news, friends!  First, I'm back in action here at WaddyIsRight!  Who knew someone on vacation could be so busy, huh?  Second, we're seeing more and more evidence that the lifting of lockdowns all over America (and the Western world) is NOT producing disaster, as leftists predicted, and as they continue to predict.

Georgia, for example, is doing just fine, despite getting back to normal at a rapid clip that disturbed even President Trump:

Meanwhile, the CDC is admitting that the disease is far less deadly than initially claimed, and for people under 65 without serious health problems, it seems probable that lightning strikes and car accidents are a greater threat:

Lastly, here's a thought-provoking article on the toll that the lockdowns are taking on our collective humanity:

Personally, though, I'm optimistic, because, despite the doom and gloom that the media is spewing, most people are getting back to normal life.  Common sense, in other words, is prevailing.  Only a Democrat could be chagrined at the sight of young people cavorting in the sunshine, but these gloomy Guses are losing out.  They were hoping that they could keep us cowed and cowering indefinitely.  Not so!

Oh, and I almost forgot the best news of all.  In the whole history of humanity, only three nations have developed the capacity to send men into space: the U.S., Russia, and China.  Well, next week you can add a corporation to the list: SpaceX.  President Trump will be there to witness the feat.  Keep in mind that our country has been INCAPABLE of manned space flight since 2011, thanks to you-know-who.  This is a huge step forward, for America and for private sector space exploration.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Will China Ever Pay a Price for Unleashing the "China Virus" On the World?

Friends, this week's Newsmaker Show is not to be missed!  Brian and I talk about whether the U.S. government will ever pursue serious sanctions against China because of its role in spreading the coronavirus.  I pronounce myself skeptical, because of the PRC's tentacles of illicit influence that reach virtually everywhere in our political system (and beyond).  In addition, Brian and I analyze the Left's obsession with nailing Mike Flynn on what amount to trivial violations of the law.  I put this in the context of the Democratic Party's subservience to foreign interests more broadly.

In "This Day in History," Brian and I discuss Charles Lindbergh's historic flight from New York to Paris and what it portended for transatlantic travel, "Hamburger Hill" and the politics of the Vietnam War circa 1969, and the Germans' lightning assault on France and the Low Countries in May 1940.

Don't miss a single second!  Not even a millisecond!

Monday, May 18, 2020

What I Learned From "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot"

Friends, last night I went on a pop culture fact-finding mission by watching the Clint Eastwood classic Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, upon the recommendation of the senior statesman from the great state of Kansas, whom you all know and love.  I enjoyed the film.  It was a real piece of Americana!  I would describe it as a hybrid of a buddy film and a heist movie.  Here's what I learned:

1.  Robbing banks is generally a bad idea.  It doesn't work out well for the vast majority of perps.

2.  Of the cars in the film, my favorite for style and roadworthiness was the Buick Riviera.  The Trans Am was cool and well worth stealing, I'll grant you.  But I guess the upshot of the film is that when you've "arrived" in life you drive off into the sunset in a Cadillac Eldorado.  I'm in no position to disagree!

3.  The best way to pick up a hot lady is to trick her into getting in your car and then drive off with her.  If you throw in a bowl of chili, she'll offer you one of her friends in return.

4.  Montana isn't called "Big Sky Country" for nothing.

5.  The 2nd Amendment sensibly protects our right to bear a 20mm cannon.

6.  When you lose the use of the left-hand side of your body, seek medical attention.

Here endeth the lesson.

If you haven't already seen it, folks, go out and watch Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, released in the Year of Our Lord (and of my birth) 1974.  Amen.


And here's a must-read article on the true fatality rate of the coronavirus:

And check out this article.  Pretty damning stuff!

Friday, May 15, 2020

Could Kamala Harris Be Sleepy Joe's Least Bad Choice?

Friends, my latest article reflects my desire to start putting this coronavirus business behind us.  Frankly, I'm tired of hearing about the stupid virus, and the last thing I want to do is write yet another article about it.  Maybe you feel the same way?

My latest piece is about Joe Biden's all-important choice as to who will be his running mate, and therefore who will potentially be our Vice-President and even our President, should Sleepy Joe kick the bucket, as seems increasingly likely.  My pick for Joe is Kamala Harris.  In fact, I believe I'm giving Biden some very solid advice here -- I always have the Dems' best interests at heart, after all -- but the good news is that he probably won't listen to me.

Anyway, check out the article, soon to appear at Townhall:

Pick Kamala, Sleepy Joe

There is a persistent myth in American politics that a superb running mate can push a presidential candidate over the top, either in terms of the popular vote or in the electoral college. There is precious little evidence from history to indicate that this is so. Vice-Presidents simply aren't that consequential in our system of government, and the strengths and weaknesses of the presidential candidate himself (or herself) therefore determine the outcome, along with external factors like the state of the economy, war versus peace, natural disasters, pandemics, etc.

What a running mate can do, however, is to become a drag on the ticket. Sarah Palin is the most famous example of a potential vice-president whose missteps — and whose unfair vilification by the media — proved to be a distraction from the messaging of, in her case, John McCain. And that is the scenario that Joe Biden must avoid at all costs: a running mate who adds to the long list of headaches, liabilities, and burdens which his campaign already shoulders. 

Presumably, Biden and his key advisors feel that, because of the historically high disapproval ratings of President Trump, what they need to do to win in 2020 is avoid making horrendous mistakes. That may be slightly optimistic, but no one can say for sure that this low-risk strategy will not work. Step One, therefore, is to choose a running mate who doesn't stink.

To that end, I would like to suggest that Sleepy Joe shake himself awake long enough to consider the attractions of California Senator Kamala Harris at a potential vice-presidential nominee.

First, Kamala Harris has the experience, intelligence, and gravitas to be a credible President of the United States, if Sleepy Joe should someday soon opt for eternal rest. This is key, because a selection like Stacey Abrams, although exciting to some progressives, would leave Biden open to the charge that he is thrusting a neophyte onto the national stage and possibly even into the Oval Office. Voters would perceive the obvious risk. Harris, by contrast, as a former California Attorney General and as a sitting Senator, is ready to roll.

Second, Harris can plausibly claim to be both moderate and progressive. Her record is long enough that it includes areas of vulnerability, yes, but it is also multifaceted enough that Democrats and liberals will be able to see in it what they want to see, which will vary from voter to voter. Harris is also smart and wily enough to pivot from the center to the left, and back again, as circumstances demand.

Third, Harris has proven that she can admirably fulfill one of the most important roles that a running mate has: that of attack dog. Harris excels in this regard. She made her only real splash as a presidential candidate by viciously attacking the record of Joe Biden himself on the issue of busing. Harris, however, had the good sense not to press those attacks, because she (rightly) foresaw that Biden could emerge as the nominee, and she did not want to jeopardize her political future. As Biden's running mate, Harris would not be similarly demure. She would be unleashed to savage Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and the whole GOP over and over, while Biden smiled politely (some would say vacantly) and played the role of unifier and Mr. Nice Guy.

Fourth, Harris is black(ish), which means a lot in today's Democratic Party. To mollify feminists, Biden already had to concede that his running mate will be a woman (for some strange reason, he didn't specify a non-man, which would have been more “woke”, but I digress). The truth is that, if he chose a white woman like Elizabeth Warren, he would still be seen as an agent of white privilege by many leftist firebrands. A considerable portion of the Democratic Party is, to be blunt, done with white people in general. By picking Kamala Harris, Biden would demonstrate that, although in the short term the party's standard bearer is a tired old white guy, in the medium term the Democrats are ready to turn the page in terms of race and gender.

It should go without saying that elevating Harris, a woman of color, to the role of president-in-waiting will also provide the Democrats with the opportunity to brand any and all attacks that Republicans make against her as VILE RACISM! We know from past experience that, the more nervous Democrats become about the viability (including the mental capacity) of their candidates, the more likely they are to fall back on charges of racism and sexism in order to motivate their base. Given the glaring vulnerabilities of Joe Biden, we can expect that the 2020 campaign will be the most grievance-laden and “intersectional” of all time. Harris is ready to play her part.

So, Sleepy Joe, as you can see, the merits of Senator Kamala Harris as a potential running mate are legion. If you want to win in 2020, first do no harm, and choose a vice-president who will refrain from tanking your campaign — that, after all, is your job. If possible, choose a running mate who can add some dynamism and a little soaring (or searing) rhetoric to your yammerings, but don't expect to win because of the woman standing next to you. That just never happens.

If, then, you want to win, Sleepy Joe, choose Kamala. She'll give you a fighting chance.

Since, however, I don't want you to win, please don't choose Kamala. Instead, I recommend dusting off the reanimated corpse of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton (whichever one agrees to undergo “gender reassignment” surgery first gets the prize).

What could go wrong?

Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: He appears weekly on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480.

And here it is at Townhall: 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Killing the Pope

Friends, this week's Newsmaker Show is a tour de force.  Historically, Brian and I cover the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1981 and its Cold War ramifications, the Mexican-American War of 1846-48 and U.S.-Latin American relations, the missed opportunity in the U.S. as we neglected to commemorate V-E Day, and the legacy of Watergate.

In terms of current events, we discuss the steadily unraveling frame-up of Michael Flynn, Elon Musk's brave defiance of Alameda County public health authorities as he reopens his Fremont, California factory, Dr. Fauci's warnings about the prospects for a resurgence of the coronavirus, and more!

Listen in and share your thoughts...

Monday, May 11, 2020

Is Putin Losing the Battle Against COVID-19?

Friends, there are intriguing signs that the spike in coronavirus infections and deaths that many of us expected in the developing world, or at least the non-Western world, is beginning to build.  Take, for example, news that Russia is now the country with the third most infections in the world:

Mexico too seems to be struggling with the virus:

Note that in both countries, though, it's the capital city where one finds a huge percentage of cases.  Density and international travel links really do seem to have a lot to do with the susceptibility of populations to COVID-19.

In other news, relations between China and the U.S. are strained -- that much will come as no surprise.  Direct investment flowing from China to the U.S., and from the U.S. to China, is consequently down in some respects, but overall trade remains robust.  This article puts it well: "decoupling" the world's two largest economies is an immensely hard thing to do, and that's assuming that either country wants to decouple, which I don't frankly believe is the case.  Sinophobia is a convenient political ploy for many U.S. politicians, but very few of them mean business.  Does Trump?  That remains to be seen.

Finally, as you know, I've not always been a fan of Elon Musk, but his impatience with the draconian lockdown measures in California is boiling over, and I have to say I'm impressed.  Most elitists are going along with the fashion for shutting down everything, but Musk thinks it's all a bit much, and he's not afraid to say so.  Good for him!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Waddy is Righter/Cooler Than Ever!

Friends, I've had a lot on my mind lately, including the end of the semester, and so I haven't been as attentive to my blogging and article-writing responsibilities as I ought to.  Well, there's another distraction I can plead in my defense: the purchase of this beautiful automobile!  It's a 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado.  The color is Regent Maroon, the interior is black leather, the engine is a 429 cubic inch V-8 producing 340 horsepower, and the styling is, well, the styling speaks for itself.  It's a very unusual car, and I fell in love as soon as I saw it on Facebook Marketplace.  It wasn't easy to acquire it, since it was in Connecticut and the DMVs in that state and this one are closed, but I managed.  Today I got plates on it at long last and took it for our first cruise.  I intend to have a lot of fun with it in the months and years to come!

Needless to say, "the world's finest personal luxury car" is an artifact from the glory days of American engineering and industry.  May those days return to us soon!  If we re-elect President Trump, there's a decent chance they will.  Fingers crossed.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Partial Victory

Friends, 75 years ago today the United States, Britain, France, and Russia won a mighty victory over Nazi Germany.  Thus, today we celebrate V-E Day!  Check out this article about the significance of that achievement:

It's hard to take issue with anything in the article, but I do get a bit wary when people get all pious about fascism and fail to mention the fact that Uncle Joe Stalin was our ally in WW2, and we tacitly assisted the Soviet Union in its drive to conquer half of Europe (admittedly, not the good half).  The truth is, therefore, that our victory in 1945 was only partial, because the real enemy wasn't Nazism, but totalitarianism, and that fight wasn't anywhere close to being finished.  In 1991, arguably, we could declare "total" victory over the totalitarians, but even now, as all of you are well aware, the threat of utopian extremism lingers, and in countless ways tyranny is proliferating, not evaporating.  So then, let's celebrate the 75th anniversary of V-E Day and all it means for human freedom and dignity, but let's not forget that we still have work to do!

In other news, data is emerging that indicates that even those who cower in their homes and follow official guidelines about social distancing are not immune from COVID-19.  This only makes sense: even the most fanatical adherence to distancing recommendations merely REDUCES our exposure to contagions.  It can't eliminate it.  Thus, our herculean efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 will only achieve marginal success.  Arguably, therefore, we will slow down the death toll, yes, but we may not lower it, in the final analysis.  Nature will out, right?

And here's an interesting study attempting to measure a small part of the cost our society will pay for the pandemic-related lockdowns -- in this case, the cost in lives lost to "despair":

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Straight to the Moon!

Friends, our intrepid Space Force has taken a giant leap forward by releasing its first tv recruitment ad.  Check it out:

Best wishes to the Space Force, and may the U.S. return to the Moon and conquer Mars ASAP!

In other news, the coronavirus continues to fester in Brazil, and there are signs it may be worsening in Mexico as well.  Personally, I've been mystified by the virulence of the disease in the developed world, and its near absence in the developing world.  Maybe I spoke too soon?

Lastly, there continue to be encouraging signs that the Western world has COVID-19 on the run...and that normal life can be resumed without a major resurgence of the disease.  The Germans are showing us the way!  Let's be bold enough to follow in their footsteps.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Day The Airship Industry Went Down In Flames

Friends, this week's Newsmaker Show with me and Brian O'Neil covers some fascinating historical phenomena, including the Hindenburg Disaster in 1937; Gorbachev's reflections on the Cold War in 1992; and the surrender of all U.S. forces on the Philippine Islands in May 1942.  The explosion of the Hindenburg was a dramatic moment in the history of the U.S. broadcast media as well as in aviation history.  I frankly believe that our skies would be filled with dirigibles today if it weren't for that star-crossed voyage of the Hindenburg.

But that's not all!  In terms of current events, Brian and I also chat about the steady progress in reopening our state, our nation, and the whole Western world.  We talk about the extent to which the federal government can afford to bail out the states, the impact of the Tara Reade allegations on the Biden campaign, the curious candidacy of Justin Amash, and President Trump's injudicious attacks on the Swedes.

Check it out!

Saturday, May 2, 2020

The Nail in Biden's Coffin?

Friends, mark my words -- this could end up being one of the most consequential political stories of 2020: Justin Amash, Never Trumper extraordinaire, is gearing up to run for President as a Libertarian.  One can argue that Gary Johnson's Libertarian bid in 2016 may have hurt Trump more than it hurt Hillary, but be that as it may I believe that, the more candidates are in the race in 2020, the more likely Trump is to win it.  The reason is simple: Trump will struggle, for obvious reasons, to get to 50% of the popular vote.  If he can win with, say, 46%, as he did before, well, that's a more realistic path for him.  Is Justin Amash too dense to realize this?  Let's hope so!  I know that third party candidates don't generally attract much notice, but trust me -- in a country this evenly divided, every little bit helps!  I believe Justin Amash and his gigantic ego could be a huge asset to the forces of light in 2020.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Look Out, Sweden -- The World Is Gunning For You

Friends, if this keeps up, the Swedes might have to fight their first war since 1814. The entire world seems to have united to oppose Sweden's relatively laissez-faire approach to fighting the coronavirus.  Even President Trump let the Swedes have it on Twitter.  My latest article rallies to the Swedes' defense.  Their approach has strengths and weaknesses, but we should be willing to admit that, given that there's so much we don't know about the disease, the Swedish "cure" may end up being better than our own.

Look for this article at WorldNetDaily this weekend.

Lay Off the Swedes, Mr. President!

Not since Viking marauders terrorized the coasts and waterways of Europe in the Middle Ages has Sweden attracted so much international condemnation. The reason is simple: the Swedes have had the temerity to buck the Western world's consensus on the need for strict lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. What cheek!

President Trump joined the fray on Twitter, declaring: “Despite reports to the contrary, Sweden is paying heavily for its decision not to lockdown. As of today, 2462 people have died there, a much higher number than the neighboring countries of Norway (207), Finland (206) or Denmark (443). The United States made the correct decision!”

For a variety of reasons, the President's tweet was misguided, and we conservatives should not hesitate to say so.

For one thing, Sweden has a larger population than any of the other Nordic countries, so comparing raw numbers of the coronavirus dead doesn't give an accurate picture of these nations' relative success in stemming pandemic-related mortality. When we consider that every country has its own methodology for reporting (or concealing) coronavirus deaths, these raw numbers become even less reliable as benchmarks.

President Trump could have pointed to population-adjusted mortality rates, however, which do indicate that Sweden is suffering more coronavirus-related deaths, proportionally speaking, than other Scandinavian countries. 

RealClearPolitics reports that, as of April 30th, Sweden had a rate of deaths per one million in population of 253.9. That's worse than the U.S. at 193.4, and much worse than Germany at 79.1, but far better than a variety of countries with much stricter lockdowns in place, such as the U.K. (402.6), Italy (462.8), Spain (525.3), and Belgium (664.9). 

What can one conclude from this data? Very little, since there's no clear correlation between the rigidity of a country's lockdown measures and its susceptibility to COVID-19 deaths. The truth is that there are many factors affecting pandemic mortality, so even a comparison of death rates only gets us so far.

What President Trump is also missing is the fact that Sweden's less stringent approach to imposing social distancing was never designed to prevent all coronavirus deaths, or even to achieve a lower death rate than other countries might have. It was designed to minimize mortality and protect the most vulnerable, while at the same time requiring realistic, sustainable sacrifices from the general population — sacrifices that would not bankrupt private businesses, wreck the economy, paralyze the health care system, or ruin lives and split apart friends and family. Sweden's model, in short, was meant to be a proportional, rational response to a virus that Swedish epidemiologists and public health authorities predicted (rightly!) would not be as deadly as some models suggested.

Did Sweden get it right, or did Sweden get it wrong? The truth is that, despite President Trump's tweet, we don't know, and we probably won't know for months or even years.

That's because we can't say with any certainty how this pandemic will affect overall death rates both in Sweden and elsewhere in the West. We don't know, for instance, if Sweden's relatively high mortality rate now will be balanced by lower rates later. That might be the case, because a side-effect of the Swedish strategy might be the achievement relatively soon of a degree of herd immunity to COVID-19. If that supposition turns out to be true, then theoretically this Fall the disease could make a comeback in the United States and elsewhere, killing thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or...well, you get the picture. Meanwhile, the cantankerous Swedes would be immune. Few would die there.

In short, those who pass judgment on the Swedes now do so at their own peril. The Swedish pandemic gambit has already paid some dividends, while still arguably exposing the Swedish population to higher than necessary mortality in the short run. In the long run, who knows? Maybe the Swedes will have the last laugh.

Of course, as we all know, that's a contradiction in terms: Swedes don't laugh. They do, however, go out to eat and enjoy an occasional beer at a sidewalk cafe. 
That, in itself, makes them remarkably brave, in this day and age.

Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: He appears weekly on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480.

And here it is at WorldNetDaily: