By Blaine Davis, Contributing Editor

Having spent the last year or more behind the “ranch gate,” due to government-directed lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 phenomenon, like everyone else I am ready to return to normal. During this “cowering” period, I was inundated with extreme amounts of slanted television reporting and biased social media purporting their questionable agendas. Most of these agendas were attacking my conservative values and painting a picture that America was evil – from its civility to its food sources. On my agenda was an attempt to return to some form of normalcy by taking the two-shot vaccination for the COVID virus and getting past the ranch gate, discarding the questionable mask wearing, returning to the office and, more important, traveling without restrictions.

Having my architecture practice back at a somewhat “normal” status, it was time to schedule a spring break trip to my new second home, the Texas Gulf Coast. On this agenda was taking my two grandsons out with one of the best fishing captains, Tejas Guide Service’s Josh Garcia. While my grandsons, along with one of their best friends, reeled in many fish and several sizeable ones, their “papa” suffered a different fate. An on-going aggregated shoulder injury kept me from catching anything, even when Josh cast my rod around “honey holes” along the jetties and sea walls. Unable to set the hook on any hungry fish, my revised agenda was keeping the boys’ lines untangled and their hooks baited. The experience was still outstanding and, as the adage goes, “the worst day of fishing is still better than the best day of work,” and now I have new fishing partners for life.

Returning from the Port Aransas coastal paradise, my fate turned to rotator cuff surgery. Little did I anticipate the recovery time and the limits placed on my left arm – my dominant one. With limited to nearly no mobility, even sleeping became an adventure in itself, with pillows propped under my arm and maintaining a nearly prone position. Reverting back to that of the COVID protocols, television and social media again became, for what it’s worth, my new vices as even attempting to type this column was frustrating. Probably not as frustrating as the left-leaning news media and their agenda to destroy everything that has made America great.

The popular social media outlets went to more extremes, blocking conservative content and banning individuals such as former President Donald Trump. The new regime in Washington and their accomplices in the press attacked our country’s energy independence and killed an integral part of such with shut down of the Keystone XL pipeline. Just since the Biden inauguration, gasoline prices have risen more than 33 percent. Accompanying this rise in petroleum prices, delivery costs just for household goods and building materials has soared, accompanied with another round of shortages. If their agenda was to cripple families both at the grocery store and providing a roof over their heads, it is working.

In the name of a “Green New Deal,” the administration is pushing a boondoggle of a plan to shift our entire country’s energy needs to renewable power such as solar and wind. I ask, how did that work out during February’s extreme cold front that crippled much of the country? Throughout much of Texas, which has shifted upward of 25 percent of its electrical grid to solar panels and wind turbines, the accumulation of ice on both deemed them useless and left the state shivering.

With this week’s ransomware cyber attack on a major petroleum pipeline from Texas to the country’s northeast, the flow of essential fuel was halted. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, with a smirk on her face, delivered a television message – if you had an electric car you wouldn’t have had a problem. So where does that leave the rest of the transportation sector? Airlines depend on jet fuel, railroads and trucks depend on diesel fuel, and the average citizen eking out an existence needs gasoline to get to work and deliver their children to school, if they are even open. Again, if their agenda is to cripple families and businesses, it is working.

Not avoiding the left-leaning socialism’s bent, American agriculture is under duress. The liberal animal rights contingent has an agenda to eliminate everything related to beef production. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has labeled Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt a “meathead” for his March proclamation “Meat All Week” in support of the state’s cattle and agriculture industries. PETA added another salvo to this encounter by purchasing a large billboard in Oklahoma City, proclaiming their stance of “all vegan.”

Returning fire, literally, on May 12, Gov. Stitt manned a barbeque grill in the shadow of the billboard, serving hamburgers and ribeye steaks. Tag-teaming with the likes of PETA, environmentalists’ agenda keeps falsely pointing out that beef production is a significant source of greenhouse gases, ignoring the science such as that of my environmental hero, Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis.

Now, joining the team facing off against American agriculture is billionaire Bill Gates of Microsoft fame. Gates surmises that, to save the planet, America and other economically rich countries should convert totally to manmade meat, which he admits might not be as tasty but we would become accustomed to it. Meanwhile, he touts that lower income (third-world) countries should be able to continue eating animal-based meats.

It doesn’t take much reading between his lines that this agenda is off base and economically flawed. While not exactly shunning meat production, I question the agenda of Whole Foods proclaiming the virtues of their beef to the extent that the cattle are fed a vegetarian diet. Do they mean their feed rations include native grasses, wheat pasture, alfalfa, tricale, corn and grain sorghum? Or is it baby carrots and Le Sueur peas? Traversing the aisles in any of their outlets, their agenda with ploys like this and the customers’ willingness to pay premium prices for their products do seem to work.

With all these socialist agendas taking aim at everything that makes America great and, significantly, the beef and agriculture industries, I find myself in a conundrum of sorts. I may be preaching to the choir as I’m sure that the vast majority of my readers believe as I do, but we still need to move our agenda forward to others; we are not just feeding the world but also preserving a way of life. With a tongue-in-cheek agenda jab at the above-mentioned retailer, I was amused by a bakery’s sidewalk chalkboard placard in my alma mater’s town, marketing their doughnuts with “Eat More Hole Foods.”