Interesting Items 6/11 -
Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy -
In this issue:
2. AK Republicans
7. 100 Years
1. Wisconsin. Organized labor’s assault on Wisconsin had a setback last Tuesday with the failure of voters to recall Governor Scott Walker, the LtGov and three Republican state senators. A fourth state senator appears to have lost his seat in a very, very close election that is currently inside the margin of democrat voter fraud. The unions spent between $30 - 60 million defending their exclusive rights to organize and collect union dues. This was a hugely important win, as Walker demonstrated what all conservatives know - that if you do what you promised to do during the campaign and don’t back down, the voters will support you. Walker has given every single elected Republican a spine implant for dealing with the unions. And in doing so, he has set the stage for defunding the left, particularly the unions, who provide so much of the money and manpower to elect democrats. And if the unions don’t have members, they don’t have money or manpower for campaigns. Congratulations to the voters of Wisconsin. We hope they will remember this come November when they get to elect a legislature, a US Senator and a President.
2. AK Republicans. The Republican state convention made an attempt to reconvene Saturday morning to finish business left over from late April. The runup to the meeting was a relatively intense contest between the Ron Paul supporters who managed to elect most of the Party officers at the Convention and the rest of the attendees. Given the actions of the Paulians at other state conventions using party rules to disenfranchise delegates to the National Convention and replace them with Ron Paul committed delegates, there was a real fear that they would do that up here. The obvious reaction was not to allow a quorum at the meeting. No quorum means no rules changes. The Paulians ended up with about 192 in attendance, which was about 80 below what they needed, so no meeting was held. They adjourned to another location to hold a rump session. During that session, they passed a number of resolutions censuring current party officers for their actions in ensuring no quorum would take place Saturday. There have also been rumors of a lawsuit against party officials over voting rights violations. Given that we here in Alaska are part of the Ninth Circus, I would expect the courts to take up such a bogus lawsuit should the Paulians be idiot enough to file one. Nothing could be better than having Republicans spending money on lawyers fighting one another instead using those same resources to destroy democrats in November. We will see how much of this is real and how much is arm waving and chair throwing. All in all, this was a small victory for the Good Guys. We will see how it all plays out.
3. Tombstone. The town of Tombstone Arizona is being starved of its water supply by the US Forest Service. The water source is a set of springs in what is now a wilderness area. The 26-mile long pipeline which has been bringing water into the town since 1881 was damaged by heavy rains following a forest fire. The Forest Service, citing danger to endangered Mexican spotted owls, is refusing to allow the citizens of Tombstone to repair the pipeline using motorized equipment (bulldozers, excavators, trucks, etc). On the other hand, they are just fine with the repair crew using hand tools for the repair - which also means the repair crew will get to walk to and from the repair site. There is also an ownership dispute over how many springs the city has access to. Forest Service claims they can only use five of the 25 springs they have been using for over 120 years. Lawyers are involved as are the courts. The USFS has become yet another tyrannical government agency, this one supposedly protecting endangered species from the predations of mankind - and mankind be damned. Time to shut them down and transfer all lands and responsibilities to the many states so that they may take proper care of the resource and balance the needs of local citizens without depriving them of basics like food, water, electricity all in the name of some mythical protection of endangered species that are not endangered at all.
4. Taubes. Science writer Gary Taubes wrote a piece last week exploding the conventional wisdom that restrictions on salt intake were necessary. Taubes cited an Italian study that demonstrated that not having enough salt also correlates with an increase in heart attacks and early death. There appears to be a sweet spot for salt intake that sits somewhere above what the FDA had decided is a daily recommended level. Taubes has made a living exploding conventional wisdom on diet. His latest book: â€œWhy We Get Fat and what to do about itâ€ makes the case for a very low carb diet high in fat, eggs and meat as a solution to the obesity epidemic. I have been on it since March and it is the easiest thing that this old fat man has ever done. It also works.
5. Bradbury. We lost one of the great science fiction writers last week with the death of Ray Bradbury at age 91. I read a lot of SciFi growing up and Bradbury was among the most accessible writers out there. Orson Scott Card wrote a piece on his passing that described his writing as lyrical - something that literally needed to be read out loud because he made the words sing. Can’t disagree with that. Had the opportunity to hear a talk by Bradbury about 15 years ago and meet him afterwards. He talked about how he came to write what he wrote. A couple things from that talk stuck with me. The first was his description of his Martians. While he was growing up, the hot item was the discovery and mystery of ancient Egyptian tombs. His Martians were his Egyptians and echoed the wonder and mystery he felt as a kid. He lived in Southern California and from time to time got to visit the rocket engine test stands operated by Cal Tech’s Jet Propulsion Lab during the late 1950s - early 1960s. He described the sound of one test (Atlas? Saturn upper stage engine?) as the Voice of God. And if you’ve ever had the opportunity to see and hear the launch of a large rocket, that is as good a description of the sound as anything else. He was one of the Good Guys and was way comfortable in his own skin. Might be time to get out the old paperbacks and reread some of his stories, as they are more than well worth the time.
6. Threats. Florida District Attorney Angela Corey, who is handling the Zimmerman prosecution has a very thin skin. She has been subject to withering and justifiable criticism over her charging document against Zimmerman. Most of it has come from Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has described the charging document full of half truths, incomplete information, and fraudulently paints something other than a real picture of what happened the night of the shooting. Corey called Harvard to complain about Dershowitz. During the call, she threatened to sue Harvard unless Harvard disciplined and silenced Dershowitz. It was a 40-minute long call. Dershowitz went after Corey on the grounds that she had not done her job. Corey responded poorly and went after Dershowitz and his place of employment with threats. Now that the disagreement is personal, I would expect Dershowitz to pursue this case with more vigor. Corey made a mistake, a big one. Dershowitz’ column on the threats can be found in Newsmax.
7. 100 Years. Last week marked not only the 68th anniversary of the D-Day assault on France (which once again President Obama ignored), but also the 100th anniversary of the largest volcanic eruption in the last century - the Katmai - Novarupta eruption here in Alaska. Over a period of 60 hours, the vent at Novarupta ejected over 13 cubic kilometers of magma as an estimated 30 cubic kilometers of ash and pyroclastic flows. It put over a foot of ash on the island of Kodiak, around 170 km downwind, and dusted most of the rest of the state as well. The vent was misidentified for decades afterwards, as a new caldera opened up on Katmai due to magma underneath it being erupted. But the magma was not erupted through Katmai. Instead, it erupted through a new vent eventually named Novarupta 10 km to the east of the new caldera. To say the plumbing system under the Katmai - Novarupta region is complex would be an understatement. Erik Klemetti at the Eruptions blog had a nice writeup of the eruption. You can find a 278 page USGS publication on it that is available for download. Enjoy.
8. Hearings. The EPA is in the state holding a series of hearings on the outrageous watershed threat assessment they did on mining in the Bristol Bay region. The publication is intended to be a foundational document for an expected ruling that will shut down all mining in the region on clean water grounds. Initial hearing was held in Seattle, as about a third of all commercial fishing permits are held by out of state people. US Senator Maria Cantwell (D, WA) managed to get herself involved. The EPA brought their road show here to Anchorage last week and got a lot of comments. They were evenly divided between those falling all over themselves thanking the EPA for coming to their rescue and those inviting the EPA to get the Hell out of the state and leave us alone. The EPA will continue hearings in southwest Alaska over the next couple of weeks and finalize their incomplete and outrageous document. Pebble is only one of dozens of mines in the early stages of planning for the mining district on state land in the Bristol Bay region. And the EPA aims to stop all of them. Time to stop the EPA.
More later -