Interesting Items 02/27

Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –

In this issue:

  1. Tarr
  2. Tranny
  3. Radiation
  4. SSI
  5. Heller
  6. Milo
  7. Abbott
  8. Continent

  1. Tarr. The democrat majority in the Alaska House also installs chairmen for all standing committees.  House Resources is co-chaired by Geran Tarr and Andy Josephson, both democrats, both from Anchorage, and both fully on board with the greens against resource development here in AK.  They have both gone so far as to offer office space to members of anti-development greens to operate out of.  Last week there was a hearing of House Resources on HB 111, Geran Tarr’s legislation intended run the producers out of the state via jacking up taxes up to unsustainable levels.  The hearing started smartly at 1830 and first out of the barn was one Rich Ruggiero, the democrat House majorities’ paid oil and gas consultant.  He also spearheaded Sarah Palin’s disastrous ACES legislation that unmercifully gouged the producers from 2007 – 2013.  He proceeded to give a presentation accusing the oil industry of wanting to mislead the Committee.  Among his slides was one that ended with data from the year 2011 though data through 2016 is available on the State of Alaska’s web site. His point was that the rest of the world was raising taxes on oil producers and the legislature was right in line with that movement.  Next up was one Kara Moriarty of AOGA.  She came out with guns blazing, accusing Ruggiero of misleading the committee as the data he claimed that was not available was easily found.  As she pulled out a slide with the correct data, co-chair Geran Tarr intervened with new rules for testifying.  Essentially, anyone before these democrats can say whatever they want to say while the industry cannot say anything in response.  It appears the fix is in and the democrats have identified the fatted calf and are sharpening their blades to kill it.  Should this tax increase pass, Alaska will be the single oil producing province in the world raising taxes on oil producers.  That will make us real competitive in the worldwide marketplace, won’t it?  (/sarc)  The AOGA briefing is at the following link.  Must Read Alaska also had a great writeup on the festivities.
  1. Tranny. President Trump withdrew the O’Bama letter to states and schools demanding that public schools that receive federal funds provide full access to restrooms and locker rooms based on whatever sexual identity its students decide to adopt.  The O’Bama letter was ostensibly in response to the NC state law limiting access to actual sexual equipment.  But it wasn’t. The O’Bama letter was a coordinated, orchestrated assault on the public schools by the WH and the Human Rights Campaign for no other reason than to create another victim group out of whole cloth.  Essentially, the O’Bama regime picked a fight, a public, nasty fight just in time for the Hillary campaign.  The letter came out of the Education Department and (In)Justice.  The Trump letter likewise came out of the same two departments and essentially says the same thing that Trump said during the campaign – that it is the business of the many states rather than the business of Washington DC.  Basic federalism.  The letter was roundly and loudly decried by all the usual suspects with heart rending claims that he was removing federal protections for the mentally ill (those who chose to identify sexually as something other than what they were born as).  Those claims are all false, as Trump is moving the discussion back where it belongs.  Expect this to be resurrected the next time a democrat is elected president.  Why?  Because they can.
  1. Radiation. Interesting event last week in Europe with the investigation of heightened levels of radioactive Iodine 131acros most of northern Europe and Scandinavia. I have to be a bit careful with this as the levels were and are not dangerous.  Detectors these days are sufficiently sensitive to allow detection of single atoms emitting radiation, so just because you can see it usually doesn’t mean it is a problem.  The big question with this is where did this come from?  The release was relatively recent as the half-life of the isotope is around eight days.  It is generally produced by reactors and was released in large quantities at Chernobyl and Fukushima.  As the prevailing winds were generally east to west at that time of year, possible sources include Russia, China and Iran.  None of those guys will be real forthcoming about accidents or intentional releases of radioactive materials into the surrounding countryside.  My guess would be some sort of an accident as most nations do not want to wantonly trash the countryside downwind of their sensitive nuclear facilities.
  1. SSI. One of the nasty little rules out of the O’Bama regime at the last minute was a rule that required the Social Security Administration to provide information on people receiving Supplemental Social Security (SSI) to the gun buying background check system when they purchased firearms.  Essentially, the regime is redefined the disabled community (the vast majority of SSI recipients) as sufficiently mentally ill that they lose their Second Amendment rights.  This is not a new thing, as they are doing the same thing to disabled veterans.  The House rolled back the rule via a 235 – 180 essentially party line vote.  This repeal had the NRA and ACLU on the same side, protecting the rights of the disabled community.  Interesting that the democrats that fall all over themselves to protect, defend and hide behind the rights of disabled Americans turn right around and claim they are mentally unfit / inferior as a vehicle to do yet another round of gun grabbing.
  1. Heller. The Fourth Circus upheld Maryland’s ban on so-called assault weapons, saying that ownership of such firearms is not protected by the Second Amendment.  The en-banc opinion overturned a 2016 opinion by a three judge panel requiring Maryland’s law be subject to strict scrutiny because it imposed a substantial burden on the right to keep and bear arms.  In overturning the opinion, the Fourth Circus created a brand new test for ownership of firearms, that they are “weapons that are most useful in military service – M-16 rifles and the like.“  The opinion reads a lot like talking points from a typical coastal democrat campaign and is one of the more bizarre thing out of a federal circuit other than the Ninth Circus in a very long time.  Essentially the court is paving the way for a nationwide ban on AR-15 style weapons.  An American Thinker column on the opinion describes it as paving the way for a Hillary ban on the weapons.  The case was heard during the campaign last year.  The opinion was already written with its release scheduled shortly after the election results were finalized.  It was intended to force a reluctant SCOTUS with a Hillary nominee to take up the case.  And the leftists on the SCOTUS plus a new Hillary nominated judge to replace Scalia would have upheld it by a 5-4 vote at a minimum.  Once that happened, a series of similar techniques and opinions would be used to remove the rest of the Second Amendment from the constitution.
  1. Milo. Latest recipient of the left’s latest round of Two Minutes’ Hate is conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos who ran afoul of the new Cotton Mathers on the left with less than artful, positive words about man – boy love.  The very left that has been busily looking the other way at NAMBLA participation in gay pride parades for decades, the very left that wants all sexes to mingle in public school restrooms and locker rooms, suffered a near terminal attack of the vapors at the thought that sexual contact between people below the formal age of consent (18 or 21 depending on your locale) was in any way acceptable.  Milo’s interview was a year ago, just recently posted.  As a result, he had to resign from Breitbart.  His invitation to CPAC was rescinded, with hate and disdain raining down on him from all sides.  It gave the left the opportunity to shut up someone they were completely unable to even dent, much less defeat in the arena of ideas.  If course, the media disappeared any number of pro-pedophilia entries on their web sites.  Salon was one such example.  Prominent gays like George Takei who have been for years singing the praises of starting early were strangely silent and did not have to answer any questions at all, breathtaking hypocrisy by them and the fawning media.  For his part, Milo responded pretty well, he is after all a professional troll.  Don’t think that this one is over.  Don’t think that there won’t be some extensive blow-back as the frag envelope collapses on itself.
  1. Abbott. Texas Governor Gregg Abbott sent a large caliber round across the bow of the good ship NFL last week. The shot was in response to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s threat to remove Texas from consideration for future Super Bowl games should they pass their version of North Carolina’s bathroom bill.  Abbott warned the NFL that if they want to play in the political world to get off their high horse and run for office.  He also reminded the NFL the support and deference state governments give to sports teams like the NFL by allowing cities and counties to bond for construction of new stadiums and arenas, noting that power need not be delegated from the state to local governments at all.  Implicit is the threat that what can be delegated can also be pulled.  The NFL is screwing around with the wrong state when they try to play with Texas and will get badly, badly hurt in return.  Perhaps it is about time.
  1. Continent. One of the reasons you do actual science rather than what passes for climate science (computer modeled forecasts that are not repeatable) is that from time to time you actually discover something new.  And if you are really lucky, you find something big that has been staring you in the face for a long, long time.  Such was the case last week when geologists announced the “discovery” of a brand new continent off the east coast of Oz centered on New Zealand that they are naming Zealandia.  The 1.9 million square mile land mass is mostly under water (94%) but appears to be geologically separate and distinct from both Oz and Antarctica.  In previous years, Oz and the western islands have been grouped together in a region named Australasia.  It turns out that this was at best, a bit of a reach.  Will this stand?  Who knows?  But it does demonstrate that geologists are still trying to come up with things that describe and predict how the world we all live on operates and came to be.

More later –

– AG

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