Interesting Items 03/06

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

In this issue:

  1. SpaceX
  2. Coup
  3. CIA
  4. Lisa
  5. Rape
  6. Sea Butterflies
  7. Alabama

  1. SpaceX. SpaceX announced a commercial trip around the moon scheduled for some time in 2018.  The upgraded Dragon capsule will carry a crew of two, both of them paying passengers.  Neither the upgraded Dragon nor the booster to be used have been flown yet.  This is not the first commercial spaceflight effort in process.  Space Adventures reached an agreement with Russian space company Rocosmos to sell commercial seats on Soyuz trips to the ISS in 2001.  They flew seven billionaires over the space of eight years.  Rocosmos stopped for a while and then resumed bookings in 2013.  While Rocosmos could have made a lot of money ferrying billionaires to and from ISS, they are fundamentally a government space agency and flying passengers is not at the top of their business model.  This opened the door for other space companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin to start providing service.  These three are but three of many commercial companies working the problem of carrying passengers to and from space.  While I thought that the suborbital efforts would start service first, SpaceX may be able to leapfrog all of them with this trip.  Note that space is still hard to do.  It is unforgiving of mistakes and oversights at all levels.  There have already been deaths and crashes while testing and training.  There will be deaths of paying passengers, more as the companies learn how to safely and reliably deliver their service.  But over time, as everybody involved learns how to conduct commercial operations, that danger will recede.  As the danger recedes, the commercial services will go farther out, spend more time in space, and sell more tickets, growing the business.  These guys are going to lead the exploration and permanent human presence off planet.  A commercial trip around the moon is the next big step.
  1. Coup. The Deep State allowed President Trump less than 24 hours from a stunning speech to a joint session of congress before they dropped the latest hammer – allegations that Attorney General Sessions had contact with the Russians during the campaign and as such had to either resign or recuse himself from the so-called investigation.  The allegations were accompanied with the predictable leaks out of O’Bama operatives and sympathizers in the intelligence community.  By Monday, the got a recusal from Sessions, which chummed the water for the media feeding frenzy nicely.  As the week went on, it turns out that the people spending the most time meeting with Russians were all democrat members of congress.  Yet the media persisted with the claim that Russians hacked the election and that everything Trump and his appointees were going to do was therefore illegitimate.  President Trump put a hard stop to all the fun last weekend with a series of Tweets saying that O’Bama wiretapped Trump Tower and his phones.  This instantly put both the democrats and their media lapdogs on the defensive and forced them to claim all the leaks and innuendo about Trump collusion with the Russians were not true, not real, and nobody has any evidence of it.  Usually, the way the game is played in Washington is that they take out one of yours, you take out one of theirs, and tit for tat continues for the entire term or until the next democrat is elected president, at which time none of this is important any more.  Bush 43 chose not to even defend himself or his people which allowed the democrat – media complex to grind him and his administration into dust.  Trump chooses to play a more strategic game.  If O’Bama minions are coming after him, Trump goes directly after O’Bama himself.  Going to be a while for this all to sort itself out, but at long last it looks like Trump has finally gotten their attention.  One of the reason he was elected is because he fights back.  With this return fire, he has indicated that nobody but nobody on the democrat side resides outside the frag envelope and is immune from return fire.
  1. CIA. The Washington Post and other papers gleefully ran an op-ed last week by a self-described former CIA analyst who was forced to resign in protest over the actions of President Trump.  He was presented as a well-meaning professional spook who could no longer serve the administration in good faith because of Trump’s “disturbing actions” in office.  He also mentioned Trump’s ego and bluster.  The media took great pains to paint him as a patriot who was disgusted by the new Commander in Chief.  As it turns out, this professional, this patriot, this gentleman of fine and nuanced sensibilities was a big time Hillary supporter who donated $5,000 to a pair of Hillary related groups on August 21, 2016.  He is a registered democrat who resides in the District of Columbia and worked closely with former O’Bama deputy national security advisor and current insurgent leader Ben Rhodes.  In other words, this former spook is part of the artificial, fully funded opposition to Trump constructed and led by Rhodes, O’Bama, Soros and Jarrett.  Price’s first claim to fame was to sell the fraudulent Iran deal to an unwilling nation.  He is for all intents and purposes, a paid liar.  I think we are fortunate this particular mole is no longer on the public payroll, unknown, doing his level best to undermine the national security foundations of this nation like so many oversized termites.
  1. Lisa.  Perhaps our most liberal US Senator is starting to come around.  Then again, perhaps not.  But at least this time around, she is trying to do the right thing, though in the wrong way.  Last week she co-signed a letter with Senator Elizabeth Warren and nine other senators to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him not to enforce marijuana laws in states where its use is legal under state law.  The letter went on to point out that 28 states have medical marijuana laws and 21 states have decriminalized the use of marijuana.  Nice thought.  Terrible choice of writing partner.  And utterly and completely wrong based on her position as a US Senator, the senior US Senator from Alaska.  The very best way to change a bad law is to start enforcing it.  This will force the lawmakers (which used to include US Senators, but what do I know?) to get off their grandstanding back sides and propose legislation to move the decision making for legalization and use out of Washington DC and back to the many states to figure out for themselves.  If all the senators and representatives of the states who have already legalized agree, I would say that congress finally has something that they can pass.  The only play by the feds ought to be to interdict shipments across the national borders.  Perhaps it is time to do the same thing for all the other drugs congress made illegal over the last century.  Let the states figure it out for themselves.  While the Commerce Clause does allow the feds to regulate interstate trafficking in suddenly legalized drugs, perhaps it would be better for the states to put their heads together and come up with a state compact to be approved by congress to regulate that trade.
  1. Rape. Or better titled:  The Rape of Cook Inlet fisheries.  The Board of Fish (BOF) had their meeting on regulating the Cook Inlet fishery over the last 10 days.  The meeting was an utter disaster for the quarter million sport fish license holders, the 26,000 personal use, dip net people, and a resounding victory for the 1,100 commercial fishing permit holders in the inlet.  The BOF, led by three Bill Walker appointees undid two decades of management measures intended to maximize the resource for all users.  This is a classic example of regulatory capture of a resource and the government entities by the very group that the regulations are aimed at.  Commercial fishermen here in Alaska are caught in a bind of their own making.  Sometime in the late 1970s, the state passed legislation banning fish farming in Alaska.  The legislation was a protectionist measure backed by the commercial fleet.  As with all protectionist efforts, it blew up nicely in the collective faces of those who backed it as Alaska stood still while the rest of the world figured out how farm salmon.  Countries involved are primarily Chile and Scandinavia.  Canada also farms salmon.  Those same nations are figuring out how to farm halibut.  Today worldwide, over 70% of salmon sold are farmed.  There have been problems with parasites, pollution and disease over the years, but the rest of the world has worked the problem and over time figured out how to do it commercially.  Essentially they turned from hunter-gatherers into ranchers, decreasing significantly the local pressure on wild salmon stocks.  Ranching is a far superior approach to feeding billions than hunter-gatherers.  What do the hunter-gatherers do in response to a decreasing market share, a depressed price per fish?  They maximize their catch by any and all means possible.  And if they have to vacuum every single salmon from Cook Inlet to prop up their failing business and economic model, they just got the BOF to start down that road.  During all of this, the other user groups were nowhere to be found, though many did testify in opposition.  They were essentially steamrolled.  One of the things that I do wonder is about the greens.  Here in Alaska, we are hit with a blizzard of lawsuits every single time we try to build infrastructure, mine, or create new jobs.  Most of those are in the name of saving the precious salmon from wanton annihilation by evil corporations and their minions.  Yet when we have wanton rape of the resource by a cabal of corporate interests and official arms of the State of Alaska, all the usual suspects are silent, and their silence is deafening.
  1. Sea Butterflies. The Next Big Thing out of the Chicken Little wannabees who comprise the environmental community is ocean acidification.  It is in many ways a much better vehicle for terrifying governments into instant, expensive and wrong action than temperature or CO2 level changes.  Why?  The best reason of all:  little data over time exists on worldwide ocean ph levels and how those levels change over time, how they are related to location, and what the plant and wildlife inhabiting those regions respond to changes.  This allows the Usual Suspects to light their hair on fire, pick up the next manmade environmental terror and start running merrily to the media with stories of doom, gloom and the impending arrival of the Sweet Meteor of Death (SMOD).  First up is the sea butterfly, an open ocean swimming mollusk with a minimal shell.  The shells on the young generally show pitting, which is claimed by at least one NOAA scientist to be an example of ocean acidification due to increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.  Problem is that the highly acidic water is generally very cold, very deep water that rises to the surface in places.  Additionally, most of the dissolved carbonate the mollusks use to build their shells also reside in the upper layers of the ocean.  Looks like shell building takes place from inside out, so investigators will never see what the inside response to exterior shell damage is unless the animal is killed to investigate.  Whatever happens, looks like government employees paid with your tax dollars are in the early stages of finding yet another icon upon which to hang their global warming CO2 emissions hat.
  1. Alabama. The State of Alabama is back working on extracting itself from the gay marriage war.  Senate Bill 20 abolished all requirements to obtain a marriage license in Alabama.  The only state involvement would be for probate judges to record marriage contracts between two individuals based on signed affidavits – essentially civil marriage.  The Senate Judiciary Committee passed it out on a 9 – 0 vote 10 days ago.  Civil or religious ceremonies will no longer have any legal effect on the validity of a marriage, which is then recognized as a simple contract between two parties.  This idea was floated last year and passed the senate.  The house did not act on it quickly enough to send it to the governor for signature before their session ended.  This change in state law also nicely voids federal judiciary meddling in Alabama’s marriage laws.

More later –

– AG

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