Interesting Items 03/20

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

In this issue:

  1. Wiretapping
  2. Hiding
  3. Budget
  4. Rollback
  5. CAFÉ
  6. Vandalism
  7. FDA
  8. Mercury

  1. Wiretapping. It has been highly amusing to watch democrats and their cheerleaders and enablers in the media tie themselves into knots trying to prove President Trump’s Tweet storm accusing former President O’Bama of wiretapping Trump Tower.  While his verbiage may or may not be technically correct, the O’Bama regime most certainly did intercept every single phone call and transmission from Trump Tower.  And how do I know that?  It is because the NSA slurps up everything – every single phone call and transmission that they can.  Today that is pretty much anything.  Once everything is slurped up, it is stored for an indefinite period of time in their data warehouse(s) available for exploitation as soon as your name rises to the attention of someone in the intelligence, law enforcement, federal bureaucracy or political community.  All of Trump’s calls are sitting in the big database in the sky, just like all of yours and all of mine.  As soon as he was identified as a threat to any single one of tens of thousands of O’Bama political appointees or their hires (think – co-conspirators), someone ran a query against the database and started leaking creatively edited partial transcripts of phone calls.  Three examples of calls made include a call between General Flynn and the Russian Ambassador, a call between Trump and the Australian President, and a call between Trump and the Mexican President.  All leaks were done to make Trump look bad.  None of the leaks included the actual transcript of the call.  Finally, every single leak was illegal, a federal felony good for ten solid years in Club Fed.  If the Trump Tower was not wiretapped, how did the NSA come across those transcripts?  Better yet, what gives them the right to slurp up everything and leak it in a partisan political manner?  The democrats think Trump grabbed a tar baby and are about to throw him in the briar patch where he lives.  Make popcorn, this is going to be lots of fun.
  1. Hiding. Bloomberg ran a piece last week about the environmental shell game going on in Washington with the O’Bama regime stashing climate change money across the government to make it more difficult to root out.  The regime reportedly spent $77 billion between 2008 – 2013, or about $13 billion / year over that period.  The regime integrated climate change into all federal departments, forcing them to take climate change into account as part of their activities.  Even the Pentagon got into the act when their planners were told to include manmade climate change as part of their threat analyses.  And the O’Bama appointees and the peacetime generals / Perfumed Princes did as they were told to do.  For his part, President Trump has promised to cut all federal spending on climate change.  His budget released last week takes a great step forward toward doing precisely that.  It will be difficult to root out, not unlike trying to rid a field of kudzu, but it will be fun and very, very rewarding.  Who would have thought that one of the least ideological presidents in decades is turning out to be the most conservative one policy-wise?  https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-03-15/cutting-climate-spending-made-harder-by-obama-s-budget-tactics
  1. Budget. The Trump budget hit the fan last week and any number of sacred cows and oxen were gored.  Film at 11.  EPA is being targeted with a $2 billion budget reduction and a 20% reduction in its 15,000 workforce.  Expect those people to end up working for any number of Russian-funded anti-oil and natural gas environmental NGOs.  Also in the cross hairs of impending budget cuts are the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, State Department, Agriculture, and a variety of agencies and programs that have been on conservative hit lists for decades.  The cuts triggered the first foolish fake news story that Trump was going to cut Meals on Wheels.  The sob stories we have been hearing since the first Reagan budget in 1981 started almost instantly.  Teouble is this time around, nobody but the media is listening.  We’ve had eight solid years of the democrats and their cronies and supporters getting everything they ever wanted and things only got worse.  Time to try something a little bit better.  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/03/21/media_erect_roadblocks_to_trump_budget_plan_133388.html
  1. Rolback. Looks like Michelle O’Bama’s inedible school lunch program is also on the hit list, as 54,000 school cafeteria workers asked the Trump administration to roll back her healthy school lunch program.  Rationale?  The kids aren’t eating what the cafeterias are being forced to serve, which in turn turns many of those operations into money losers.  Add to that, lower student participation, higher costs and increased waste of food, and you have the typical unintended response to liberal do-gooderism.  Among the things that will return to the cafeterias will be salt, which has been drastically cut by the new O’Bama regulations.  Among the other things cafeterias are forced to serve are whole-grain breads.  Turns out these specialty items are difficult to find in quantities needed by a typical cafeteria operation.  Michelle’s Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 spawned over 300 regulations on what can and cannot be served in the government schools.  I expect those will get rolled back sooner rather than later.  https://pjmedia.com/parenting/2017/03/14/michelle-obamas-school-lunch-reign-of-terror-nearly-over/
  1. CAFÉ. Speaking of rollbacks, President Trump announced an effort to roll back O’Bama CAFÉ standards at a speech in front of cheering Ford employees last week.  The O’Bama CAFÉ standards demand 54.5 mpg by 2025.  The CAFÉ standards grew out of the democrat congress response to the Arab Oil Embargo in 1975.  Note that the oil embargo was not the actual cause of shortages back then, it was the foolish decision of the Nixon administration to levy price controls on gasoline, leading instantly to shortages.  While OPEC was indeed using the oil weapon in response to US support for Israel in the Yom Kippur War, that weapons would not have led to any shortages if wage and price controls were not levied.  They remained throughout the rest of the 1970s until Reagan took office and lifted them.  CAFÉ standards grew out of that experience.  For the most part, Republican presidents have left them alone while democrat presidents have increased them.  The mistaken notion behind CAFÉ is that if US vehicles use less gasoline or diesel, we will not have to produce or purchase so much oil.  But that doesn’t work either, as all CAFÉ standards have done is make vehicles more expensive, more fragile, and less safe.  The primary way to use less fuel is to drag around a lighter vehicle.  Lighter vehicles suffer more damage in accidents, and in turn lead to more deaths and injury for their passengers.  The Brookings Institution found that a 500# reduction in vehicle weight was responsible for 2,200 – 3,900 more annual highway fatalities.  Serious injuries increase by 11,000 – 19,500 per year.  ISA Today found that for every mile per gallon of average fuel economy led to 7,700 deaths per year.  So with the CAFÉ standards, we have the best (/sarc) of all worlds:  A mandate that does not decrease fuel use, makes vehicles smaller and more expensive, and kills and maims more Americans every year.  The only government solution that is more deadly to the average American is renewable energy mandates.  Anythign Trump can do to roll this faith-based foolishness back will be a great day for all of the driving public.  http://reason.com/blog/2017/03/15/trump-administration-to-review-obama-era
  1. Vandalism. Only in California would wanton vandalism be referred to as environmental activism.  A week ago, a group of vandals videoed themselves trashing a Trump owned golf course in California.  They gouged the phrase “NO MORE TIGERS.  NO MORE WOODS” near the Fifth Green of the golf course.  As they made a video, they are able to be identified.  We will see if local law enforcement is able to or interested in finding them.  The excuse for the vandalism, the eco-terrorism was Trump’s “blatant disregard” for the environment.  As we have seen in any number of really nasty nations, once you paint your opposition as Hitler or worse, then you are morally justified, even compelled to do anything in opposition.  This includes physical assaults of Trump supporters and voters.  It includes destruction of property.  And as long as local politicians and law enforcement look the other way, this will only get worse.  Sooner or later, those of us on the right are going to have enough of the spoiled brats on the left and a lot of them are going to get hurt or worse.  Note to the lefties out there:  There are some people in this life that you just shouldn’t screw with.  Keep this up and you are going to find that there are a lot more out there than you would ever believe even at the height of your fever swamp fantasies.  http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/03/environmental-vandals-damage-trump-golf-course/
  1. FDA. One of the (many) bad actors in the Deep State has been the FDA.  It was originally created to help patients to receive access to better drugs, sooner, and at a lower cost.  Over the decades, mission creep progressed to the point where the current mission is to avoid risks of adverse side effects from approved drugs.  This mission creep adds years and billions of dollars in testing to development and testing of new drugs, even (especially) drugs that have been used for decades overseas.  As only the Big Guys are able to afford to run the approval / testing gauntlet to bring something new to market, the entire small business part of the economy has been invited to pick up their toys and depart the room.  This is not a bug; it is a feature.  This leads to very adverse outcomes, particularly in the treatment of rare diseases, where only a few people have the disease and there is no incentive for the drug companies to do anything to meet their needs.  Indeed there are huge incentives to ignore the entire field.  The only area of the economy with anything resembling a rocking free market are dietary supplements and vitamins, which the FDA has been threatening to regulate for years.  Anything the new FDA Commissioner can do to streamline the approval process and return the FDA to its initial mission, will be great progress.  Shutting it down completely and turning the entire process over to an industry group like the Underwriter’s Labs would be even better.  This is a start.  A positive one.  http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/healthcare/323914-president-trumps-fda-nominee-could-mean-better-drugs-sooner-at
  1. Mercury. Our weekly breathless environmental article in Alice Rogoff’s fish wrapper detailed the discovery of increased mercury levels in ducks in Unalaska and Kodiak.  The article noted that the increased levels were coming via mussels the ducks are eating.  Alaska has natural mussels in most of their lakes.  They are also abundant in the salt water.  The article then opines of possible sources – volcanic eruptions or industrial sources.  Increased mercury levels are found in a variety of wildlife along the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutians.  As much fun as it would be to blame all of this on factories, there is not a lot of manufacturing in that part of the state.  Next best source would be favorite punching bag China, but that would include everything between here and there.  My guess is that it is natural, products of volcanic eruptions.  We know that mercury is produced in varying quantities by volcanoes.  For example, the ongoing Kilauea produces over 270 tons / year.  A single fumarole on Masaya in Nicaragua is producing 7 tons / year.  Note that the entire UK produced industrial emissions of only 5.5 tons / year in 2000.  So if volcanoes are a source, do we have anything active in that part of the state?  We most certainly do, as Okmok erupted in 2008.  Bogoslof is erupting today, dusting Unalaska with ash.  Katmai puked out over 28 km3 of ash over a three day eruption in 1912.  It buried parts of Kodiak with over a meter of ash.  Kodiak still is dusted by dust kicked up by winds in the National Monument.  Mussels are filter feeders, and are picking up the active deposition of ash, passing it along to the ducks.  Unfortunate?  Absolutely.  Will it kill the wildlife?  Probably not, as it has most certainly happened before.  https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/science/2017/03/14/ducks-in-unalaska-getting-mercury-from-local-mussels-study-shows/

More later –

– AG

 

One thought on “Interesting Items 03/20”

  1. Alex, it is useful to make a distinction between circuit-switched telephony and radio telephony (includes microwave band) and the hybrid tech that is TCP/IP. Strictly speaking, you do not ever intercept radio communications. They’re broadcast and available to anyone with a receiver, which the 1934 era law made visible. What you do with that, subsequently, is a different matter.

    Thus “wire-tapped” in President Trump’s tweet. If you are out in public and acting in public, anyone with eyes to see or ears to hear, can and will do that. Just as Governor Wallace’s infamous stand was a protest against the unconstitutional Federal interference in an Alabama matter, (and yes, the Governor was not against the re-desegregation of the University of Alabama, from the start); the official and open protest against the unconstitutional misuse of legitimate SIGINT derived information that clearly was disseminated with the purpose of damaging him and his administration.

    So, was the President using an old-fashioned land line phone or was he using the radio sets that are widely sold today? That is one question that should be asked. Also one should remember that the cellphone is short for cellular radiotelephone.

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