Interesting Items 05/08

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

In this issue:

  1. Repeal
  2. CR
  3. Thorsness
  4. Hatcheries
  5. Vader
  6. Antiquities
  7. Gore Effect

  1. Repeal. The House of Representatives took the first step toward a repeal of O’BamaCare last week passing a repeal and replace Bill.  The vote was 217 – 213.  Que the caterwauling, wails of anguish, rending of garments, wearing of sackcloth and ashes from both sides.  Democrats celebrated the vote by singing “Sha na na na, Sha na na na, Hey hey, hey, Goodbye” thinking they just hit the jackpot.  Media immediately started running a continuous stream of heart rending stories about soon to be dead people because their O’Bama provided health care would soon be gone.  For some reason, the stories never mentioned the O’BamaCare Death Panel, IPAB charged with rationing care in a failing system or the deadly one size fits all top-down solution that is the VA.  Here in Anchorage, the orchestrated phone calls to the congressional delegation started early along with an ad campaign on local media.  The local fish wrapper dredged up a former military mother (who claimed to be an AFA graduate) with an 11-year handicapper to write an op-ed about the damage the O’BamaCare repeal is about to do to her son.  It was both disingenuous and heart rending.  The problem is all the stuff she left out of the piece.  For instance, was the kid covered by Tricare (health coverage for military and their dependents)?  Was there a break in coverage?  Are they covered today?  Were there any breaks in coverage and if to, what did they do about it?  Most importantly, is she hooked into the handicapper community in any way?  There is a huge community with lots of state and federal resources set up to provide care for handicappers and their families.  All you have to do is get plugged into it.  No mention of this either.  This young lady was first.  She will not be the last, as I expect these sorts of articles several times a week for the next year or two.  Maybe they will replace the op-ed space formerly taken up by the climatistas.  Maybe not.  After passage, the House majority went to the WH for a ceremony and celebration.  This is very good persuasion, as Trump is using the visual to put pressure on the senate which is now doing its level best to drag their feet on repeal.  Do I like the Bill?  Kind of.  It is not the simple solution I wanted.  But it is orders of magnitude better than what it is replacing.  Too often we conservatives wander down the road or perfect being the enemy of good enough.  The House bill is probably not even good enough, but it is a start, a very strong start.  Final thought comes courtesy of the American Thinker with an article responding to the over the top democrat claims that repeal of O’BamaCare will kill people.  Interesting notion that, as it looks like once again democrats and their media cheerleaders are projecting what they have been doing on conservatives.  As it turns out, mortality was decreasing in the US prior to O’BamaCare passing and being put into effect.  As it was put into effect, that decline stopped.  Do the math and the comparison and you end up with around 80,000 fewer Americans dying had O’BamaCare not have been passed in 2010 for the period 2014 – 2015.


  1. CR. The other piece of big news last week was the agreement on a continuing resolution to keep the government open through September.  This one is a mixed bag and perhaps a missed opportunity by the Trump administration.  It is essentially the remaining piece of the final O’Bama budget.  It was crafted in the House with participation by the WH and both parties in the senate.  It was not a strongly conservative budget.  There were a few improvements, mostly in ditching the sequester agreement that every dollar of new defense spending will also bring along with it the same amount in non-defense spending.  Conservative media (blogs, web sites and talk radio) blew up in opposition to the deal and it appeared that the WH was taken aback by the opposition, perhaps not expecting it.  President Trump Tweeted afterwards that there would be an old fashioned government shutdown when the Trump budget makes its way through congress for the first time.  Do I like this?  Not really, for what better time to blow the lid off the DC swamp than at budget time?  I look at this as a missed opportunity.  OTOH, Trump has been playing this at his own rate with smashing success so far, so what the H&*( do I know?


  1. Thorsness. Medal of Honor recipient Leo Thorsness passed away last week at age of 85.  Col. Thorsness piloted F105s assigned to the Wild Weasel mission in Vietnam.  He earned his medal during a wild mission over North Vietnam when members of his formation were shot down, shot up, jumped by MIGs, and the Search and Rescue mission immediately afterwards downed.  His actions saved multiple lives.  For his part in the festivities, he was shot down a couple weeks later and spent the next six years in captivity.  He was uncooperative with the North Vietnamese and was beaten, tortured and kept in isolation for much of that time.  Following his release, he entered politics, won an election, lost a few, and ended up as a State Senator in Washington, serving a single term and retiring in 1992.  He was one of the modern American heroes.


  1. Hatcheries. One of the things I do during the summer is chase salmon across southcentral Alaska, partly because it is fun and partly because we like to eat them. The world is moving away from the hunter-gatherer model for commercial fishing into a ranching (fish farming) model for salmon, everywhere except for Alaska.  Most nations increase the number of returning fish by a system of hatcheries which artificially spawn and raise smolt, releasing them into various rivers where they are imprinted by the water, can swim to the ocean, and then return to the commercial nets a year to five years (depending on species) later.  As it (always) turns out, there is a cost to everything associated with fishing.  And in the case of the hatcheries, the increase in the number of hatchery fish released over the last couple decades may present a problem as it approaches the carrying capacity of the Pacific Ocean itself.  While I hesitate to buy into most green “sky is falling” foolishness, I do wonder a bit about this.  Ran across a 2010 paper out of Yale Environment 360 entitled “Hatch-22:  The Problem with the Pacific Salmon Resurgence.  Today, the number of salmon in the Pacific Ocean is double what it was half a century ago.  About a fifth of those fish originate from hatcheries.  In 1970, there were half a billion smolt released.  By 2008, that number was up to 5 billion and growing quickly, an order of magnitude increase and that was almost a decade ago.  The concern is that the young smolt, generally pink and chum will overtax the ability of the Pacific Ocean to produce plankton and krill the fish feed on.  Nobody knows what that number is or even how to measure it today.  But it is out there somewhere.  If there is a problem, there is usually a solution.  The green response will be to stop hatcheries and eliminate them completely, yet they do serve a useful purpose to enhance weak runs of salmon (coho and king).  A better solution would be to convert as many commercial fishermen worldwide into fish farmers, aquaculture, where the fish are raised and fed in one location, dial back hatchery action for pink and chum salmon and concentrate on species important to other user groups than commercial fishermen.


  1. Vader. I never knew it before but May 4 is Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you).  In all the festivities, kids of all ages started doing their Star Wars thing, some in public, some not.  In Ashwaubenon, WI a parent glimpsed a student wearing a Darth Vader costume.  She was worried about the “unusual” dress of the kid and called school authorities.  The idiots running the school then called the idiots at the local police department who promptly evacuated the school.  Just to make sure that everyone was having a good time, they also put the middle school and community center on lockdown.  No light sabers were being used or carried without a concealed or external carry permit (that I know of).  The cops decided not to do anything to the student for their breathtaking lack of judgment.  And to date, nobody identified the idiot parent who somehow doesn’t recognize one of the great cinema villains over the last 40 years.  As the years go by, Glenn Reynolds’ observation that sending your children, particularly male offspring, to public school is child abuse continues to approach a mathematical certainty or identity as the so-called adults in the room demonstrate time after time after time they are not adults at all.


  1. Antiquities. President Trump signed an Executive order about 10 days ago asking for a review of the use of national monument designations under the Antiquities Act.  The 111-year-old law was intended to prevent looting of archeological and Native American structures and objects.  Unfortunately, over the last century it has evolved into a tool for presidents – particularly democrat presidents – to pay off supporters, big money donors, hammer local residents in unfriendly states, or simply to get some positive press.  The worst abuse of the Act took place at the hands of Jimmy Carter with 56 million acres, mostly in Alaska, GW Bush with 219 million acres, mostly around the Pacific islands, and the recently departed but not forgotten BH O’Bama with a whopping 553 million acres, mostly in western states, Alaska and the Pacific islands.  The problem with this tool is that it generally does not consider the interests of local residents.  Better yet, there is no tested way to undo or unwind designation of a National Monument.  As usual, the greens went pyrotechnic, though how can you tell the difference these days as they go nuclear at anything Trump does?  Perhaps it is time to repeal the Antiquities Act and return all lands taken since 1976 to the many states so they can figure out what to do with them.


  1. Gore Effect. The Gore Effect is a perceived connection between formal events of global warming activism and unseasonably cold temperature events.  The latest of these took place in Colorado Springs 10 days or so ago when the People’s Climate March was postponed due to heavy snow, over a foot in some places.  The event, sponsored by unions, greens, Putin and Soros-funded social justice activist groups was canceled as the snow began.  A mirror event in Denver was also cancelled in the face of an expected 24” of snow.  The marchers claimed to be standing up for their planet.  Unfortunately, their planet appeared to be turning a cold shoulder on the festivities.

More later –

– AG


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