Interesting Items 06/05

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

In this issue:

  1. Paris
  2. DAPL
  3. Zinke
  4. Boycott
  5. Lawn Mowing
  6. Tactics
  7. Slush Fund
  8. Turnout
  9. Kanter

  1. Paris. The best news of last week was the wooden stake President Trump put through the black little heart of the rent seekers of the climate change community.  After nearly a week of increasingly rampant speculation, he stepped up to the podium in the Rose Garden and unequivocally pulled the United States out of a treaty designed to economically hobble our economy for centuries.  The political left instantly went nuts, which they apparently do when the sun comes up.  Better yet, there were any number of companies, all of who were in the rent-seeking business, suckling the public teat for grant money, that added into the doom saying.  Trump gave a classic speech, at the end noting that he was “… elected to represent tie citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”  There is some dispute about how tightly Paris ties the hands of Americans.  Supporters claim not at all, which is most certainly a lie.  Opponents claimed it was deadly, with Limbaugh and his legal team doing a riff on something Nixon signed in 1970 called the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.  The senate never ratified it, as such it does not apply at any level.  It was an end-run around constitutional requirements for a 2/3 majority.  Trump ended his speech with a promise to negotiate any environmental treaty as long as it was a positive one for his fellow Americans.  Here in Alaska, the Anchorage Mayor and former US Senator Mark Begich panned the withdrawal and promised to adhere to the Paris emissions reductions targets.  These guys are both thinking about running for governor in 2018.  This would mark the first large mistake both have made.  Nothing so thoroughly draws a bright dividing line between the elite and the rest of us than idiotic climate treaties.  Good on President Trump, who after getting elected, just keeps on delivering.


  1. DAPL. Happy news this week is that new oil is flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline.  The pipeline carries oil from the Dakotas to Iowa and has commitments to carry 520,000 bbl / day.  Remember all those protests that the O’Bama regime pandered to for years?  They are over.  They are gone.  The trashed campgrounds are even cleaned up.  And the oil flows.  And the oil flows.  So much winning.  So much winning.


  1. Zinke. The Alaska congressional delegation and the Alaska Oil and Gas Association brought new Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to Alaska for a visit last week.  They did not invite current governor Bill Walker to the festivities.  Walker showed up anyway.  While here, Zinke spoke about respecting Alaska and working with Alaskan natives on governance issues.  He promised to streamline permitting decisions.  It looks like we will see a road built into Cold Bay, the road that O’Bama Interior Secretary Sally Jewell summarily canceled.  He announced strong support for resource development and signed a document rolling back O’Bama restrictions on oil and natural gas development in NPR-A.  This was a pretty good visit.  Zinke said all the right things to the resource development world while here.  His comments on native issues were painted as a complete capitulation to native separatists here in AK.  I do not read them as that.  This is a good first step, a start, but it is only a start.  We will hope he can roll back an incredible amount of anti-Alaskan actions by Interior over the last few decades.


  1. Boycott. Tactics for boycotts by the left are changing a bit as the political right figures out how to fight them.  Last week, USAA, a military-friendly financial company reversed a decision to pull its advertising from Sean Hannity’s FNC broadcasts.  The company was responding to an offline pressure by the political left that was not publicly apparent.  They made their corporate decision and were educated on the error of their ways by military and former military members worldwide.  They made the right decision to reverse pulling their ad buys.  This story echoes something that happened here in Alaska a week or two ago when Wells Fargo decided to pull its support from the Iditarod Dog Sled Race after decades of support.  In the past, protesters used to come here to AK, where they were mostly ignored by everyone except the leftist media.  Recently, they shifted their protest locations to the headquarters in the Lower 48, out of sight and out of mind from their targets, going after their corporate targets at the corporate HQ.  If there is no feedback between corporate HQ and the locales in play, there is no information flow between the sponsor and the target.  Now that we know the new game, we can do something about it.  The bottom line here is that for the left, there is no part of our daily lives that are outside the political realm.  They chose that game.  Time to make sure they lose it.


  1. Lawn Mowing. The war on summer jobs continues, this time in a small town in Alabama where the local government and professional lawn maintenance companies conspired to pass licensing requirements for people who cut grass.  The fee is a mere $110, something far out of the reach of a youngster just entering the workforce.  Employees of yard maintenance companies have threatened to turn in teens to the city for fines if they are caught mowing yards that are not their own.  This story highlights two less than positive trends in modern America.  First is the active killing off of entry-level employment for young people.  If you don’t learn how to simply show up for work, be presentable, be ready to work when you get there, do what you are asked to do, figure out how to handle your very own finances, and give value for whatever your level of compensation before taking a full-time job, that first job is going to be pretty rocky.  It is a step toward infantilizing our young, making them more dependent because they do not learn the basic lessons of the workplace early in life.  The second trend is the use of government action, particularly in the licensing and regulation spheres to keep competitors out of the marketplace.  The reaction of the mayor to complaints is essentially, too bad, so sad, gosh I wish I could do something about this, and an additional handful of mealy-mouthed excuses is the reaction of a guy getting campaign donations from professional lawn maintenance companies.


  1. Tactics. SECDEF James Mattis described a change in tactics dealing with ISIS fighters in the Middle East last week.  He adopted the old Soviet principle of war – annihilation.  This replaces the former attrition tactic of shoving them from one position to another in Iraq and Syria used during the O’Bama years.  Today, they surround them and allow the allies to eliminate them from the gene pool.  He is also using the Trump-led persuasion of evil losers, by drying up their fund-raising, recruitment, and divorcing them from any protection by any other nation.  Given the support Turkey’s strongman Erdogan has been giving them in northern Syria, this last piece may be more difficult than expected.  The tactics echo Scott Adams’ suggestion of how to handle ISIS – by building a wall around it, cutting off all communication, cutting off all cross-border flow of people,  killing off recruiting, and allowing this particularly toxic form of Islam to wither and die.


  1. Slush Fund. A few weeks ago, Suzanne Downing’s Must Read Alaska described creation of a tax-funded slush fund for the environmental left here in Alaska.  The proposal comes out of the House Resources Committee, led by a pair of screaming greens from Anchorage – Andy Josephson and Geran Tarr.  They propose a one percent tax on every barrel of oil shipped through TAPS.  The estimated $1.825 million / year will be used to set up a climate change commission within the Office of the Governor.  The commission will include 15 people, including 5 state commissioners and nine elected municipal officials from around the state.  An executive director would be hired to advance the agenda of the commission.  The primary work product would be to seek grants, aid, and other financing to assist rural communities, yet another way to grease local palms just in time for the next election campaign.  Once the Climate Change Response Fund reaches its $50 million limit, no more tax will be collected on TAPS flow.  The legislation is supported by a large number of established environmental groups and newly created protest groups formed following the defeat of Hillary Clinton.


  1. Turnout. One of the things that happens when you are in the race-baiting business is when you no long provide the appropriate level of race baiting fodder, your voters no longer want to play.  The democrats found this out in 2016 when black didn’t turn out for Hillary like they did for O’Bama.  Given Trump’s overt play to the black inner cities – can’t we do better?  What do you have to lose? – there are also a finite number of people in those communities who are no longer wanting to play the Old Game, which has promised so much and delivered so little.  An article in Five Thirty Eight listed below documents the problems democrats are having turning out the inner city blacks since 2012.  Black turnout in 2016 was down 7%.  White turnout increased in 2016 in many parts of the country, turning what was previously known as the Blue Wall in the Midwest Republican Red for Donald Trump.  Black turnout in a number of states was down particularly among young men, which makes a certain amount of sense as democrats have been bashing men for years in their continuing attempt to court the single women vote.  In 2016, white vote was up just under 3%.  Black votes were down 7.2% among women and 11.3% among men.  They were up nearly 6% among Hispanics and Asians.  an.  Clearly the Resistance foolishness is not appealing to black voters.  When you make your living out of pitting one American against another, when the game no longer works, your voters will stop turning out to vote for you.


  1. Kanter. What happens when you are the putative dictator of Turkey and conducting a putsch of all opponents?  Sometimes Turks working overseas have the wherewithal and media platform to push back a bit.  Such is the case of Enes Kanter, a NBA player with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who has been vocal in opposition to Turkish President Erdogan’s ongoing putsch.  A Turkish judge (Erdogan appointee) issued an arrest warrant against Kanter last week after an Istanbul prosecutor opened an investigation into Kanter’s “… membership of an armed terrorist organization.”  Of course, Kanter is only a member of an NBA basketball team, not a member of a terrorist organization at all.  Kanter is Swiss-born of Turkish parents (who have been arrested in the ongoing putsch) and outspoken in opposition to Erdogan’s efforts to solidify his power in Turkey.  He is arguably Turkey’s most popular international athlete.  The Erdogan regime cancelled his Turkish passport leading to his detention in Romania last week following public criticism of Erdogan by Kanter.  For his part, Kanter is not backing down, even after his parents have been taken into custody. Turkey’s descent into third world lawlessness continues apace.

More later –

– AG

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