Interesting Items 08/28

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

In this issue:

  1. Setup
  2. DAPL
  3. Hysteria
  4. Storage
  5. Bannon
  6. Racist
  7. Eclipse
  8. Lee

  1. Setup. A troubling piece in the American Thinker Friday suggested that antifa / BLM are systematically cranking up the violence to intentionally trigger gunfire in response.  And after someone defends themselves from these goons with firearms, we will be instantly in the middle of a Mother of All Battles with the leftist gun grabbers who will hide behind their dead new best friends in antifa and BLM.  There are so many reasons that this may be in their plans.  They are communists, funded by all the usual suspects on the left.  They have been trained at some level in the use of baseball bats and axe handles on people who can’t fight back or are not anticipating getting assaulted.  Don’t know how many have firearms training like the Bernie supporters who have gotten into the blowing people away business.  But this sort of chaos is precisely the sort of thing that is likely on their list of fun things to do.  There were a number of open carry people on the scene in Charlottesville.  None were attacked.  None participated in the festivities.  One of the things the author noted that the speed that VA Governor Terry McAulliffe (The Punk) got in front of the media calling for gun control afterwards, wondering if the speech had been previously written.  With democrats, I don’t think this matters very much, as it is part of their genetic makeup, it is what they do and who they are, as much a part of the generic democrat toolkit as voting fraud, identity politics, class warfare, and the use of the mob against their political opponents are.  A gun control bleat after any event is an automatic reflex.  Take this as yet another data point, something to keep in mind as the left continues their assault on civil society.


  1. DAPL. This one will be fun.  Last week Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against DoD for all records from the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding environmental groups attempts to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).  The suit was filed after DoD failed to respond to a May 8 request for communications between the Corps, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, EarthJustice, and Friends of the Earth regarding DAPL or the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.  The FOIA follows up an Energy Transfer Partners LP lawsuit against Greenpeace and its allies for “… engaging in what they claim is a racketeering scheme far beyond ordinary environmental advocacy.”  Judicial Watch points out that the O’Bama regime worked closely with radical and often violent environmentalists to shut down the pipeline.  The fun part comes when this data gathering fuels an expected civil RICO suit against the participating environmental groups.  I’d include the Standing Rock Sioux in the action but they don’t have the money the NGOs do.  The green NGOs do and can stand to pay the tens to hundreds of millions lost by the pipeline company and the State of North Dakota during the violent protests.  Collusion and participation by O’Bamaoid DoD and the Army Corps fueled the fire.


  1. Hysteria. Scott Adams continued his ongoing instruction on the field of persuasion last week with a tutorial on mass hysteria bubbles.  He describes mass hysterias as follows: “A mass hysteria happens when the public gets a wrong idea about something that has strong emotional content bias.  In other words, people spontaneously hallucinate a whole new (and usually crazy-sounding) reality and believe they see plenty of evidence for it.”  He uses the Salem Witch Trials (likely caused by ergot – rye fungus – poisoning), the McMartin Pre-School case, and the Tulip Bubble (the first recognized economic oversupply bubble), as examples.  Today, he believes the Russian Collusion story may end up being mass hysteria, though we don’t know enough about it yet to tell.  The current mass hysteria is based on the notion that the United States elected a racist president.  Here’s the fun part:  I you are in the mass hysteria, you can’t fact any claims to the contrary because you are hallucinating.  And if you aren’t in it, the actions of those in it are completely inexplicable, crazy.  Signs of mass hysteria according to Scott Adams include the following:  1.  The trigger event for cognitive dissonance; 2.  The ridiculousness of it; 3.  The confirmation bias; 4.  The oversized reaction; 5.  The insult without supporting argument.  The last two are most obvious indicators, with ad-hominem attacks by those that disagree with you that offer no reasons at all for their disagreement.  Unsaid by Adams is the play of the media in pumping up the hysteria.  It wouldn’t have gone very far at all without the willing, gleeful participation of the media dumping gasoline on the hysterical fire.


  1. Storage. Interesting story out of WUWT last week demonstrating just how far California has strayed from economic reality.  The company calls itself Advanced Rail Energy Storage – ARES America.  The concept is to store intermittent energy (solar and wind) by moving a heavy train up a hill, converting actual electricity into potential energy.  When you run the train down the hill, it generates electricity until it gets to the bottom of the hill or end of the line at which point, it has to be run back up the hill to start all over again.  One of the largest problems with solar and wind is energy storage to cover the periods of outages.  Early use of windmills in the American West was to pump water out of wells for livestock.  The wind was never constant.  Energy storage took place in tanks that were filled with water from the wind-pumped wells.  Make the tank large enough, and the livestock won’t get thirsty when the wind is not blowing.  For the solar and wind renewable business, energy is stored in batteries, fuel cells, the occasional fast rotating electrical coupled flywheel, metered out at a steady stream when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing.  Some wind projects are coupled with reservoirs that pump water uphill, filling the reservoir in times of good wind, and releasing the water downhill through turbines.  While all this works at some level, you can never bypass the Laws of Thermodynamics, as every time you change the type of energy, you take losses in what comes out of the end of the process.  The ARES process uses an electrical locomotive dragging a heavy set of cars behind it.  They claim charge / discharge efficiencies up to 80% with continuous discharge up to eight hours.  My guess is that the mechanical losses (friction / stop – start momentum), conversion losses, and losses due to simply keeping the train moving put that number in the 50% range.  When you have a renewable system that is 30% efficient (wind) or 20% efficient (a really good solar system), coupling these with a 50% efficient rail storage solution gives you an overall system efficiency of 15% and 10% respectively, which is a lot to pay for feeling good about yourself powering your state with unicorn flatulence, pixie dust, and moonbeams.  While an interesting idea, rail storage is ultimately expensive, inefficient, especially when combined with wind and solar generation, but will generate no small number of wowsers and cool reactions from the True Believers.  Want real electrical generation?  Today, there is still no economic competitor for coal, natural gas, nuclear, CTLs / GTLs.  And there won’t for the foreseeable future, especially from renewables.  The comments in the WUWT piece are especially instructive.


  1. Bannon. WH aide and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon stepped down from his advisor position in the WH last week.  At week’s end, he was followed by Sebastian Gorka.  Both aides were among the most conservative, most populist members of President Trump’s inner circle.  Resignations were greeted with joy by the anti-Trumpers and his opposition in the media.  They were greeted with some consternation and concern among Trump’s supporters.  At this point, I don’t know how it will work out, as with all things Trump, it is a mixed bag.  On one hand, two of the most populist members of his inner circle have left and he will no longer be receiving their council on a regular basis.  OTOH, they both appear to have left on good terms, still appear to talk with Trump on a regular basis, still are supportive, and appears he still listens to them.  I would posit that General Kelly is systematically trying to install some structure into the WH staff.  I would also think there are some things that those on the outside can do to support Trump that those on the inside can’t and would tend to lean in the direction that these guys may very well be far more effective on the outside than they were on the inside.  As with everything else, trust but verify.


  1. Racist. Godwin’s Law states that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of comparison involving Hitler approaches 1.  That is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later somewhere will compare someone or something to Hitler or his deeds.”  The immediate corollary is that whomever makes the comparison first loses the argument.  With that in mind, look at the expansion of Godwin’s law by the left today.  We have a group with roots in the European communist movement that call themselves antifa that believe it is ok to punch a Nazi.  We have a media and no small number of democrats that believe physical violence against racists is perfectly acceptable.  On top of that, anyone that disagrees with them is a racist or a Nazi, which in turn mean their speech is by definition illegitimate, and does not require protection, a defacto repeal of the First Amendment.  And they are enforcing this worldview with mob violence.  They are treating Orwell’s 1984 and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 as how-to guides rather than warnings.


  1. Eclipse. Last Monday was a total solar eclipse with the track of totality across the heart of the nation from Oregon to South Carolina.  Weather for the most part was nice and a lot of Americans viewed the event.  Next one cuts across Mexico, central Texas, upstate NY, Maine, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada in April 2024 Be there or be square.


  1. Lee. ESPN has a long-time college football broadcaster named Bob Lee.  He is of oriental heritage and his first name is actually Robert, that’s right, Robert (no ‘E’) Lee.  Lee was scheduled to broadcast a University of Virginia game this upcoming season.  ESPN, out of some bogus view of sensitivity decided that a guy with one of the most popular first names (Robert) and most popular oriental last names (Lee) was insufficiently sensitive to broadcast the game.  To make it worse, Lee agreed with the decision.  ESPN is dead man walking, having self-selected out of the economic gene pool by virtue of a self-constructed PC bubble.

More later –

– AG


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