Interesting Items 05/14

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

In this issue:

  1. Beria
  2. SpaceX
  3. Cost
  4. Schneiderman
  5. DA Elections
  6. Kilauea
  7. Candidates

  1. Beria. Lavrentiy Beria was Chief of Soviet secret police and Politburo member under Stalin.  He made it to Chef Deputy Premier under Stalin and following his death was elevated further before being arrested for treason and executed following Khrushchev’s 1953 coup.  He presided over the expansion of the Gulag and oversaw secret detention of scientists and engineers.  Stalin introduced him to FDR at Yalta as “our Himmler.”  He also oversaw the Soviet atomic bomb program, based on espionage of the US program.  Beria was a thoroughly nasty spook.  He was famously quoted “Show me the man, and I’ll show (or find) you the crime.”  This secret police technique of arbitrary criminal action against regime outsiders has been adopted by our very own Deep State anti-Trumpers who have their very own Beria in the form of Robert Mueller busily leaving no stone unturned in his Ahab-esque quest to document an impeachment case against President Trump.  The democrats have become what they claim to hate the most, Soviet-style, Stalinist apparatchiks.  As they don’t control the government (yet), the investigations end up being the punishment.  Rather than dragging their targets before firing squads, the democrat, anti-Trumper Beria wannabees destroy the lives of their targets via crushing legal bills.  The investigation becomes the punishment.  The message to conservatives and Republicans is very clear:  Never, ever dare to do what Trump just did, or we will destroy you, your life, your family, friends, and acquaintances, driving them from their jobs, forcing them to sell their homes, and driving them into poverty and debt.  It is a powerful message, one that some on our side will probably listen to.  OTOH, there are a number of us who are quite willing to play under the new rules, and I don’t think the Deep State will enjoy it all that much.  If there are two tracks for the law, why ought only democrats and their supporters be the only ones who get away with doing whatever they want to do?  Keep this up and we will see a return of the Vigilance Committees and street justice.


  1. SpaceX. Elon Musk’s SpaceX had its first launch of their Falcon 9 Block 5 booster.  The improvement here is the ability to quickly turn the recovered first stage to future flights.  While being delayed for a few days, the launch, flight, and recovery went well with a successful landing on the drone ship barge in the Atlantic.  SpaceX continues to fight with NASA on man-rating the Falcon 9 and their Dragon capsule.  Over the years, NASA has developed some extensive requirements for man-rating boosters.  A real cynic would note that their recent man-rating requirements didn’t work out all that well with Shuttle that killed astronauts seven at a time.  Reuse of the booster is a big deal, and the goal of the Block 5 development.  SpaceX has 11 first stages that have flown a second time.  Their plans for Block 5 is to have at least one of them 3 – 4 times, with that number increasing to 10 by the end of 2019.  Asking price for a Falcon 5 Block 5 launch is $60 million for a new booster and $50 million for a refurbished (flight tested) one.  Somewhere along the line, those numbers are going to reverse.  One proof of concept test will be to turn a recovered booster and fly it a second time within 24 hours from the first flight.  Ultimately SpaceX plans on building around 30 Block 5 first stages, each flying 10 times over its lifetime.  Musk’s goal for the Falcon 9 is full reusability.  The first stage accounts for 60% of the total cost, second stage 20% and payload faring 10%.  Propellant $300,000 – 500,000 per flight.  Flight profits also need to cover development costs for the Falcon 9 follow-on, the BFR.  SpaceX’s success is pushing the rest of the world to get off the dime and get into the reusable rocket business, all except NASA and its SLS (Space Launch System, aka Senate Launch System).


  1. Cost. Anchorage had its first by mail election last month.  The two goals of the change in voting was to jack up turnout and save money.  Thanks to the million dollars dumped into get out the vote efforts by the left due to the bathroom bill ballot initiative, there were over 80,000 ballots received.  Previous high was 71,000 in 2012.  Cost almost doubled from $614,000 in 2017 to $1,040,300 this year.  Two previous elections cost in the $451,000 range.  Do the math and you have the by mail election costing $47 / additional vote cast over 2017.  If you compare with 2016 and 2015, that cost spikes to $67 / additional vote cast.  The Muni Clerk promises that next year’s election can be done for $854,000.  Assuming they get the same turnout, they will be the per vote costs for the 9,000 additional votes are $27 and $44 respectively.  Should the turnout decrease, those per vote additional costs will rise accordingly.  Vote by mail.  This is an experiment that only worked to elect democrats and pass bonds, hardly a positive outcome for anyone else.


  1. Schneiderman. NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman abruptly resigned last week as news of his drunken serial abuse of women broke via a New Yorker article penned by the same reporter that broke the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal news.  Schneiderman was an aggressive user and abuser of his power as NY’s State Attorney General, helping organize the shakedown racket known as Exxon Knew.  He was also in the middle of the #MeToo feminists.  President Trump knew he was dirty as early as 2013 when he Tweeted that Schneiderman was as dirty as Elliot Spitzer or Anthony Weiner.  Turns out that once again, Trump was correct.  Trump and Schneiderman have long warred against one another, with Schneiderman’s latest effort being a state lawsuit against Trump University.  The closer you look at democrat leadership, the filthier dirty they become, usually doing what they are accusing their opposition of doing.  Speculation is that NY Governor Cuomo forced the quick exit to clear the decks for a presidential run in 2020.


  1. DA Elections. Apparently, the only foreigners who are allowed to muck around in US elections are those on the political left.  Russian and Saudi governments have long funded green anti-drilling / anti-fracking / anti-pipeline political campaigns.  Legal Insurrection ran a piece on George Soros dumping leftist money into local District Attorney elections.  His goal is to elect DAs who are friendly to his political agenda.  His previous foray into state and local elections was his Secretary of State project, where he funded Secretaries of State at the state level in an attempt to put people into office who will play games with election results.  The genesis of that project was the left’s inability to twist Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris into playing along with the ManBearPig (algore) attempt to steal the 2000 election.  Soros plays the political game by working with various democrat PACs and NGOs to turn local DA elections.  In 2014, his Open Society Foundation gave the ACLU a $50 million grant to turn DA races.  His California Justice and Public Safety PAC invested heavily in DA races in Sacramento, Alameda County and San Diego.  He spent a million dollars against Bexar County DA who opposes sanctuary cities.  This came out of Soros’ Texas Justice & Public Safety PAC.  He uses democrat law firm Perkins Coie to set up a number of PACs using some variation of “Justice & Public Safety” in their names.  He dropped $2 million to defeat Joe Arpaio.  The agenda is usually anti-law enforcement and pro-sanctuary cities / pro illegal immigrants.


  1. Kilauea. Hawaii’s Kilauea is an active shield volcano on the eastern flank of the Big Island of Hawaii.  It has been in continuous eruption since 1983.  The volcano was active with 34 eruptions since 1952.  The volcano summit hosted a lava lake which started draining a couple weeks ago.  The lava went east along the Eastern Rift Zone along the volcano’s flanks.  Following several large earthquakes, fissures started opening along the rift zone, right in the middle of a neighborhood called Lelani Estates.  Land in Hawaii is very expensive.  Land on the East Rift Zone much less expensive, mostly due to sitting on the flanks of an active volcano.  As an aside, building in this sort of location is the functional equivalent of building on a barrier island and expecting to stay dry.  As the eruption progressed, the sequence of events is cracks forming, cracks release gas, gas is followed by some lava, spatter cones, and smallish lava flows.  The rift closes after a bit and the activity progresses a bit farther away from the volcano caldera.  It appears that the activity is driven by the magma degassing, as while over 30 buildings have been destroyed so far, lava output has been fairly small.  Of course, this could change quickly once the magma finds its way to the surface in quantity.  So far, nobody has been killed, though property damage is significant.  Next phase of the eruption is expected to be a round of phreatomagmatic explosions as the falling lava level reaches the water table 615 meters below the surface of the caldera.  This should destroy the existing caldera before refilling with more lava.  If the forecasts are correct, things are about to get quite loud and quite ashy for a while.

  1. Candidates. “Independent” Alaskan Governor Bill Walker announced he would be running in the democrat primary for his reelection effort this year.  The announcement makes his conversion to a democrat official and complete, though with all the democrats who have infested his administration from the beginning, there is little doubt on my side of the political world exactly who and what he is.  There are two interesting parts of this.  First is the looming specter of former US Senator (and current democrat king maker) Mark Begich deciding sometime in the not so distant future to jump into the primary as a democrat and bump Walker into political oblivion.  Second is that the state democrat party went to court to allow the party to open its ballot to all comers.  They won a state Supreme Court opinion allowing just that.  State Republicans want to go the opposite direction and prohibit three House members who ran as Republicans and organized with democrats, handing them a majority in the House two years ago, from running on the Republican ballot.  The head of the Division of Elections, appointed at the behest of our native separatist Byron Mallott, refuses to make that change, claiming that she doesn’t have the authority, so back to court we go.  It is always interesting that democrats and their political appointees can do anything they want to do and make it up as they go, ignoring state Supreme Court opinions as they go, and expect the rest of us to look the other way while they do it.  Should be a most interesting election season this summer.

More later –

– AG


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