Interesting Items 05/28

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

In this issue:

  1. Summit
  2. CO2
  3. Surveillance
  4. Halper
  5. Anthem
  6. Twitter
  7. Ridd
  8. Girlfriend

  1. Summit. President Trump sent ChiCom President Xi a blunt and unambiguous message last week via a letter to Nork Premier Kim Jong Un cancelling the upcoming summit between the two leaders.  The announced summit was set up as a vehicle to arrive at a deal between the two nations for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.  Over the last couple of weeks, Kim had at least two meetings with ChiCom President Xi, after which he and his regime became increasingly bellicose toward Trump and the US, essentially back to his old tricks against the last three administrations.  As the ChiComs have complete control of his leash, this name calling, and public ugliness was essentially a test to see how Trump negotiated.  True to his book, The Art of the Deal, Trump cancelled the meeting.  Nobody but nobody has ever done this to the Norks much less to their masters, the ChiComs.  Jack Wheeler claims that they are now viewing Trump with new eyes, as someone with what is called a ‘Chinese mind.”  Trump himself claimed in a LA Times 2011 article that he understands the Chinese mind.  Loosely, this is the ability and willingness to use literally everything humanly possible to prevail in a negotiation.  And make no mistake, the negotiations with the Norks is a very real negotiation with Xi himself.  Given the upcoming issues with China – South China Sea artificial islands, their 2025 technology supremacy plan, their problem with 80 million single men without women, and trade among others – what happens with the Norks is a start, one that may very well encourage the ChiComs to behave themselves in future dealings with the US.  Walking away from the summit is a great attention getting step, the functional equivalent of a 2 x 4 up against the side of the head of the opposition, not unlike what Reagan did to Gorbachev at Reykjavik summit in 1986 when Gorbachev’s anti-ballistic missile terms were not acceptable.  Media reaction 32 years ago was identical with what we heard last week regarding Trump’s letter to Kim.  Welcome to the world of The Art of the Deal.  It only took the Norks a couple of days to start acting like they were once again interested in the meeting which at this time appears to be back on.


  1. CO2. I regularly visit Anthony Watts’ Watts Up With That (WUWT).  It is one of the best skeptic sites with actual, repeatable science, a feisty set of commenters, and any number of articles that give a better understanding of what is going on in the climate wars and why, assuming you can follow the math.  Last week, one of the better writers and researchers, David Middleton pointed out that the natural gas explosion created by US frackers were meeting all goals for CO2 emissions reductions for the US in the Paris Agreement, all without any government intervention or control.  The O’Bama regime and its EPA tried to impose rules and regulations to control emissions, most notably the so-called Clean Power Plan.  These rules have been rolled back for the most part by the Trump EPA, stopping the artificial increase in energy costs.  Meanwhile the private sector, with little support and significant additional harassment by the O’Bama regime, opened shale formations nationwide to natural gas production due to American technical innovations of directional drilling and fracking of tight shale formations.  This in turn unleashed a flood of new natural gas into the domestic and international marketplace.  If we are using our own natural gas, we are importing less from other nations.  All of this drove down CO2 emissions over the course of the last decade.  As a result, the US met its CO2 emissions target goal (which we never agreed to) for 2025 last year.  If the Rocket Scientists hired by O’Bama remaining in the federal and state bureaucracies can keep their hot little hands out of the energy marketplace, refrain from choosing winners and losers in domestic energy, expect this trend to continue.  In three related stories, a study of natural gas contamination in drinking water in Appalachian Ohio finds no evidence of shale fracking as its source.  Rather the methane is coming from coal beds underneath the effected.  While reinjection of fracking fluids back underground has long been linked with earthquakes, fracking is not causing methane in drinking water.  Perhaps it is time for more coal mining in Ohio so as to keep the drinking water clean.  Third story notes that forced adoption of renewables (wind and solar) tends to lock in more reliance on fuels that emit CO2.  Renewables are inherently variable and require fossil fueled generation to back it up.  This fossil generation must not only be instantly available (hot, spinning storage), but must mirror the maximum planned output of the attached renewable generation.  Not only do renewables fans lock in fossil fired generation equal in size to whatever it is supposed to replace, but they select generation that is by definition less reliable and more expensive.  The obvious solution to this is nuclear electrical generation, which is hugely expensive in the US and Europe as compared to China and India.  But this is a self-inflicted problem as the environmental world turned against nuclear in the 1970s, essentially prohibiting technological and economic improvements via the death of a thousand regulatory cuts.  One analysis is that nuclear generation could cut its costs by an order of magnitude if the regulators get their sorry carcasses out of the way.  And nuclear is completely emissions free.  Final story is out of Next Big Future, which estimates that nuclear over the last 30 years could have saved 10 million lives and cut global CO2 emissions by 18%.


  1. Halper. The Daily Caller and other media sources identified Stefan Halper, a Cambridge professor and longtime DC strap hanger as one of the informants inserted into the Trump campaign to conduct surveillance and seed information to Trump campaign officials as a vehicle to justify FISA warrants and expanded surveillance.  Halper is a long-time player in the intelligence wars and was connected to delivery of the missing Jimmy Carter debate preparation book to the Reagan campaign in 1980.  The informant planted information in young campaign officials, one of which got himself liquored up and relayed that information to the Australian Ambassador, who was also working for Brennan’s CIA.  That information was then used as an excuse to expand the investigation into the FISA world, think self-licking ice cream cone.  It appears Brennan launched the spy operation on the Trump campaign as early as or before April 2016.


  1. Anthem. In another win for both President Trump and NFL owners, the league announced a new policy on National Anthem protests.  Essentially anyone on the field will stand for the anthem.  Those that don’t will be fined by the league.  Anyone wanting to protest should stay in the locker room until the end of the anthem.  The vote was unanimous by the attending owners.  One owner was not present.  The NY Jets owner afterwards crawfished nicely saying he would pay fines for the non-participating players, indicating that he chooses political protests by his players over attendance of his fans at games.  The Usual Suspects in the sports media at ESPN, CBS and Fox all did all the expected breathless stories about the indignity of it all, and the damage to free speech rights of the players.  A couple talking heads were smart enough to remember that the fans despise the players who protest and the weak-kneed owners who coddle the behavior.  This decision was a clear, stunning win for fans and the President whose political instincts understood this was an issue.  In related news, some activist players are demanding players refuse to participate in games until someone hires former Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick who is happily embracing his new role as a terminally unhappy protest leader, leaving his original career as a starting quarterback in the rear-view mirror.  As players are paid per game, it will be interesting to see how many of these guys join in the extended protest.


  1. Twitter. In a creative judicial opinion, a federal judge in the Southern District of New York ruled that President Trump cannot block his critics from his Twitter feed because it is a “public forum” protected by the First Amendment.  The suit was brought by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and argued that blocking trolls who disagreed with the president’s policies violated their Freedom of Speech.  There I thought freedom of speech meant you could speak, but not necessarily that anyone had to listen.  To this judge, we now all get to listen.  The legal blogs were mostly in agreement with the opinion and celebrated it as a decent constitutional victory.  But with everything like this, such an opinion can turn into a real rat’s nest for the political left, whose members in the media, academia, unions, activist community, etc. have been blocking right wing critics and trolls since Twitter first opened for business.  I hope President Trump ignores the opinion, forcing some level of enforcement against him by the Columbia trolls.  I hope trolls on the right start going after the Usual Suspects on the political left with similar arguments and gusto.  I expect they have a lot more to lose in the discussion than we do.  Our side can tap into our inner Abbie Hoffman, maximizing the contradictions inherent in the left, where they demand differing rights and behaviors based on where you sit on the political spectrum.


7.Ridd.  James Cook University in Oz fired a marine scientist who rejects research showing major human-caused climate impacts on the Great Barrier Reef.  He was fired May 2 after ignoring previous warnings and disciplinary action by the university based on wrongthink.  The university’s deputy vice chancellor claimed that the firing was due to “numerous ways seriously and repeatedly breached the code of conduct” which is now being used to cleanse this campus of voices that have the temerity to disagree.  Ridd has been fighting the university in court over wrongthink for years and it appears the university finally had enough.  He opened a crowdfunding campaign to pay current legal bills in excess of $260,000.  It raised over $95,000 in a couple days.  The final straw appeared to be comments he made to Australian media pointing out that they can no longer trust research from the university’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Science or the Australian Institute of Marine Science, pointing out that the science is not properly checked, tested or replicated.  As health of the Great Barrier Reef turned into one of the great political excuses used by the greens to enforce their edicts on how we all should live, those edicts should be based at some level on actual data.  Ridd publicly stated they aren’t, and for that he now unemployed.  This will be a lot of fun to watch unfold.


  1. Girlfriend. From the land of #MeToo comes a report that the former girlfriend of SF linebacker Reuben Foster testified in a preliminary hearing that he had never put his hands on her and that she “lied a lot” to investigators and police about an alleged domestic violence incident.  She testified against the advice of her attorney.  She made up the story because she wanted to ruin Foster’s football career and sue him for money after he broke up with her on Feb 11.  She testified doing the same thing to a former boyfriend in Louisiana in 2011 after he tried to break up with her.  She also stole two Rolex watches from Foster in the days after the breakup.  Foster, like Ezekiel Elliot of the Cowboys needs better taste in girlfriends, for precisely the same reason.  We will see if Commissioner Goodell slaps Foster with a 10-game suspension like he did Elliot in 2017.

More later –

– AG


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