Interesting Items 09/10

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

In this issue:

  1. Kavanaugh
  2. Platform
  3. Appropriations
  4. Recession
  5. Beto
  6. Silent Sam

  1. Kavanaugh. Sometimes you get what you want, that is before you lose it.  While there is not much I can add to the well-orchestrated circus that the democrats turned the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings into, I can give some local flavor to the festivities.  The latest group up in arms here in Alaska opposing his confirmation to the SCOTUS are Alaska natives, specifically our old friends the native separatists, channeling their inner race-baiting David Duke.  The excuse for this opposition is a threat to federal management of subsistence.  The short story is that 1980’s ANILCA guaranteed a rural preference for subsistence.  It was written that way because nobody in congress had the cojones to blatantly write a racial preference for the taking of fish and game applied exclusively in the interest of Alaska natives.  For nearly 40 years, the feds have demanded that Alaska pass a rural preference.  For nearly 40 years, the Alaska legislature and Supreme Court have refused to pass or uphold one.  Unfortunately, we get democrat governors up here from time, all of whom racially pander to the native separatists.  The most recent, (Phony) Tony Knowles, withdrew with prejudice from what is known as the Katie John case in 2001.  Katie John was an Elder who was ticketed for taking subsistence fish out of season by the State of Alaska.  This case rattled around the federal courts system for years before Knowles withdrew from an appeal following his reelection as governor in 2000.  This essentially turned over management of fish and game on federal lands (fully 60% of all lands in Alaska) to the feds.  No other state in the union has this sort of “help” from Washington DC.  We don’t need it either.  When the case was heard and appealed, the Ninth Circus took the position that the feds own the right to manage fish and game on navigable federal waters, something that does not exist in any legislation.  Knowles, paying off Alaska native separatists for supporting his reelection, gave them what they wanted.  His Attorney General, Bruce Botelho, who was selected by current Governor Bill Walker to staff his administration pulled the trigger and dropped the appeal.  Come forward nearly 30 years, and an Alaskan moose hunter, one John Sturgeon, arrested and abused by NPS Rangers in the Yukon Charlie national wilderness refuge for using a hovercraft they decided was illegal.  Sturgeon appealed his rights to use navigable waters.  His first appeal made it all the way to the SCOTUS who vigorously slapped down the Ninth Circus and told them to try again.  They got a bit more creative this time around, and the second appeal is on its way back to the SCOTUS with a brand-new Associate Justice, Mr. Kavanaugh for a November hearing.  The Ninth Circus created their rationale out of thin air with Katie John.  And they used that logic to find against Sturgeon.  If the SCOTUS follows written law, then the State of Alaska will once again be in charge of managing fish and game on navigable waterways here in Alaska.  And if the next governor is neither Bill Walker nor Mark Begich, the native separatists will have lost everything they thought they won in 2000.  Which is why they are asking Lisa Murkowski to oppose Kavanaugh.  Getting a court majority that actually follows the law as written. What a concept.


  1. Platform. One of the crucial distinctions in the growing argument over social media censorship of all things conservative is whether they are platforms of publishers.  This is an important distinction, as each comes with its own set of rules.  For years, the Big Boys like FakeBook, Goolag, Twitter and YouTube have been blurring that distinction.  We are quickly approaching the time that someone is going to have to choose a side, any side.  For purposes of this discussion, we must define what a platform is and what it is not.  In the tech world, a platform is a group of technologies, hardware and software used as a base upon which other applications, processes or technologies are developed.  For example, the phone company, an internet provider, or an e-mail service is a platform.  The individual phone call is the action, the message, the publication.  What is a publisher?  A publisher is an entity who acquires, prepares and delivers content to a user group.  A publisher puts out books, newspapers, and other content.  Not surprisingly, different rules, laws and responsibilities apply to each business.  At the most basic level, a platform does not get to control or in any way limit content outside a few legally well-defined boundaries.  The problem with Big Tech in recent years is that they have ceased being platforms and started being publishers, all without adhering to any of the rules, regulations or responsibilities of publishers.  Instead, they sanctimoniously point to their start as a platform, a private company, and demand that they be allowed to write internal rules that let them pick and choose which content they feel like carrying, in effect, becoming a publisher.  But they adamantly don’t want to take on any of the responsibilities or adhere to any of the rules or operate under any of the laws applying to publishers.  The upcoming months will see an effort by the Trump administration, congress, and others being systematically booted off the various platforms, drag Big Tech kicking and screaming to the point where they have to get off the dime and make a choice.  I adamantly oppose regulation.  OTOH, I do support quaint little things like anti-trust laws, anti-conspiracy laws, and lawsuits.


  1. Appropriations. One of the games big government congress critters have been playing for two decades is the last-minute spending fight, bundling everything into a continuing resolution that always includes every single bell, whistle, and spending dream of anyone who wants a smaller and less intrusive government.  Since the 1970s, spending and appropriations bills, 13 of them, made their way through the House and onto the Senate for action.  Since the Clinton years, that has not happened, with the associated growth in government intrusion and spending.  But there is good news out there, among the changes President Trump and congressional leadership have made this year is a return to Regular Order, appropriations bills originating in committee, being passed out of the relevant committees, then the House and on to the Senate for action.  So far, the Senate has passed 9 of the 13 (the referenced article below only lists 12).  A return to Regular Order also means that the yearly Kabuki Theater of government shutdowns and omnibus spending bills ends.  And it has been President Trump along with Republicans in both houses of congress that have ended this.  While it is not a complete solution to the mess that is the federal budget, it is most certainly a large step in the right direction.  Remember this in the run-up to the 2018 congressional elections in November.


  1. Recession. “Unexpectedly”, the economic suicide of South Africa via discussion of expropriation of white-owned farmlands is working its expected magic.  Last quarter’s GDP showed a 0.7% contraction.  First quarter figures were revised from -2.2% to -2.7%.  The contraction was led by a 29.2% drop in agricultural production over the second quarter.  The contraction is a “surprise” and “shocking” to everyone except those of us who predicted economic suicide for South Africa should they choose to travel this path.  In a related story, South African banks announced they would not forgive debts by white farmers whose lands are stolen without compensation by the ANC-led government.  This reminds me of a favorite Heinlein quote, from Time Enough for Love, 1973, one that the ANC (along with the leadership of Venezuela and American democrats) would do well to consider in the upcoming months:

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

  1. Beto. US Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz is in the fight of his political life for reelection.  His democrat opponent is a 46-year old sitting congress critter from El Paso named Beto O’Rourke.  He is young, articulate, a screaming lefty (or at least has learned to act like a screaming lefty), and currently masquerading as a Latino.  Among other things about Beto, is that he is not Latino at all.  Rather he is old fashioned Irish-Catholic, or at least passed for one when he attended Yale.  He has been compared favorably to Bobby Kennedy.  Like the Kennedys, he took advantage of a family connection with the judicial system after a 1998 DUI in which he left the scene of the accident.  He was arrested after blowing 0.135 in the Breathalyzer.  Limit in Texas is 0.8.  Charges were dismissed after completing a “diversion program.”  Apparently, it helps to have a father who is a sitting state judge.  Beto’s supporters pretend he is the next coming of the Kennedy Clan.  Perhaps he has more in common with them than we would think.  He is well funded, with significant Hollywood money and is currently blanketing the state with money.  He has so far raised over $10 million while Cruz is barely half that.  He apparently believes his press clippings about being ahead in the race, as he just dodged the first of what would end up being 5 – 6 debates with Cruz.  This is a pretty smart move, as Cruz has eviscerated opponents in debate for years.  All is not peaches and cream with the Beto campaign, as he did voice his support for the kneeling NFL players during the National Anthem a couple weeks ago.  Given the importance that football holds in Texas, I expect this is not the most popular public position.  Final bit of news comes out of an exchange between a Beto supporter and Cruz supporter at a Cruz rally last week.  The Beto guy was heckling on the issue of gun control.  One of the Cruz supporters did the Molon Labe “Come and take ‘em.”  The Beto guy said, “We will!”  And Cruz chimed right in with the observation “That exchange right there is what this whole campaign is about!”  The crowd exploded.  This race is far closer than it has any right to be.  Perhaps Cruz’ presidential aspirations are coming back to haunt him.  Perhaps his acerbic character is doing its damage.  Perhaps there is a blue wave in Texas.  I’d watch this one closely in any event.


  1. Silent Sam. A mob on campus at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill took down a confederate monument on campus known as Silent Sam.  A mob of around 200 gathered around the statue at 7 PM.  Two and a half hours later, the statue was on the ground.  The excuse by the mob leaders was all the expected claptrap about racism, injustice, etc.  No concern about the violent destruction of public property by mob action was expressed by anyone other than the Governor.  One of the local TV stations got their hands on local police text messages and e-mails.  It turns out that the Chief of Police was closely monitoring the mob action and law enforcement reaction to it.  Looks like his initial concern was for counter-protesters.  By 9 PM, he had told his uniformed policemen to back off and let the crowd to do whatever they wanted to do.  So, like what good is law enforcement if they won’t enforce the law against destructive leftist mobs?  What are we paying these clowns for?  Not unexpectedly, 200 UNC faculty members sent a letter to the UNC Chancellor urging him to not reinstate the statue because it “… sustaining and enforcing the symbols of human cruelty.”  No mention of the human cruelty of destructive mob action from the learned faculty.

More later –

– AG


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