Interesting Items 01/14

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

In this issue:

  1. Boulder
  2. Fluoride
  3. Wall
  4. Speech
  5. Carriers
  6. Ginsburg
  7. Israel
  8. AK House
  9. Emissions

  1. Boulder. One of the things you get these days when you elect democrats is radical gun control legislation, rules, regulations, and enforcement.  Usually, this is greeted with over the top cheerleading by local and nationwide media.  The local populace, not so much, which makes what is going on in the People’s Republic of Boulder so enjoyable.  The Boulder City Council voted last May to ban sale and possession of many semi-auto rifles, pistols, shotguns, bump stocks, and magazines holding over 10 rounds, essentially turning all local gun owners into felons, all of it in clear violation of both state and federal law.  There was a 7-month grace period where citizens were “allowed” to register their firearms in a registry that was emphatically described as “not a registry.”  The grace period ended Dec. 31, with only 342 “assault weapons” registered.  Best estimate is that 20 – 50 gun owners out of nearly 120,000 residents complied.  The firearms community in this strongly democrat city is also a strong community, and they are forcibly refusing to comply.  There is public non-compliance, protests, openly defying local government to do something about it.  In response, public school teachers are encouraging their students to go after children of gun owners.  So much for liberal tolerance in this university town.  The definition of a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality.  I think conservatism is coming to Boulder.


  1. Fluoride. When not repairing structural damage due to earthquakes, Alaskans pursue other innovative political “solutions.”  Some of these are better grounded in reality than others.  One popular cause is removing fluoride from local water supplies because of how dangerous fluorine as a chemical is.  Note the very same chemistry whizzes completely miss the danger of pure sodium or chlorine which is dissolved in all water worldwide.  This sort of cause usually appeals to the small government crowd, making it a wrap-around initiative, appealing to the hard left and the hard right at the same time.  Sometimes the proponents are successful.  Usually, cooler heads prevail.  Unfortunately the fluoride ban success comes with a price.  Alaska’s capitol city Juneau finally passed a fluoride ban in 2007 and we now have over a decade of data on the results of that ban.  An examination of Medicaid dental claim billing for two groups of children aged 18 and under since 2007 in Juneau finds that those children now get on average one more dental procedure per year at a cost of $300 / procedure.  These costs represent a 28 – 111% increase in dental costs for those children.  Removing fluoride from local water supplies turns out to be a very expensive (and painful) policy decision.  As usual, women and children are hardest hit.


  1. Wall. President Trump’s call for the wall, the shutdown, and ongoing media festivities continued last week.  The most important observation came out of Limbaugh late last week as he noted the near complete absence of polling on this.  IN this world, polling results never disappear unless they are reporting back the wrong numbers.  One of the things that terrifies’ the Swamp is that Trump WILL build the wall before they can do anything about it.  Construction is in his wheel house, as he knows how to get a project done on time, below budget, and permanently.  The 2006 legislation authorizing the wall was gutted a couple months after passage when the Reid – Pelosi majorities took office, passing an amendment to a spending bill to eviscerate it.  Trump is going to get this done within months of pulling the trigger on it.  The swamp will not be able to do a bloody thing about it.  Worst of all, it is insanely popular with Americans on both side of the political divide.


  1. Speech. President Trump gave his first national speech last week making the case for a permanent wall on the southern border.  It was dry, straightforward, and fact filled, something that irritated democrats and their media mouthpieces to no end.  Media schemed for several days how to make sure nobody either saw the speech or would listen to what President Trump had to say.  They tried a real time fact check effort that didn’t go all that well.  In fact, it backfired badly.  For example, Trump claimed that a full third of female caravan travelers were raped.  CNN happily aired a gotcha sequence claiming that number was actually 80%, making Trump’s point.  That segment was quickly dropped.  CNN gadfly Jim Acosta found a section of wall in Texas and made a big show about not seeing any illegal crossing.  Everyone, including President Trump thanked him for making the case for the wall for them.


  1. Carriers. A ChiCom Rear Admiral ran his mouth at a military trade conference a few weeks ago, announcing that in his estimation the thing the US feared the most was casualties and the easiest way to do that was to sink a pair of aircraft carriers.  These comments were followed a few days later by ChiCom President Xi saber rattling about Taiwan reunification, fighting the bloody battle with our enemies, and noting that Taiwanese independence is a “dead end.”  This sort of language is a bit more bellicose than they have recently been using, likely due to some of their diplomatic, economic and military initiatives coming up a bit short.  Indeed, they managed to trigger active opposition to their expansion by their neighbors.  President Trump’s tariffs haven’t helped any either.  Finally, the ChiCom economy appears to be on the verge of a contraction, something they never expected.  They perceived the lack of focus of the last two administrations as proof of US decay and decline.  President Trump reversed that and they are now worried.  The last people who thought Americans would quit following a bloody nose have died by the tens of thousands in the Middle East, much faster than they can breed new ones, since 2001.  The next people who forget this lesson will suffer a similar fate.  Just ask the Japanese.


  1. Ginsberg. SCOTUS Justice Ruth Ginsberg missed the first three days of oral arguments for the new SCOTUS term last week recuperating from her recent surgery.  Democrat senators are getting worried about a replacement fight and are laying the groundwork for a new anti-Catholic religious test for judges going after Trump nominee Brian Buescher for the federal bench.  So far, Feinstein, Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono are all involved in the festivities, questioning his membership in the Knights of Columbus.  This is seen as preparatory for an expected Trump nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, a strong Catholic, to replace Ginsberg should she step down.  This isn’t about Catholics.  It isn’t about the Knights of Columbus.  It is all about the latest line of attack to damage and hopefully destroy an expected replacement for a reliable liberal on the Bench and it is starting sooner rather than later.


  1. Israel. Newly elected Florida Governor Ron DeSantis fired Broward County Sherriff Scott Israel.  Israel famously used his position to politicize the Sheriff’s office in favor of democrats.  When you do that sort of thing, actual law enforcement typically gets left in the dust, in this case leading to the Parkland shootings.  Last week a Florida state panel released a 458-page report detailing security breakdowns, police blunders, and school inaction.  The report also detailed facts about school resource officer Scott Peterson’s arrangement with Sheriff Israel.  Peterson, who refused to enter the building during the shooting, investigated a sexual assault claim against Israel’s then-senior son who assaulted a 14-year freshman.  Peterson filed a 4-page report that got filed and downplayed.  Peterson could have charged Israel’s son with a felony, but downplayed it as simple battery, worth only a 3-day suspension.  Israel’s kid was the starting quarterback for the school football team and liked to pick on freshmen.  This one got way out of hand and should have resulted in a sexual battery / attempted rape charge.  In return, Israel reciprocated and gave Peterson some breaks, like not firing him on the spot for failing to enter the building during the shooting, instead allowing him to resign with full pension.  Israel’s firing is the first of many steps necessary to clean up the mess that he and his democrat backers made of local law enforcement.


  1. AK House. We keep on electing Republicans to the legislature here in Alaska, but they can’t seem to get themselves organized into a working majority caucus.  Now that the final race has been decided (a Fairbanks Republican won by a single vote and the state courts did not allow the democrat candidate to steal the election via creative vote disqualification), we should have sufficient Republican House members to organize a working 21+ seat majority.  Not so fast on that.  Following that win, there are 23 total Republicans, which ought to be enough.  Two of them organized with democrats during the last session.  One of those has been invited to organize with the new caucus.  The other was shown the door for a variety of very well deserved reasons including suspected voting fraud in her primary win.  One other member withdrew from the Republican caucus with a demand that a bipartisan majority form.  And we have a fourth Republican House member playing coy with his support.  This takes the Republican majority down to 19 – 20 depending whose numbers you use, and it takes 21 to form an organization.  Democrats are in worse shape, as they have 16 members.  Add to that the two remaining turncoat Republicans and a single faux independent, and they have 19 possible members (happily, we took out one of their turncoat Republicans and one of their faux independents in November).  The legislative session starts in a week, and if there is no clear majority, nobody can hire staff, as that staff is allocated by majority (majority caucus gets more people), so things will be up in the air for a while.  Looks like this one is going to take a while to figure out.


  1. Emissions. In Items 12/24, I discussed Willis Eschebach’s analysis of the social benefit of carbon (CO2 emissions).  He calculates that the social benefit of carbon is $4,380 in new goods and services produced for each additional ton of CO2 produced.  Compared with the suggested social cost of carbon at $40 / ton, we need to produce lots more rather than less.  Last week, another WUWT post validated that conclusion with the news that US carbon emissions rose 3.4% in 2018, the largest increase in eight years.  The rise also coincides with the booming economy under President Trump.  Electricity demand increased with most of the increase being powered by natural gas as renewables are not able to keep up and coal plants closing.  Also contributing to the rise in emissions were a cold winter, more trucking and air travel, and growth of the manufacturing sector, all due to the booming economy.  2018 was the largest closure of coal fired generation capacity on record, with 11.2 GW closed and another 2.5 GW scheduled for closure by the end of the year.  OTOH, natural gas fired electrical generation grew by a new 11.5 GW last year.  Demand for diesel and jet fuel increased by around 3% last years, growing transportation emissions roughly the same rate as they did in 2017.  Finally, the cold winter of 2018 increased heating days by 15% during the first quarter of 2018, relative to that of 2017.  Increasing emissions is the sign of an expanding, growing economy, more jobs and more opportunity for all of us.  They should be embrace and celebrated.

More later –

– AG



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