Interesting Items 04/08

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

In this issue:

  1. Gen IV
  2. Biden
  3. Gleason
  4. Beresheet
  5. Panic
  6. Famine

  1. Gen IV. Perhaps the biggest news this week comes courtesy Scott Adams who has been pushing Generation IV Nuclear Energy (Gen IV) as a solution to the climate issue.  Note that Adams has absolutely no expertise in nuclear engineering at all.  OTOH, he does have significant expertise in the persuasion world, and this is his approach.  He does podcasts called periscopes perhaps 5 days a week.  These can be found on his blog, are usually 20 – 50 minutes long, and cover a variety of topics mainly from his persuasion perspective.  Adams believes that the first major party candidate who embraces Gen IV nuclear will win the next presidential election because it will take the climate change issue off the table.  His persuasion-fu is powerful, with his recommended opening sentence being “Generation IV nuclear energy is safe as it will not melt down and eats nuclear waste for fuel.”  This immediately fends off both safety concerns about nuclear energy – accidents and waste.  Depending on the design, both statements are true in varying degrees.  Gen IV nuclear is also completely emissions free which may or may not be important based on your belief that manmade CO2 emissions are warming the planet.  Additionally, this opens the door for a parallel approach to energy research.  We are already spending a significant amount on bringing solar and wind online.  What if a similar amount, with similar subsidies, and similar relief from the regulatory and licensing burden is applied to Gen IV nuclear energy?  This will make both sides of the climate change argument very happy, for the greens will get their new shinies, while the rest of us will get something capable of running nearly forever, capable of providing reliable, vigorous, and constant electrical energy.  In other words, we won’t have to destroy the electrical grid in order to save it.  And it satisfies the vast majority on both sides of the what to do about manmade global warming due to CO2 emissions (aka climate change) argument.  The humanity-hating Luddites won’t like it a lot, but fortunately there are not all that many of them and adoption of Gen IV will out-persuade what they are currently bringing to the table.  The question is who will Tweet about this first?  AOC or Trump?  https://blog.dilbert.com/

 

  1. Biden. The best political mystery last week is who put out the hit on Joe Biden?  Why are the groping complaints all hitting the fan now?  Today?  Before he officially announced his candidacy for the 2020 democrat Presidential nomination?  Like all these guys, Biden has long been known as a handsy, groping kind of guy.  There are countless uncomfortable pictures and video of his moving in to cop a feel in public from visitors, wives of political appointees, children, etc.  Expressions on many of the ladies he is doing this to in front of the media are priceless.  So has been the excuse making by media supporters.  In their world, if you are a democrat, apparently you get one free grope.  I am always interested in why things happen rather than that they do.  Given that Biden has been doing this his entire political life, almost 50 years of it, what has changed?  Remember Biden got a powerful Get Out of Jail Free card on this not only because he is a democrat, but mostly for the hatchet job he orchestrated on Robert Bork in 1987, and Clarence Thomas in 1991.  He was successful keeping Bork off the SCOTUS but unsuccessful with Thomas, though he did manage to damage his reputation.  This meant a lot to democrats and they gave him a lot of rope because of it.  But it is over 30 years later and the one free grope rule for Biden is no longer in effect.  So which crime family is going after Biden?  It could be several.  Biden expressed no small amount of fear of the Clinton crime family a decade ago before being selected as O’Bama’s VP.  It may be the O’Bama Chicago machine that looks to be backing Beto O’Rourke at least early in the process.  The new radicals hate Biden because he is old, white, and they think he will get beat by Trump rather handily.  Their problem is that Biden appears to be among the current top tier democrat candidate along with Bernie Sanders.  At this point, I can’t tell who hates him.  Could be all of them.  But if nothing else, it is an example of the sort of well-planned, orchestrated political hit that Biden cut his teeth on.  As Trump’s tweet last week said, “Welcome back Joe!”  https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/03/29/democrat-makes-metoo-claim-against-joe-biden-he-smelled-me-and-kissed-my-head/

 

  1. Gleason. Federal District Court Judge Sharon Gleason last week fired a one-two punch against the Trump administration’s efforts to reverse O’Bama era environmental idiocy here in Alaska.  In two rulings, she rejected the land swap for the King Cove Road to the Cold Bay airport through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and rejected Trump’s rollback of O’Bama closure of offshore drilling in Alaska.  Gleason was first appointed as a state judge by former democrat governor Tony Knowles in 2001.  O’Bama appointed her to the Ninth Circus in 2011.  Since then, she hasn’t been too bad, that is until last week.  The Izembek road has a long, contentious history, as Medivac flights are simply not possible from King Cove for most of the year.  However, there is a 10,000’ runway on the other side of the bay that commercial jets can access.  The State has long pursued a land swap that would allow them to build a gravel road through the refuge.  Interior Secretary Zinke finally approved the land swap.  Not so fast says Gleason, agreeing with the usual environmental suspects that the land swap was illegal.  Her rationale?  Zinke failed to explain his reasoning for reversing Interior’s original position.  Apparently inability to Medevac the locals, wrong and stupid are insufficient reasons to reverse green overreach.  She went one better reversing Trump on the outer continental shelf oil and gas exploration.  Her ruling stated that the “… wording of President O’Bama’s 2015 and 2016 withdrawals indicates that he intended them to extend indefinitely, and therefore be revocable only by an act of Congress.”  Interesting perspective, that. President “I’ve got a phone and a pen” who never, ever went through congress with anything after O’BamaCare, now carries congressional weight.  Gleason’s problem with this is that O’Bama closed the areas by stroke of a pen via Executive Action, which somehow carries more weight than Trump’s identical Executive Action that reverses it.  Good luck defending that.  I expect both cases will be upheld by the Ninth Circus and overturned upon appeal to the SCOTUS.  Apparently, Gleason is applying for membership in the inner sanctum of wacko Ninth Circus judges.  If so, she is well on her way.  https://pjmedia.com/trending/activist-judge-throws-out-trump-executive-order-to-restore-obama-drilling-ban/

 

  1. Beresheet. Israel is on track to be the fourth nation to put a probe on the moon, as its Beresheet probe was captured by lunar gravity last week.  Touchdown is planned on April 11.  The probe was launched Feb 22 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 and has been steadily raising its orbit over the last 5 weeks to the point where it was close enough for capture by lunar gravity.  The $100 million probe was built as a contestant in the Goolag LunarX competition that ended last year without a winner.  The competition was for the first private lunar lander.  The Israeli team chose to complete their craft.  The spacecraft is aimed for the Sea of Serenity and should last a few days after landing before shutting down.  Beresheet means Genesis in Hebrew.  https://www.timesofisrael.com/stars-align-as-beresheet-spacecraft-prepares-for-lunar-capture/

 

  1. Panic. One of the bad things about western democracies is that they tend toward panic in times of political and societal stress.  We saw such a panic here in the US during the crash of 2008.  We see it every single time there is a mass shooting on a campus.  Democrats instantly blame all the Usual Suspects on the political right, and their media mouthpieces pick up the demagoguery and carry it forward for all they are worth.  Right now, in New Zealand, its government has embraced its inner panicked mob and is running with the mob for all its worth.  It is in the process of suppressing speech, banning firearms, and cranking up domestic surveillance, none of which would have stopped the leftist vermin or even slowed him down.  They are doing to their population precisely what he tried to goad him into doing.  The firearms ban is wide-ranging, with a few exceptions for .22 rifles and shotguns so as not to enflame rural residents.  The Prime Minister has proposed a national registry for firearms, not unlike what neighboring Australia has, all the more to make it easier to seize newly illegal firearms immediately following the next mass shooting, precisely what the perp demanded in his manifesto (as an aside, who writes manifestos any more other than leftist thugs, totalitarian wannabees?).  New Zealand’s Chief Censor not only banned playing the video the perp made of his murderous rampage, but he also banned ownership of the manifesto itself. Possession of either by unauthorized individuals is punishable by up to 10 years in jail, up to a $50,000 NZ, and distribution of either will get you up to 14 years in jail.  This is yet another reason to never, ever hire censors, because this is what they will do.  It is what they are paid to do.  Citizens looking for information on the massacre are limited by government censorship pressure on their ISPs.  The government also spies on end-runs around this censorship with its domestic surveillance apparatus.  Like China, New Zealand now has forbidden web sites, content, and government enforcement of both, giving the perp every single thing he hoped to trigger.  https://reason.com/archives/2019/03/29/in-new-zealand-democracy-turns-illiberal

 

  1. Famine. Now for some good news.  This one out of Human Progress a week ago entitled “How Humanity Won the War on Famine.”  Historically, adequate nutrition has always been a problem, as food shortages were common.  The worst and most deadly famines in recorded history were in the 20th Century, both perpetrated by Communists in the 20th Century as Stalin and Mao both used famine against their populations.  Other than warfare, famines were caused by harvest failures due to drought, flooding or unseasonable cold at the wrong times of the year.  Over the last 50 years available caloric intake globally rose from 2,225 to 2,882 calories/day.  USDA dietary guidelines recommend men get 2,200 – 2,800 calories/day.  Recommendations for women are 1,800 – 2,000 calories/day.  The poorest region of the world, sub-Saharan Africa has seen its average grow from 2,004 – 2,465 calories/day over the last 50 years.  To put this number in perspective, the current average is about what Portuguese were consuming 50 years ago.  Additionally, obesity is starting to show up among men and women in the region.  So, what has changed?  First, agricultural productivity has increased significantly due to better farming methods, pesticides, fertilizers, and high yield disease resistant plants.  The main hero of this story was American agronomist Norman Borlaug.  We can still screw this up with overuse of pesticides, fertilizers, and using single varieties of plants rather than multiple varieties.  The second reason is that the world has grown more affluent and can afford more food.  Sadly, humanity can still screw this up, usually with the actions of governments, racial get even with them-ism like we see in Zimbabwe and South Africa or a dalliance with socialism like we see in Venezuela.  Third, food has become cheaper, which is a purely economic outcome.  If more is available, its prices will fall.  Fourth, improved transportation and communication has allowed nations with plentiful harvests to sell or donate their surpluses to those nations without.  Finally, the spread of constitutional Republics as a preferred form of government.  No famine has ever taken place in history with a functioning democratic government.  Those nations who chose other directions quickly see the return of the Four Horsemen.  Today, famines simply do not exist outside of war zones or failing socialist nations.  The article linked at the end of this section is positive.  But it does not consider the impact of a massive natural disaster like a large volcanic eruption or impact event.  Both have historically harmed harvests.  Both happening at the same time will be deadly on a global scale.  https://fee.org/articles/how-humanity-won-the-war-on-famine/

More later –

– AG

 

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