Interesting Items 05/27

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

In this issue:

  1. Climate
  2. Cellphone
  3. Financial
  4. Mascot
  5. Spy v Spy
  6. Amash
  7. NY Gas

  1. Climate. The Anchorage Assembly had itself quite a week last week, passing a couple ordinances that assault the liberty and ultimately the bank accounts of Anchorage residents, and will for years.  First up was the Climate Action Plan.  This is a 106-page document put together with the help of a grant from UAA that ends up as the ultimate wet dream for every green in Alaska.  Over 140 people participated in its construction.  The stated goal is to reduce CO2 emissions in Anchorage by 80% by 2050 (when the Singularity arrives) so that we can keep the State of Alaska from warming up.  The notion that a city of just under 300,000 people occupying an urban area of less than 80 square miles can do something about climate in a state that stretches four time zones and over 663,000 square miles is something so ludicrous that almost defies sanity.  The document is broken down into various sectors:
  • Buildings and energy. Where construction codes, smaller residences, urban planning, and renewables feature prominently
  • Land use and transportation. Where non-motorized transportation is prominently pushed as desirable and non-fossil fueled vehicles are the selected solution.
  • Consumption and solid waste. Think composting
  • Health and emergency prep, controlling manmade CO2 emissions is healthy
  • Food systems. Grow your own stuff.  Tough to do in winter, though.
  • Urban forests and watersheds. No development anywhere.  Remove existing buildings and yards and live in a smaller footprint.  Better yet, force all residents over time into high rise condos, interesting choice in a region that suffers massive earthquakes.
  • Outreach and education. The ongoing publicly funded propaganda effort.

The key to all of this is creation of an implementation and monitoring plan.  Can’t plant the hobnailed boot on the collective faces of those of us who choose not to play unless we have some sort of metrics, though most of the metrics will attempt to measure average temperature changes that are incapable of being measured  as they lie well within the margin of error for the instruments being used.  Think a few thousandths of a degree.  There are two big problems with trying to do this in Anchorage on the energy generation side.  First is that we get over 96% of all energy from either natural gas or hydro, with natural gas generating well over 86% of all electricity.  Gonna be real difficult to ratchet down those emissions unless we go nuclear, large hydro (Watana Dam) or coal to liquids.  There has been virulent opposition to the first two on that list by all the Usual Suspects among local greens over the years.  Renewables, which have demonstrated the ability to make electrical grids less reliable, more unstable, all with the added benefit of raising electrical rates by 11 – 17% are the proposed solution.  Electrical vehicles, which lose 40 – 50% of battery charge in the cold are the proposed transportation solution along with bicycling and walking.  Last I checked, it still gets dark and cold in the winter up here.  Sidewalks don’t get shoveled all that often either.  So far, the plan was passed with no teeth, no enforcement mechanism.  That is sure to come when we don’t meet our newly adopted goals.


  1. Cellphone. Not being content with mucking around in our lives via the excuse of manmade CO2 emissions causing global warming, the same Assembly at the same meeting passed an ordinance making it illegal to use a handheld cell phone in school zones, getting the Municipality smartly back into the tax farming business.  The excuse was safety of The Children from distracted drivers blasting through school zones merrily talking on their cell phones while ignoring the presence and in turn the safety of the little tykes, essentially the same excuse used 24 years ago when Mark Begich pushed the ill-fated photo radar (tax farming) program that voters tossed a couple years later.  This time around, the only exception to the ban is a call to 911.  Violations are $500 a pop.  So, this action was taken to solve a huge public safety problem, right?  Not really, at least up here, as there were only 54 tickets written between Jan 2017 and March 2018 for cell phone use while driving.  I expect most of these were for texting while driving which is illegal in Alaska.  Only four of these were written in school zones, or about one every 4 months.  There have been no accidents or injuries in school zones, though numerous reports of unsafe driving and near accidents were cited in the ordinance.  No actual data on those either.  So, what do we have?  Yet another attempt at tax farming, a brand-new law to give the Mayor’s and Assembly’s 550 newly minted shiny new cops to do, and in turn bring in enough revenue to pay for them.  We are well on our way to becoming Ferguson, MO, whose riots were a logical reaction to tax farming via law enforcement and code enforcement.  Chicago does the same thing with vehicle seizure and impounds, all in the name of public safety after all.  It is what the blue cities do.  Sadly, Anchorage took another large step in that direction.


  1. Financial. President Trump ran across a pair of O’Bama appointed federal judges who upheld House democrat efforts to get his taxes and financial records turned over.  One judge was on the DC Circuit and ruled that the House had legitimate right to years of Trump’s tax returns.  He cleverly wrote his opinion so that any Trump appeal to the DC Circuit would come after the returns were handed over to the House, rendering any appeal moot.  The other judge was in NY and ruled that a pair of banks had to turn over years of financial records to House democrats.  The excuse for both rulings was that the House might vote on something that those records would have a bearing on, something like, say an impeachment after the extended fishing expedition.  Both judges were O’Bama donors before being appointed to the federal bench.  Expect the WH to slow-roll any release and appeal everything.  I also expect the WH to get themselves in the position of releasing the same sort of tax records of all democrats, media, and judges who think this is a funny thing to do.


  1. Mascot. Maine’s governor signed legislation last week banning the use of Native American symbols as mascots in public schools, colleges and universities.  The legislation was proposed by a democrat (obviously) who claimed to be honoring the state’s tribes, protecting them from cultural appropriation, reminding all who bothered to listen that Indians are not mascots.  Rather they are people.  Apparently, nobody bother to talk to the Vikings, Patriots or Cowboys.  Next up to bat (of course), the Washington Redskins.


  1. Spy v Spy. The Mad Magazine cartoon series Spy v Spy was usually good for a laugh half a century ago.  Today we are seeing it start to play out for real in public, as three of the Russian Collusion Hoax ringleaders, former DNI James Clapper, CIA Chief John Brennan, and FIB Director James Comey are all starting to point fingers at one another as Attorney General Barr’s investigation into the genesis of the scam proceeds.  Last week, President Trump gave Barr another tool, the authority to declassify whatever he decided to declassify to bring the documents all this was based upon out of the classified world to public.  And the rats (cockroaches?) are starting to scurry around at a high rate of speed.  Over the weekend, Joe DiGenova suggested that the Steele Dossier was part of a coverup itself to justify spying on political opponents done by the O’Bama (In)Justice Department as far back as at least 2012.  The vehicle was a corrupt FIB and CIA, working at the beck and call of Eric Holder.  Will this reach out and touch, O’Bama?  Likely not to the extent that he will go to jail.  OTOH, it will reach out and touch everyone connected with him who participated in the festivities.  Final tidbit was a report that the NSA has all of Hilly’s 30,000 e-mails archived somewhere.  And that they have been reviewed by at least two investigators into the activities of the DNI, CIA and FIB.


  1. Amash. Justin Amash (R, MI) became the first Republican House member to call for impeachment of President Trump.  This was a relatively brief, but loud story for a few days, that is until some research into his background after which it quickly went away.  His 2017 financial disclosure forms report an income of $100,000 – $1,000,000/year from his ownership stake in Michigan Industrial Tools.  It is the parent company manufacturing in China that produces Tekton Tools, his family business.  This hasn’t been the first time this has come up as Amash was challenged in 2010 over claims that Tekton Tools were made in America rather than being made in Hangzhou, China.  The finished product is shipped to the US and sold by the family business.  Amash is a co-owner of Dynamic Source International, a Chinese company that supplied Michigan Industrial Tools.  Apparently Amash’s business is being hurt at some level by the Trump tariffs.  Perhaps he should tell his business partners to quit jerking the President around.  Perhaps he thought nobody would notice.


  1. NY Gas. A natural gas utility in NY last March announced they would stop all new natural gas hookups in Westchester County north of NYC.  No idea on the delay in the story getting mentioned, but I first came across it last week.  The moratorium was imposed March 15 based on the abject refusal by the democrat-led state government to approve new pipeline construction in the state.  The reason ConEd gave to cancel all new hookups was to ensure stability of natural gas supplies for existing customers.  The NY state government has been systematically blocking new natural gas pipelines on what they claim to be environmental grounds as they foolishly pursue energy efficiencies and renewable resources.  The refusal to build pipelines has also stopped what would be an excellent shale oil and natural gas industry working in upstate and western NY.  But as long as you can make the democrats in NYC feel good about themselves, what do a few jobs for upstate Republicans mean in greater scheme of things?  There is tremendous pressure by consumers in the NE for more access to natural gas for home heating, as it is much cheaper and significantly cleaner than fuel oil.  A typical winter heating cost with natural gas is $723 while fuel oil is $1,646.

More later –

– AG


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