Interesting Items 06/24

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

In this issue:

  1. Iran
  2. Cake
  3. RealID
  4. Interior
  5. Speeches
  6. Opioids
  7. Kashuv

  1. Iran. The Mullahs were quite busy this last week, starting with limpet mine attacks on at least two foreign oil tankers in international water and ending with shooting down a Navy UAV in international airspace. A bunch of us have been waiting for an excuse to give both the Mullahs and the Revolutionary Guard a bloody nose since they seized the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979.  But under Trump, always expect the unexpected.  He reportedly cancelled a military strike on the launch site for the shootdown a half hour before it was to launch.  He made sure Iran and everyone else knew that.  The Iranians did manage to play their normal hostage game, reportedly bringing in at least 150 civilians to populate the missile launch site.  Trump went on to make the point that while the UAV cost over $200 million, there were no actual lives lost in the attack.  He also made the point that the action may have been the action of a rogue military commander, giving the Mullahs yet another face-saving out.  Reaction from the Usual Suspects was fascinating, with the Beltway Republicans and never-Trumpers demanding an instant military response, and the democrats opining about Trump on the verge of getting us into a new war in the Middle East, right on the eve of his reelection campaign.  They may have suffered whiplash, along with no small amount of cognitive dissonance after he announced he canceled the response.  They ended up calling him weak and indecisive.  Nobody on the nuke Iran side remotely considered the very likely possibility that Iran was trying to trigger an overwhelming military response.  And when that did not happen, they were at a loss.  OTOH, the longer this goes, the longer the Iranians get to think about it, something which will ratchet up the long-term economic and sanction stress on their regime.  Like most other international (and US) bad guys, the Mullahs are having a hard time figuring out Trump, which makes me smile a bit.  In their 40-year declared war against the US, they have deftly played the provocation game, the victim card, the hostage routine, all the while being as bellicose as humanly possible with the US.  None of this trash works with Trump, especially since we no longer need oil traffic thru the Straits of Hormuz.  Being energy independent gives us a number of new options and more importantly flexibility in dealing with the Mullahs; Europe, Japan and China, not so much, as they are absolutely dependent on Middle Eastern oil.  And if the Mullahs drop the long-threatened hammer on the flow of oil out of the Gulf, we won’t be immediately hurt.  Democrat play in this has been a lot of fun to watch, with former O’Bamaoids working back channel with the Iranians telling them not to even speak with Trump as he will be gone in a couple years.  Apparently, they have believed it.  They also want to goad Trump into a shooting war, as like immigration, was one of his more important campaign promises in 2016 was to get the US out of endless wars in the Middle East.  For his part, Trump is demanding that the Iranians sit down and talk, something they have so far refused to do.  This demand puts the Iranians squarely on the short end of the persuasion stick.  I think Trump is boxing the Iranians in slowly but surely.  Sanctions are hurting them a lot.  Best of all, it is their international supporters, specifically China and Europe, that will be hurt the worst should they do their worst and close the Strait.  While I don’t particularly like cancelling the retaliatory strike on Iran, I do like them unsure, worried, and fearful.  The longer, the better.  This one is not over.  Instead, it has barely begun.


  1. Cake. The SCOTUS returned an Oregon cake shop case back to the trial court based on its opinion in the Masterpiece Cake Shop in Colorado last year.  The Oregon case happened first, and the Christian owners were hammered with $130,000 in penalties and fines for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding.  The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries levied the fine after finding the small business violated the state’s public accommodation law.  Their fines and penalties put the shop out of business.  Perhaps the LGBTQWTF cottage industry of singling out Christian-owned and operated small businesses for financial destruction is on its way out.  We will see.


  1. RealID. The Real ID law is going to go into effect for most (all?) Americans next year.  One of the requirements is for states to issue IDs and driver’s licenses that comply with federal requirements.  The enforcement is that you can’t fly, go on a military installation, or do anything with the feds if you don’t have that ID.  Jack Wheeler’s To The Point web site is speculating that Trump’s DHS might apply those requirements to IDs necessary for voting next October, after the O’Bama DHS so cheerfully designated voting as a critical infrastructure.  We know that democrats rely on voting fraud to win elections, to pound Republicans like they have done in Chicago and California for decades.  This is one of the reasons they are falling all over themselves to loosen ID requirements for voting, so that as many illegals as possible vote.  It is why California and NY are now issuing driver’s licenses to illegals, as these can be used to identify voters.  Problem with IDs for illegals is that they are in no way compliant with RealID requirements.  It is an idea just crazy enough to work.


  1. Interior. One of the great success stories of the Trump administration has been the rollback of rules, regulations, and federal impediments to build, grow, mine, hunt, fish, and otherwise use our natural resources.  Under this continuing rollback, the US went from a net importer of energy to a net exporter, the largest producer of energy in the world.  Last week the Department of the Interior announced it will be opening more than 1.4 million acres of federal lands via the elimination of 7,500 regulations.  These lands will now be available for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and other types of motorized and non-motorized uses.  Unlike the greens who would be perfectly happy turning all federal lands into enforced wilderness areas, the Trump administration looks at federal lands belonging indeed to all Americans.  The number of units in the National Wildlife Refuge System open for hunting will increase from 377 to 382, those open for fishing will increase from 312 to 316.  Finally, lands on 15 hatcheries will open for hunting and sport fishing for the first time.  The proposal also significantly simplifies all refuge-specific hunting and fishing regs in all 50 states to more closely match those of the 50 states.  The Service worked closely with the states to craft the proposal.  Well managed hunting and fishing has been the backbone of conservation efforts since the system was first created nearly 150 years ago.  Over the years, rules and regulations have become so complex and wonderful that they are a net (and intentional) disincentive to hunting and fishing on federal lands.  This is stopping right now.  Everybody involved in the Trump administration should be proud of a job well done.  Perhaps the greens shouldn’t have run off Secretary Zinke so quickly and gleefully.  After all, a Devil you know is always better than one you don’t.  But a scalp on your belt is the most satisfying of all, right up to the point where you figure out that scalp is meaningless in the Big Picture.


  1. Speeches. The O’Bama regime did a lot of odd stuff on their way out the door January 2017.  Some would characterize it as serial CYA.  Among democrats, not so much.  One of those last-minute actions was deletion, destruction of archived Department of Homeland Security speeches on immigration just hours before Trump was inaugurated.  A collection of 190 transcripts of speeches by ICE was deleted on Jan 18 and late in the evening on Jan 19.  ICE speeches deleted included e-verify, sanctuary cities, treatment of detainees, and other immigration topics.  The deletions removed 12 years of history and primary source materials archived since 2004.  Among the speeches deleted was testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on managing the surge of young illegal children reaching the southern border en masse.  The obvious question of why a democrat administration would want to erase 12 years of history just before the follow-on Republican administration is left to the reader to consider.  Perhaps leftists aren’t nearly as interested in freedom of speech as they loudly insist.


  1. Opioids. While most of us view the Blue State homelessness crisis as a Blue State issue, City Journal last week posted an article about how opioids are fueling the homeless crisis on the Left Coast.  By last count, nearly 110,000 homeless are on the streets of major cities in California, Oregon and Washington.  They are also a growing infestation in Anchorage.  All of these cities have written no small number of articles about root causes.  Excuses include housing shortages, stagnant wages, cuts to mental health services, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, shortcomings in criminal justice (Alaska’s favorite excuse), and a lack of resources for vets.  Problem is that the most pervasive cause of this is clear:  heroin, fentanyl and synthetic opioids.  In other words, homelessness is an addiction crisis disguised as a housing crisis.  Seattle prosecutors and law enforcement estimate that the majority of the region’s homeless population are hooked on opioids.  If this figure is correct, at least 85,000 homeless on the Left Coast are addicts, most of them concentrated in LA, SF, Portland and Seattle.  No number yet here in Anchorage, though we are trying our best to catch up with the Big Boys of the Left Coast Blue Cities.  This addiction works out well for the cartels, with an estimated consumption in excess of $1,800/mo for every single addict ongoing.  Ever wonder where the money to take care of homelessness goes and why there is never any progress to solve the problem?  Answer:  to the cartels.  How do these guys and gals pay for their habits?  They pay with property theft, stealing things and selling it for cash to fund their habits.  What have the Blue State cities done to solve this?  Essentially nothing outside throw more taxpayer money at the problem, something the democrat mayor and Assembly are demanding here in Anchorage.  LA spent $618 million on homelessness last year.  They adopted a policy of palliative care, keeping addicts alive thru distribution of naloxone.  But they failed to provide access to on-demand detox, chemical detox, rehab and recovery to address the addictions.  Until the cycle of addiction is addressed, nobody but nobody will be able to do anything about this problem, which is probably a feature rather than a bug of their system.  Want to solve homelessness?  Do something about addiction.


  1. Kashuv. One of the (many) great scenes from Animal House is the terror on the face of Stephen Furst’s (Founder’s) face as his upper classmen fired up the torch to dismantle his uncle’s Cadillac.  The line was:  “You f%$#ed up.  You trusted us.”  Last week Harvard joined the Delta Tau Chi’s, as they pulled an admission offer from Parkland shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv because he tweeted some inappropriate language 2 years ago.  In Harvard’s post-Christian world, nobody can learn.  Nobody can grow.  No plea for forgiveness is ever accepted.  No apology is ever sufficient.  OTOH, any action deemed as inappropriate by a faux-educational institution is instantly defined as an academic death sentence.  Kashuv turned down an as-yet indeterminate number of full ride scholarships at other institutions of higher education after Harvard told him they wanted him in their freshman class, hence the Animal House quote.  Hint to Harvard:  When you are young and dumb.  You are young and dumb.  To the new Puritans on the left, this is a political suicide.  But, I encourage you guys to knock yourselves out.

More later –

– AG


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.