Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
- Red Flag
- Corona. The spread of the Coronavirus continued last week with the first 6 deaths showing up in an assisted living facility for oldsters in Seattle. How the disease made it to Seattle is anyone’s guess and I have seen nothing so far to explain its spread. It is entirely possible that the disease has been in the US for a couple months, is widespread, and is just now starting to progress enough to kill people. Other bits of information for your consideration:
- The wearing of masks helps defend against the spread of the disease by working the spread of droplets of those who cough or sneeze. The virus itself is too small to be stopped on the inhalation side by masks.
- Jack Wheeler pointed out that the disease tends to target a cellular receptor and enzymes more common in Orientals, which is why it is hitting them the hardest.
- He also reported that the disease constricts passages and air sacs in the lungs. As smoking does the same thing, the disease is much harder on smokers (cigarettes for sure and likely marijuana) than it is on non-smokers. While cigar smokers generally don’t inhale into their lungs, I have not run across anything that ties their use to any increase in the severity of the disease. Neither have I found anything tying vaping to the spread of the disease. My comment on Marijuana is based entirely on that smoke being deeply inhaled.
- Panic. With the stock market (Dow) down (crash? correction?) over 3,000 points last week, the media and democrats shifted into their panic stoking mode. The drop was blamed on Corona, though some technical analysists believe we are on the verge of a correction in the next year or two. President Trump held a presser with CDC and other officials. It turns out that he has been working on this for at least a month, within a week or so of when they found out about the disease in Wuhan. Among the first and smartest things he did was shut down travel between the US and China other than allowing US Citizens to return. This was immediately called racist and xenophobic by democrats and their media cheerleaders. It turns out that was the single most important act of all. In this, it is a Good Thing we’ve elected a germophobe to the WH. There are at least two vaccines under development; one in Israel and one by a company in MA. The media tried mightily to turn the entire affair into Trump’s Katrina, and they used those actual words, verifying that they managed to turn what was at the time a relatively timely and comprehensive response by Bush 43 to Katrina’s passage into New Orleans into an abject public relations failure. Knowing this, Trump is refusing to play along. I think they will fail at turning this disease into a full-fledged panic intended to either damage Trump defeat him in November. For one thing, it is way too early. October would have been a lot better time for this to break loose. For another, despite their monumental work to crash the economy before the election, there are simply too many positives, though there will be some disruption as we disentangle economically from China. But that is a two-edge sword, while it will cost some to move production from China back to the US or elsewhere, that money will end up being invested in or nearer to the US where intellectual property can at least be retained.
- Hunt. Donald Trump, Jr, oldest son of President Trump was awarded a grizzly bear hunting permit last week. The permit is for a bear hunt on the Seward Peninsula in NW Alaska. The lottery selects applicants randomly for available permits. For most hunts in the state, particularly for bison, coastal brown bears and Dall sheep, have far more applicants than available permits. These are closely watched and have been the center of controversy when unsuccessful applicants, especially resident hunters, accuse state employees who draw permits or high-profile hunters who draw multiple permits of gaming the system. This particular hunt generally has far more available permits than applicants. Additionally, it is highly expensive. Not only do the hunters need to get from wherever they are to Nome, but they are required to hire a local guide for the hunt. One gentleman charges $15,5000 for a 7-day hunt out of White Mountain or Council, both close to Nome. A typical year for grizzly bear hunts in Alaska is around 1,500 permits for bears. The large coastal bears are trophy animals and these hunts get a large number of applicants. Not so for the Seward Peninsula grizzlies. This year, there were 27 permits available to only 3 out of state applicants, one of whom was Don Jr. Media in the Lower 48 made the attempt to charge favoritism, but that attempt fell flat when the actual number of available permits became known. Local natives over the last several years have requested an extended hunting season for Seward peninsula brown bears (I use brown bears and grizzlies interchangeably) due to predation on musk ox and reindeer herds. In addition, more bears in the vicinity are being taken as defense of life and property. The lottery system for hunting permits is a money-maker for ADF&G, having raised $2 million last year.
- Red Flag. As long as you have democrats in elective office, you will have idiocy in proposed legislation, even in a strongly pro-firearms state like Alaska. Last week’s example was the first known floating of a Red Flag law in the democrat-controlled Alaska House majority. The sponsors of this legislation include three of the largest union-supported tools in the current majority, Harriet Drummond, Garan Tarr and Andy Josephson, all three from Anchorage. Actual language of the legislation can be found at the following link. As with most Red Flag legislation this couches its violation of constitutional rights of Alaskans in terms of protective orders, requiring an extended shopping list of so-called professionals to report threats of gun violence. This list includes physicians, psychological associates, social workers, marital and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors. It is expanded by the legislation to include any
“(A) A peace officer who reasonably believes that a person is a danger to self or others by possessing, owning, purchasing, or receiving a firearm may file a petition in the district or superior court for a protective order against the person.”
The court has 10-days’ notice of the hearing. There are also provisions for emergency protective orders that do not require notification or participation by the target in the court cost. Once the order is written, the target has 24 hours to turn over all weapons and ammunition to law enforcement or sell it. He has 48 hours to report this action to the court. We have seen how quickly and easily these sorts of orders are written in other states. They are rarely denied, not unlike FISA applications, and the constitutional rights of the gun owners are trampled like so many blades of grass. While I don’t expect this to go anywhere this session, it is concerning simply to see it floated.
- BSA. This one is a few weeks old. The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy last month, citing a blizzard of sexual abuse lawsuits. The lawsuits are seeking settlements on behalf of several thousand men who claim to be molested as scouts by leaders in their outfits. The lawsuits are due to changes in their states’ statute of limitations laws. How convenient. The Chapter 11 filing by the BSA puts these lawsuits on hold at least for a little while. The bankruptcy filing lists the assets of the organization $1 – 10 billion with current liabilities $500 million – $1 billion. Expect those assets to disappear completely as the lawsuits are settled. The lawsuits were filed after NY, AZ, NJ & CA passed laws making it easier for those claiming to be victims of past sexual abuse to file claims. And like we have seen over the years with tobacco, asbestos, and now talcum powder lawsuits, teams of lawyers are making the rounds of former scouts signing them up. The BSA came under intense pressure by the gay rights crowd in the latter stages of the O’Bama regime, to allow gay scouts and leadership. They finally caved in Jan 2017 and made that change. Since then, their membership is now half of what it was in the peak years of the 1970s. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) withdrew as a major sponsor Jan 1, taking 400,000 scouts with them. The BSA that we knew growing up is gone. All that is left are jackals fighting over the carcass. Sadness. I am reminded of David Burge (Iowahawk) on Twitter 5 years ago:
- Identify a respected institution.
- Kill it.
- Gut it.
- Wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.
- AB5. California passed Assembly Bill 5 last year. Ostensibly aimed at Uber and Lyft, the legislation ended up making all employees in the gig economy illegal. Their excuse was a CA Supreme Court opinion that all but made independent contractors illegal, reclassifying them as regular employees, something that absolutely delighted the unions that put the democrats into office. The court shifted the burden to the nationwide employer to prove their people were not employees. Unions have long despised the ability of small businesses to hire people without a full benefit package. This anger was heightened by the approach of Uber and Lyft to call their drivers independent contractors. The same thing applies to over the road truckers. But passing this legislation has not solved anything. Rather, it is in the process of destroying all independent contractors and along with it jobs in Cali. Today, there are more than 57 million freelancers nationwide contributing over $1 trillion to the economy every year. 75% of them freelance by choice. They like their freedom, which the Cali Supremes, Assembly, Governor, democrats and the unions that put them into office despise. So, the government of Cali passed legislation to make that freedom illegal, to take it away. As with all assaults on liberty, this one is generating some blowback in Cali as hundreds of thousands of Californians are finding their businesses in shreds. Musicians can no longer join a band for a one-night gig. Nurses can’t work at multiple hospitals. Writers have to cap their submissions at 35/year. The overwhelming number of these professionals are registered democrats. And they are starting to talk about switching parties as state democrats are not listening to them. Not to be outdone, Pelosi’s House democrats passed HR2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, designed to boost union membership. This one takes California’s problem nationwide, making the business of 57 million Americans illegal. It has long been said that a conservative is a liberal who just got mugged. And democrats and their union backers are about to deliver 57 million professionals to the Republican Party.
- Vaping. Before there was fake news, there was junk science. While junk science is most often applied to the climate wars, health and nutrition generally run a close second. Last week’s example comes out of Journal of the American Heart Association that retracted a major study on vaping, claiming that using e-cigs increased the likelihood of a heart attack. This study was used by the CDC and others as justification for their lawfare assault on vaping nationwide, in other words, using junk science to execute a public hoax. The study out of UC San Francisco claimed that vaping and smoking cigarettes posed similar health risks. Doing them both at the same time was even more dangerous. It turns out that the study was based on misleading data and the conclusions were wrong. It turns out that the many of the vapers the study scientists analyzed were also current or former smokers and it was the use of cigarettes that was responsible for heart attacks. In this case, not only did the peer review process fail once again, but the journal which funded the study was reluctant to retract it. Study authors and the scientist who pointed out their error continue to snipe at one another, with the authors referring to the skeptic as a tool of the tobacco lobby, a reaction not unlike the response of climatistas to any criticism of their work and conclusions.
More later –