Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
- Super Tuesday
- Bernie Bros
- Polar Bear
- Safety Margin
- Super Tuesday. It appears that a number of phone calls were made following the expected Biden win in South Carolina last week, as the democrat establishment lined up behind the Biden candidacy in opposition to that of Bernie Sanders. Biden won 39 of the available delegates in SC with just over 48% of the vote. Sanders was next with around 20% and 15 delegates. This completely expected result was sufficient for the democrat establishment to get themselves in gear and start chasing Biden’s competition out of the race. Both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race by Monday last and endorsed Biden. Even our favorite furry, Young Master Beto O’Rourke showed up at a Dallas rally with Biden and an endorsement for him. This was sufficient to push Biden to win 10 of the 13 states voting in Super Tuesday, taking a current delegate lead of around 80. California results are not yet complete as the state democrat party is busily figuring how much vote fraud they can get away with in their support of Biden. Michael Bloomberg, who spent half a billion dollars for 60 pledged delegates dropped out of the race Wednesday, promising to still do his level best to remove Trump from office. Elizabeth Warren ended up coming in third in her home state of MA took several days to drop out of the race. There is no small number of sour grapes among the Bernie Bros aimed at Warren, as socialist votes were split between her and Bernie in most states, swinging several of them closely to Biden. This led to some speculation that she was in on the game also. After everything sorted itself out, everyone is out of the race except Biden (democrat establishment choice), Sanders (designated socialist) and Tulsi Gabbard, who destroyed Biden’s probable VP pick in an early debate. Following the shakeout, the DNC rewrote their debate rules once again to make sure Gabbard would not share the stage on the next debate with the two septuagenarians. Under previous rules, Gabbard by virtue of winning a couple delegates in American Samoa would have been on the stage, something the Powers That Be in the democrat establishment couldn’t allow. Congratulations to black voters in SC for categorically rejecting the wannabee commissar Bernie Sanders.
- Biden. Now that the democrat establishment has selected Joe Biden as their nominee, where do they go next? It is clear to most of us that Biden has significant mental issues, likely as a result of his two brain surgeries. And he and his performance has deteriorated as the campaign has continued. He is not going to improve. Rather, he will likely continue on his current path, demonstrating he is not up for either the campaign or the job he is running for. Things are so bad that the next democrat debate will have both candidates seated rather than standing at lecterns for two hours. So, the question becomes what will the party do with Biden and more importantly, when will they do it? Speculation has been ramping up nicely, with the democrats making their move before the convention, after the convention, or after the election. The replacement move is much easier before and during the convention. Doing it during the campaign will do to the Biden campaign much what McGovern’s replacement of Thomas Eagleton did to his 1972 campaign, so I don’t expect that to happen. OTOH, should Biden end up being elected, I would not be surprised to see the move made between the election and inauguration, as it will not require any congressional involvement best I can figure out. Doing the replacement after inauguration will likely require invocation of the 25th Amendment vehicle to remove an incapacitated president. Replacing the VP after the inauguration will also require senate action, much like the replacement of Spiro Agnew in 1973 and Gerald Ford in 1974 did, something that will be interesting at best in today’s hyper-politicized climate, especially if a substantial part of the nation believes it was always coming, a preplanned event.
- Bernie Bros. When you hire wannabee communists, Sandinistas, Chavistas, Castroites, you know, the standard array of Bernie Bros to your campaign, they will act precisely like these guys have done in other nations, looting whomever and whatever they work for, destroying it from within. You need to look no farther than the wanton destruction of the Venezuelan oil industry by the Chavistas over the last couple decades for the most recent large-scale example of this. A more recent example comes out of the Bloomberg for President campaign, which spread money far and wide, hiring anyone anything that moved to work in his campaign. Problem is the gene pool on the political left is not a particularly large pond, and Bloomberg hired a LOT of Bernie Bros. These guys burrowed into his campaign, much like the Obamaoids of the Deep State are now burrowed into the federal bureaucracy and worked for Bernie Sanders rather than Bloomberg. And Bloomberg never knew it. The only morality associated with the political left, the socialist left, the communist and fascist left is power. Like the Islamists, they will say anything that you want to hear, while undermining and destroying everything they touch, not unlike a nest of termites.
- Sabotage. One of the recent games out of the environmentalist left is infrastructure sabotage aimed at trains. The excuse is to keep the trains from transporting oil from place to place. Of course, if these clowns would allow pipelines to be built to transport that oil, it wouldn’t have to ride on trains, among the least safe transport methods for massive amounts of oil. Last week, five climate radicals from Extinction Rebellion who put what they called a “garden” on train tracks intended to derail them, were released after a mistrial. Five of the Portland jurors believed their “climate necessity defense” and would not vote to convict. There was even video of the sabotage. One of the defendants was previously convicted in WA for turning a pipeline valve to shut down the pipeline. He was quite pleased with himself. The Left Coast has a real problem that they will have to solve sooner rather than later. This rot is not confined to the Left Coast, having unfortunately spread to Canada. David Solway writing in PJ Media a couple weeks ago described the problem in Canada: Dead Country Walking. He described Canada as being in the midst of social and political disintegration, as a left-leaning electorate has empowered a socialist government that is busily promoting all leftist ideological causes of the day. What he calls the Red-Green Axis and their enablers have effectively shut down the country. The economy is at a standstill, legislatures and City Halls have been barricaded, and blockades dot the landscape. Roads, bridges and trains have been sabotaged. Heating supplies are not delivered (Canada is still Cold Country) and foodstuffs are rotting in warehouses. At least three provinces are considering leaving the union – Quebec, Newfoundland and Alberta. Add to this unceasing pandering to Canadian natives and Canada is dissolving before our eyes. Here in the US, the red-blue divide is roughly even, with some number in between. Canada division is officially 65 – 35% liberal, though some conservatives describe it as 95 – 5%. Something that liberal will simply stop existing. And once the radical greens ensure nothing gets delivered, things are going to get quite cold and hungry out.
- Polar Bear. One of the things that the greens do really well is hide data that is not supportive of their pre-selected results. Latest example of this comes from Susan Crockford’s Polar Bear Science blog via Anthony Watts’ Wats Up With That. Crockford asks if international polar bear researchers are hiding good news. There have been extended lags in publishing polar bear counts and a failure to publish data on female polar bear body weights and cub survival in Western Hudson Bay for over 25 years. If we have a problem that requires government action, that action should at least be based on some sort of data. Worse, if these health measures have not declined over the last 25 years, it would undermine the notion that sea ice loss due to manmade global warming due to CO2 emissions is not really a problem at all. Sea ice conditions in Hudson Bay have been excellent in recent years. Crockford goes on to note that recent polar bear invasions of two Russian Arctic towns in 2019 may be a growing problem due to the sheer number of bears roaming the Arctic and the fact that every single community on the coast has some sort garbage dump. As a result, Arctic residents and visitors are at a much greater risk of a deadly encounter with a polar bear because current populations are so large.
- Dyson. The world lost one of the Good Guys Feb 28 with the passing of Freeman Dyson at age 96. He was an English-born theoretical physicist who worked on quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering. He was professor emeritus in the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Dyson was active in space exploration and supported space colonization. A brilliant guy who was active until the end. This one is a real loss.
- Safety Margin. One of the things we humans do is create and operate within a margin of safety (aka safety margin). In engineering, particularly structural engineering, it is a description of how much stronger a system needs to be to carry its intended load over an extended period of time. There are similar descriptions for the financial, medical and pharmaceutical worlds. Generally, systems are built stronger than they have to be so that they don’t need to be replaced after they are used once or twice. Economics all but require a margin of safety to be built into everything we do, as replacing things after they are used once gets prohibitively expensive (ask the disposable rocket guys). Margins of safety allow things to work and keep on working for an extended period of time. They also allow systems to suffer some sort of expected or unexpected insult and still not catastrophically fail. In the structural world, perhaps you build something 1.25 times or 1.50 times as strong as it needs to be. One of the things that occurred to me looking at the ongoing Corona panic is how seemingly everything the political left does these days (and has done over the course of the last century) removes a chunk from the overall societal margin of safety. Here in Anchorage, we’ve seen a couple very good decisions made regarding Corona. One is President Trump’s shutdown of air traffic between China and the US. Another is significant purchasing by Anchorage residents stocking up on long-term dried goods and cleaning supplies. While the disease hasn’t made it into town yet, these are good, logical lifestyle choices that will help mitigate the impact of the disease when it hits. OTOH, we’ve also made some awful decisions. One is a ban on disposable plastic shopping bags citywide. The Anchorage Assembly was told of sanitation concerns but didn’t much care. The other poor choice is the growth of a homeless population infesting our greenbelts and other public spaces. We are a wet city, and their bodily fluids will eventually end up in local waters and lakes which are heavily fished during the summer. Sanitation creates a margin of safety, which is in turn a positive lifestyle choice aimed at limiting the spread of disease. Sadly, sanitation is not nearly a concern to our local politicians as it should be. Finally, schools in Hong Kong are currently shut down, and expected to be so for up to 13 weeks. At least 12 schools have been shut down in Seattle so far. The difference is that in Hong Kong, parents are dealing with the closure via home schooling and online education. Seattle, not so much. Here in Anchorage the teacher’s unions have fought online / distance education tooth and nail for years, putting a School Board in place that makes sure that option simply does not exist. And when the public schools here in town start closing to deal with Corona, parents will be on their own. To be fair, it is not entirely the fault of the union, as a huge number of parents, particularly with younger kids, look as the public schools as taxpayer funded childcare as much as they do a vehicle to educate their kids. Our local politicians have systematically carved chunk after chunk after chunk out of our societal margin of safety. And their opposition to online / distance education ensured we did not build another way around a potential problem. This is not the first virus. It won’t be the last. Perhaps it is time for another set of politicians who are at least nominally interested in public safety.
More later –